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AT&T Communications Handhelds Apple

AT&T Locks Apple SIM Cards On New iPads 112

As reported by MacRumors, the unlocked, carrier-switchable SIM cards built into the newest iPads aren't necessarily so -- at least if you buy them from an AT&T store. Though the card comes from Apple with the ability to support (and be switched among with software, if a change is necessary) all major carriers, "AT&T is not supporting this interchangeability and is locking the SIM included with cellular models of the iPad Air 2 and Retina iPad mini 3 after it is used with an AT&T plan. ... AT&T appears to be the only participating carrier that is locking the Apple SIM to its network. T-Mobile's John Legere has indicated that T-Mobile's process does not lock a customer in to T-Mobile, which appears to be confirmed by Apple's support document, and Sprint's process also seems to leave the Apple SIM unlocked and able to be used with other carrier plans. Verizon, the fourth major carrier in the United States, did not opt to allow the Apple SIM to work with its network." The iPad itself can still be activated and used on other networks, but only after the installation of a new SIM.
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AT&T Locks Apple SIM Cards On New iPads

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Easy solution:

    Don't use AT&T. Ever.

  • I was going to an LTE iPad and go as needed on the cellular plan, now which carrier to not select.

    • T-Mobile that is.

      I had Verizon, before that AT&T. So far I've been happier with T-Mobile than any of them...

      T-Mobile I think gives you a free 200mb/month no matter what, so if you use cell network lightly that can be fantastic.

      If you do pay for a plan, T-Mobile has free international data. It's not LTE unless you pay more but 3G is fine for most needs.

      It's only been a month so I may be in the honeymoon phase but the very fact there is a honeymoon phase instead of a gnawing fear in the pit of my stomac

      • T-Mobile I think gives you a free 200mb/month no matter what, so if you use cell network lightly that can be fantastic.

        Do not trust T-Mobile on that promise. I bought two sim cards from T-mobile with the same promise, 200 mb/month "for life" and each sim card doesn't even need to be activated. I read the fine prints very carefully. That was true for about six months, then the sim cards stopped working.

        I think T-Mobile just regretted having offered that deal. I would have complained, but I'm just too lazy to do so because I did get some service and I'm just out $40.

        Overall, I still think T-Mobile is the least dishonest mobil

        • It is written on their website that you must have an existing tmobile plan of some sort to qualify for the 200mb of free data.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    So instead of AT&T screwing up the Apple provided sim card, users who want to try AT&T should request an AT&T sim card directly from AT&T and use that instead. Problem solved.

  • Legality (Score:4, Insightful)

    by GrahamJ ( 241784 ) on Friday October 24, 2014 @07:28PM (#48226231)
    Is this even legal? It's not their SIM, it's yours. Surely they can't legally lock you out of your own hardware.
    • They can if you sign ownership-equivalent rights to your SIM over to them when you begin service.
  • Break up ATT and Verizon.

  • If a company is disabling the functionality of a piece of hardware you have then they minimally need to re-enable the functionality.
    Some new lawyer could cut their chops on this case I'm sure.
    Seems foolhardy for AT&T to expose themselves this way.

  • What does AT&T do when they remotely lock the SIM that prevents me from being able to take that SIM to someone else and say "Here, use this," without getting "I'm sorry, we can't" as a reply?
  • Does anyone actually care about this? So you buy an iPad from AT&T and if you want to use it with T-Mobile, you need to pop in a T-Mobile SIM. Who cares? It's not like it costs money for a SIM when you sign up with a carrier, they will just give it to you. And how is this any different than an unlocked phone?

The greatest productive force is human selfishness. -- Robert Heinlein