European carriers plan frosty reception for Apple iPads’ new universal SIM

“Apple Inc.’s new iPads come preinstalled with a universal SIM, meaning that the devices are able to work with any telecom carrier providing cellular coverage. No more will users need to physically remove and swap multiple SIMs when switching between carriers,” Simon Zekaria reports for The Wall Street Journal. “Instead, users can simply pick a new carrier through the device’s on-screen settings.”

“This theoretically frees up consumers to pick and choose carriers based on price, service, signal strength or any other preference,” Zekaria reports. “Well, that’s the theory anyway.”

“In the U.S., AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile U.S. have signed up. But Verizon is sitting it out and AT&T says it will lock the Apple SIM to its network if the user chooses the carrier—meaning an AT&T customer will now have to put in a new SIM anyway if switching to a rival operator,” Zekaria reports. “In Europe, where consumers can order the new iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 from Apple’s online stores, only one carrier — EE — has signed up to offer its services to Apple’s universal SIM. That’s one operator out of dozens of carriers.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
How iPad’s soft SIM lets Apple pit carriers against each other – October 27, 2014
AT&T locking carrier-interchangeable Apple SIMs in iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 – October 24, 2014
New ‘Apple SIM’ could significantly disrupt the wireless industry – October 17, 2014
Apple SIM card in new iPads challenges mobile networks – October 17, 2014


  1. In several countries in Europe this is irrelevant. I got my iPad mini from a provider for €6 + about a €10-15 premium on a 24 month contract for 4G. So I can put a new SIM in but I still have to pay the contract. But I can upgrade after 20 months and do what I want with the original device.

    1. I think you’re missing the point… with the Apple SIM you (theoretically) don’t need to replace it ever. You just choose your new provider and your SIM just works. Of course the telcos hate that they can’t lock you in, so they do everything they can to sabotage Apple’s SIM.

      1. No YOU missed the point. It doesn’t matter about the SIM. if I want to pay the provider for service and go somewhere else that’s up to me. I’m locked in by the contract when I paid €6 for the iPad Mini. Hello Americanos wake up!!

        1. You are still missing the point.
          Most people, around 80%, buy their iPads contract free. Most are not in the same boat as you.
          The beauty of the apple sim is that you buy an ipad and can use whatever provider you want with the same sim card. Don’t you see the convenience in that? That I can go to whatever is that you live at, and I don’t have to search for a sim card to get cellular data? I can, while still at the airport, search for the provider with the cheapest data price for that month or weeks.
          But if you don’t see the positive in there for the consumers, well, i cant help contrarians!

  2. All these comapnies that are trying futily to sabotage Apple’s consumers, products and softwaref or nothing but unreasonable greed and abusive control of the retail consumer ‘everywhere’ ( Rite Aid, CVS , Wallmart et all).

    If these flagrant acts of sabotage don’t underscore their arrogance and force a consumer revolt, maybe a few class action lawsuits by consumers for the willful sabotaging of Apple products will make it obviously clear that they are here only to rape pillage and rip everyone off.

    Apple is and has always been the only consumer’s champion.

  3. Just what I’ve been hoping for. Apple is making an uncharacteristic Microsoftian move in attempting to bend the global SIM ecosystem to its will. They deserve a big Fail on this one.

    1. Here’s the MS equivalent:
      You could uninstall IE without it being tied up in the system somehow.
      You could buy a PC from an OEM to run Linux without you or the OEM paying the MS tax for Windows anyway.

  4. They’ll be forced to support it by the EC eventually. Sadly though the EC moves so slowly the technology will be virtually obsolete by the time they rule on it. The telcos know this, hence the foot dragging.

    1. LOL what is this thread – a magnet for stupid comments? The EU has been way ahead with mobile technology and still is. And like I already said T-W-I-C-E and yes I’m yelling, this is meaningless for those that pay almost nothing to buy an iPad from a Telco with a 2 year contract. Sure take out the SIM and put Apple’s back in and pay twice dumb ass millennials.

  5. So much for the ‘Apple’ SIM. In the UK, of 5 networks in my area, I get offered precisely 1 – the most expensive. Sorry Apple, it’s the only thing that doesn’t impress me!

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