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Apple SIM and Carrier Troubles

Don Parsons / October 24, 2014 at 7:18 PM / News

So Apple came up with a wonderful idea – let’s make an Apple SIM card that people can move from different carriers. Something to help consumer options, mobility and ease of use. What could go wrong?

Downloading first world issues
Downloading first world issues

Well you probably guessed the answer to that one. The mobile companies are what could go wrong. Verizon has decided that it flat out won’t support Apple SIMs. It’s not a technology issue as Spring, who does support the Apple SIM, uses similar CDMA technology. It is almost certainly than a choice from Verizon who wants to provide their own SIMs and isn’t comfortable with carrier-agnostic SIMs. (Note: These aren’t carrier-atheists as they do want a carrier. However, they may be carrier agnostic theist as they clearly worship apple above all!)

In addition to Sprint, T-Mobile will provide full coverage and work with the Apple SIM completely. However, that isn’t quite true with AT&T who will, unlike Verizon, support the card but are not comfortable with you leaving with minimal cost. No, instead AT&T is locking any Apple SIM to their network only. This hurts the mobility factor because if you want to change carriers, you have to go buy a new Apple SIM at the Apple Retail store. Apparently they can’t be unlocked, and Apple won’t allow you to just trade it in either.

Essentially AT&T isn’t happy with this idea of carrier mobility and has decided to use the Apple SIM only because it likely decreases their overheads on any of those devices. For those ones, they don’t have to put in the (relatively minimal) cost of a SIM card and maybe in the future won’t need to develop new ones while still getting the same ability to lock to some extent they have now.

In an ideal world, it should be a carrier’s plan and not its control over the device you own (even if it is just inconvenience or minor trouble to change, that is enough to deter many) that gets you to stay. One must applaud Sprint and T-Mobile’s decision to move forward into the future while being disappointed in AT&T and Verizon’s decisions to stay in the past.

The new Apple SIMs can be found on iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 2. They are available with participating (non-verizon in the US) UK and US dealers. That is subject to change and may come to canada in the future with Telus, Bell, Rogers.

Don Parsons

News Editor

I've been a gamer for years of various types starting with the Sega Genesis and Shining Force when I was young. If I'm not playing video games, I'm often roleplaying, reading, writing, or pondering things brought up by speculative fiction.