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Apple SIM set to lose carrier flexibility once it's used with AT&T

Apple SIM set to lose carrier flexibility once it's used with AT&T

October 25, 2014

The new Apple SIM may not be as flexible as initially believed, at least for users who choose to use AT&T’s network with it.

The Apple SIM is preinstalled on cellular-enabled models of the iPad Air 2. It allows users to choose from a number of short-term plans from Apple’s partner carriers in the U.S. and the U.K. right in the tablet’s settings.

Presumably, the Apple SIM also enables users to easily switch to other carriers after the duration of the previously chosen carrier’s plan. But that’s apparently not the case with AT&T.

The second largest mobile carrier in the U.S. has confirmed that the Apple SIM is locked to its network once it’s chosen, meaning that a new Apple SIM is needed to switch to a different carrier.

“AT&T, once the exclusive carrier of the iPhone, has a history of going against the Apple flow,” The Wall Street Journal notes. “It initially placed restrictions on Apple’s FaceTime video-calling feature on its cellular networks. Back in 2009, it initially blocked users from tethering other devices to the iPhone out of fears about the amount of data that would be consumed.”

T-Mobile and Sprint, however, aren’t adopting AT&T’s policy. Both carriers allow users to switch from their networks to others on the fly, in accordance with how Apple is promoting its special SIM.

Verizon, the largest mobile carrier in the U.S., is notably not jumping on the Apple SIM bandwagon.

In the U.K., the Apple SIM currently works with EE only.

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