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New Apple SIM lets you choose any "partner" carrier

2014-10-17 10:03 by
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Apple has announced that it will provide the cellular versions of the new iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 with a new "Apple SIM" card instead of one from a specific mobile operator. At first this option will be limited to some carriers in the US and in the UK.

According to Apple, the new SIM will let users choose from a variety of short-term plans from participating carriers in the U.S. and UK right on their iPad. This way the users can switch to the plan that works best for them with no long-term commitments. Participating US carriers with the Apple SIM are AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile. In the UK, only one carrier is listed - EE.

While the new technology gives freedom to iPad owners, it obviously shows that Apple could be a major threat for mobile operators as it would weaken the relationship between them and their subscribers. Especially if the technology appears in the iPhone, which accounts for larger part of carriers' revenue than the iPads.

"Apple's foray with 'soft SIM' in cellular iPads depicts the leverage and unprecedented power it has over carriers," said Neil Shah, a mobile industry analyst with the analysis company Counterpoint Research. "Bringing soft sim to iPhone is not going to be as easy at global scale, nevertheless very important step to get it into iPads."

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