With the new iPad Air and Mini that were announced today, Apple also quietly announced a new feature included with the cellular models: a new Apple SIM card is installed in the iPad that isn’t tied to one specific carrier. Instead of needing a new SIM each time the user wants to switch carriers, the user doesn’t need to do anything except select the carrier they want from the menu in Settings. This works because the iPad has radios that work with many different carriers, which makes it easy to switch between them.
Participating carriers in the U.S. include AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile, and EE in the U.K. Notably, Verizon is not on the list, but Apple notes that more carriers may be added later.
The Apple SIM gives users more freedom to switch between providers to see which carrier best suits their needs, and makes setup out of the box even easier. Instead of needing to install and activate a SIM card, the iPad is already ready to go. The user just needs to select the carrier they want to use, and choose a plan.