I’ve already added an iPhone 6 Plus to my expenses, can’t wait to see the iMac with 5K Retina Display (need to take measurements to see if it will fit where the current iMac resides; I’m confident), and now there’s an iPad Air 2 with something unexpected inside.
Take That, Cellphone Company
Almost hidden in Apple’s new iPad Air 2 details is another market disrupting influence, this time aimed at the folks we love to hate– cell phone companies.
The little doohickey inside is called Apple SIM. It’s the proprietary SIM card Apple that comes with the cellular version of the iPad Air 2.
iPhones and cellular-equipped iPads come with a bunch of radios inside, and the SIM chips help to connect the device to the appropriate cell phone carrier.
Apple aims to change that.
In the recent past, we’d need to get permission from Big Brother AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint or whomever to unlock our smartphones so we could swap out the SIM card and use the phone with a competitor’s network.
Apple SIM aims to change that.
The new Apple SIM is preinstalled on iPad Air 2 with Wi-Fi + Cellular models. The Apple SIM gives you the flexibility to choose from a variety of short-term plans from select carriers in the U.S. and UK right on your iPad. So whenever you need it, you can choose the plan that works best for you — with no long-term commitments. And when you travel, you may also be able to choose a data plan from a local carrier for the duration of your trip.
That about says it all, but not all of it. Verizon isn’t mentioned, mostly because Verizon’s network isn’t as compatible with the same radios as AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile et al. What it means, though, is that true unlocked mobility is on the way, starting now with the new iPads.
The next generation iPhone models, probably iPhone 6s or iPhone 7, could easily sport a nearly universal Apple SIM chip that would let you connect to any nearby cell phone company; no unlocking required; possibly even month-to-month. Just tap, tap, tap into the settings and you’re connected.
Come on, folks. Is that disruption, Apple style, or what?