I’m sure most consumers didn’t notice it, but the Apple SIM is probably one of the most important improvements to come with the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3.
The Apple SIM allows the consumers to switch carriers without having to switch SIM cards. Not everybody is on board yet, but it currently supports AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and EE in the US and UK. Verizon is noticeably missing from the list.
iPad plans aren’t always tied to contracts, but this paves the way for future iPhones (and iPads) to possibly discard the notion of a removable SIM card entirely. I’ve been traveling recently and it always frustrated me that I needed to physically swap a SIM card, which functions to identify my account, when switching networks. Ideally all I’d need was a username/password sign on process to tell the phone that I’m on a different network. Of course, carriers would totally be against the idea because it reduces the lock-in, but it makes total sense from a consumer standpoint.
This really feels like one of those things that only Apple can do. Telecommunication companies are well known for avoiding change, but Apple has somehow managed to get them to relax some of their archaic processes, definitely thanks to the millions of iPhones sold.
Will we someday be able to buy an iPhone that doesn’t require a removable SIM card? I sure hope so.