HALF MOON BAY, Calif.--Apple decided to put its Apple SIM card inside its new iPads because it didn't know which wireless carriers its customers would choose and because the company wanted to give its customers more choice, according to an Apple executive.
Although the new Apple SIM card for its new iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 promises to let customers switch between different carriers' service plans on the tablets, there are a number of caveats to the service that have recently come to light. Most notably, AT&T Mobility confirmed that if customers purchase an iPad with the new Apple SIM card and activate cellular service via AT&T, the Apple SIM card will be locked to AT&T's network and customers will need to purchase a new SIM to activate the device on another carrier.
AT&T Mobility, Sprint, T-Mobile US and UK operator EE support a new SIM card for Apple's iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 that lets customers switch between carriers. Although Verizon Wireless will provide wireless service for Apple's new tablets, it is not listed as a supporter of the new Apple SIM card.
Apple introduced two new iPad tablets, the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3, as it seeks to regain momentum in the tablet market and fight back against new phablets and cheaper competing tablets from rivals.
Apple is hosting a media event at 1 p.m. Eastern Time today at its headquarters in Cupertino Calif., where it is expected to unveil new faster, thinner iPad tablets. A key question though is whether that will be enough to revive Apple's growth in the tablet market.
Apple has pushed the start of production for a larger iPad tablet with a 12.9-inch screen to early next year so that its suppliers can keep up with demand for Apple's iPhone 6 and 6 Plus phablet, according to a Wall Street Journal article. Meanwhile, Apple sent out invitations to a media event on Oct 16, where the company is widely expected to unveil updated versions of its iPads alongside new desktop and laptop computers.
Apple is working with suppliers to produce a new, larger version of its iPad tablet with a screen that measures 12.9 inches diagonally, according to a Bloomberg report.
Sprint MVNO FreedomPop is going to launch the Apple iPad mini and Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 as its first LTE tablets and will enable voice service via the tablets. The company is also going to support customers who bring off-contract Sprint LTE tablets to its service.
Apple released a cheaper 8 GB iPhone 5c in its European online stores, but the gadget is not yet available online in the U.S. Apple also re-released its fourth-generation iPad tablet, which replaces the older iPad 2.
Apple reports its fiscal fourth-quarter results after the market closes today, and all eyes will be on how the company's iPhone business is doing, and to a lesser extent, how well its iPad tablet sales have held up.