Apple SIM on iPads no longer activates new cellular data plans

Support for new cellular schedule activation using Apple own SIM was dismissed on October 1st. Apple is on a mission to free the world of physical SIMs.

Apple SIM technology is no longer open to activate new cellular data plans on iPads. The Apple SIM, first introduced by Apple in 2014, is a programmable SIM card.

It could be configured with different operator profiles, eliminating the need to buy a physical SIM from the carrier itself. MacRumors first spotted the change.

Apple quietly announced via its cellular data support page that support for new activations using both the formal Apple SIM and embedded Apple SIM would stop from October 1st, 2022. Apple advises that anyone affected by the change should contact their carrier for attributes on activating a cellular data plan on their iPad.

The Apple SIM first emerged as a physical nano-SIM card in the GPS + Cellular renditions of the iPad Air 2 and mini 3. Since its release, additional iPad models have sustained it, including as an embedded SIM in subsequent iPad Pro models.

Supported carriers include AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile in the US, with additional pages presented in other regions. In addition, you can review if your iPad supports Apple SIM by glancing up the technical specifications of your iPad model on the Apple official website.

All models of the iPad Pro, iPad Air, iPad mini, and iPad released since October 2018 support eSIMs — so no Apple SIM is required.

The Apple SIM in 2014 seemed to be a temporary measure until Apple could eventually free the world of SIM cards, punctuated by the recent launch of the iPhone 14 in the US with no physical SIM tray.

Having more than one active SIM is excellent for frequent travelers, people who live in areas where any network has spotty coverage or folks who have separate work and personal numbers. For example, you bought your iPhone 11 when you lived in the Netherlands. It includes both a Dutch eSIM and a physical Verizon SIM. That meant you could use a local SIM in Europe or the US without losing access to your other number or messing with your iMessage or WhatsApp settings.