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Apple's new iPads choose LTE at will from AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile or EE

Richard Lawler, @Rjcc
October 16, 2014
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After years of rumors that Apple would introduce its own type of SIM card, it appears to have snuck the tech into today's new iPad announcement (there's a history here, the original iPad introduced the Micro SIM). The Apple website says LTE-equipped models of its new tablets (sold in the US and UK) have a packed-in Apple SIM that lets owners switch between short term plans across a variety of participating carriers, right on the tablet itself (you can see a picture of the new option under settings after the break). That list includes AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint in the US, and EE in the UK, but notably not Verizon. Verizon is still an option, of course, you'll just need to switch out Apple's SIM for one of theirs, which eliminates the possibility of changing carriers via software.

During the presentation Apple didn't discuss its SIM card, just mentioning the new iPads have even faster WiFi and LTE support with support for up to 20 LTE bands (on the Air 2, the mini 3 has 14) and 150mbps connections. Adding a cellular modem to the slate adds about $130 to the price, whether you opt for the Air 2 or mini 3 version. So far the carriers are mostly quiet on the new tech -- other than John Legere tweeting about how T-Mobile is #datastrong, of course -- but we're hoping the one SIM for many carriers idea is a trend that catches on.

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