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Apple SIM for iPad cannot be used to activate cellular plans anymore

Owners of cellular iPads are no longer able to use a supplied Apple SIM to activate a data plan for their tablet, forcing users to either use a different physical SIM or move to eSIM.

Apple included an Apple SIM with its cellular iPads to allow users to quickly get set up with cellular data plans from carriers, without needing to wait for a carrier's physical SIM to be delivered for use. However, since October 1, Apple SIM can't be used for that task at all.

An update to an Apple support page spotted by MacRumors explains that from October 1, 2022, "Apple SIM technology will no longer be available for activating new cellular data plans on iPad." Users are told to contact their carrier for details on activating a new plan with their device.

Apple initially included the Apple SIM in 2014, originally as a physical nano-SIM that could be placed in the SIM tray. Later, an Apple SIM was embedded into the hardware itself, along with a SIM card tray.

The affected cellular iPad models include:

  • iPad Air 2
  • iPad mini 3 and 4,
  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro (first and second generation)
  • 10.5-inch iPad Pro
  • 9.7-inch iPad Pro
  • iPad 5 and 6

The move away from Apple SIM is the latest in the area for the company, following after an iPhone alteration that shifts away from physical SIMs. Its iPhone 14 range in the United States will only provide users with eSIM support, but other territories will still sell iPhones with physical SIM trays for the moment.