Apple to Get Rid of SIM cards for Phones and Tabs

Last week Apple announced its new line-up of iPads for the next 12 months, and a new iMac with a gorgeous display, but probably the most-influential and also the most-neglected change was its imminent departure from SIM-card slots.

Think about it, how much of a pain would it be for companies like Apple who sweat for months in order to arrange few millimeters here and there for the SIM card tray. SIM Card trays just not pose a design compromise but theoretically a phone or tablet can’t be thinner than the SIM card tray itself, meaning that a huge loss of space just to incorporate SIMs. This is a major flaw that is beyond the control of device makers as SIM card is a must for phones or tablets to do cellular network transactions, such as voice or data.

That should change now with the arrival of a new “Apple SIM” in the new LTE-enabled iPad Air 2 and mini 3 as the SIM card tray is altogether replaced by a tiny chip on logic.

These iPads come with a new programmable SIM card which keep you at bay from changing SIM cards every-time you change your carrier or travel. Physically there’s no SIM card tray for the user, instead the built-in SIM is programmed with multiple carriers. All you have to do is to select your favourite network, data plan and that’s it.

ipad-air-2

So far, only four carriers have signed up for the facility and it remains to be seen whether it’ll catch fire. But why this silence, if its such a terrific idea?

if this is replicated for iPhones too then the idea isn’t likely to be liked by the customers that use non-partner networks, such as users in Pakistan. But we are certain that these programmable SIMs will be compatible with non-partner networks and customers will be able to program their desired networks, which aren’t partner with Apple yet. This will be added hassle for customers.

Apple makes most of its revenue from the iPhones and most iPhones are sold on a contract. As it turns out, most people don’t shell out full $750 in one go. This is why in last night’s event, Apple refrained from mentioning this even once. Even on its website, there is only one paragraph dedicated to it.

So for now, it remains a niche idea but you never know. Also you need to remember that it was Apple which brought microSIM cards and popularized reversible cables. With its large and dedicated user base, if there is any company in the world which can pull it off, it will be Apple (and rest of the industry to follow).


  • Seems like Apple wants to go back. In old days we already had AIMS handsets from Nokia which need to be programmed on any carrier. There was no GSM SIM card required for those AIMS devices.

    • Bilal Aahil

      sort of like that with better functionality, if this kicks off, we might not see a sim tray next year in any Apple products

      • ZeeMap

        And others to follow Apple then ;)

        • Bilal Aahil

          hopefully, it be great if others do.

  • Muhammad Abrar Ali

    Lo and be hold apple freaks

  • Shahzad Afzal

    A good and future thinking… control inventory when set sold on contract.. better insurance pricing… most of the network in first world is already in contract with apple..

  • Apple open a new door to technology for its competitors. That’s why everyone love Apple because it is really pioneer.

  • Shoaib

    Excellent innovation.Well done Apple

  • H J A

    Excellent step
    Roaming customers life will be so easy, all depends on Apple to allow this to partner and non partner networks, so charging on roaming be smooth like present.,,

  • Ali

    Its an idea, which some will follow, but it is upto the Pakistan Regulatory, Will they allow a company to control all the subscriber data, and no Control with the local Govt.
    Will the Operators fall for it and give away a part of their business and lose their distrubution strenths.
    Will the subcribers be locked in with Apple then and do they want that to happen.

  • Atifsh

    and i thought i found a better local tech blog site which is not bad, but i was wrong, found may wrong articles, wrong info and wrong assumption here at my short time visiting here.
    Apple sim is a regular sim just like any other sim, not an embedded one. its a pre-programmed, programmable sim.

  • SpeedBreaker

    “Physically there’s no SIM card tray for the user, instead the built-in SIM is programmed with multiple carriers.”

    Wrong, There is a sim card tray in iPad Air 2.