“This is the worst tablet choice for mobile people, business travelers, and digital nomads.”
Apple recently introduced the iPad Pro 9.7. The new tablet has a pro retina display, 64-bit A9X chip, and 12-megapixel iSight camera.
As great as this new release is, there’s one problem: the embedded Apple SIM.
At first glance this may not seem like a big issue. The programmable SIM, first introduced on the iPad Air 2, lets people choose between a large number of worldwide carriers using the device’s interface.
This programmable SIM also also lets Apple ship only one device that is compatible with carriers globally.
However, embedded Apple SIMs have been removable in the past, unlike this new version.
The plight of the digital nomad
This is an issue because some cell phone carriers “lock” their SIM cards so that they can only be used with that particular carrier permanently.
If you’re a digital nomad global, traveling and internet/cell phone use are a huge part of your lifestyle. When you’re living and working abroad you need a reliable way to communicate without having to worry about incurring insanely high roaming charges when you use your cell phone or other devices.
Often times when traveling you’ll need to reprogram your SIM card to that of a global or local carrier to stay connected.
If you want to know what happens when your SIM gets reprogrammed while using the iPad Pro 9.7, keep reading.
“I have [insert carrier name]. How does this affect me?”
Here’s a quick list of some popular cell phone carriers and what this means for you if you buy the carrier’s version of the tablet:
Verizon – The SIM gets deactivated and you’ll need to swap out your physical SIM for another carrier.
AT&T – If you buy it from an AT&T store you’re out of luck. You’ll be restricted to using AT&T’s international plans. If you buy the tablet from a 3rd party, you can get an unlocked version and then choose AT&T manually.
All other carriers – They come with unlocked SIM’s
All iPad Pro 9.7″ tablets have an external SIM slot you can use to put in another carrier’s SIM card. This will let you override the embedded SIM.
What should you do?
Travelers shouldn’t buy the iPad Pro 9.7 because the embedded SIM is a huge pain in the ass. On some carriers you have to swap it out for a local carrier while traveling, on other carriers it is locked altogether.
This is the worst tablet choice for mobile people, business travelers, and digital nomads.
What’s Next: An unlocked world
In the future all SIMs will be unlocked and all devices will be able to be used anywhere in the world without crazy roaming charges. Think “one world family” but for mobile devices.
We’ll have worldwide access to a worldwide network where U.S. carriers partner with carriers all over the world – a seamless experience.
Have you had issues with SIM cards before during your travels?
Let us know in the comments below.
Featured image: hedgeye.com
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