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One big reason not to use your iPad Air 2 on AT&T

Published Oct 24th, 2014 3:51PM EDT
AT&T iPad Air 2 Apple SIM Card
Image: Apple Inc.

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Are you excited about the new multi-carrier SIM cards that are coming with the iPad Air 2? If so then you won’t want to hook it up to AT&T’s network.

RELATED: Apple never mentioned this key iPad Air 2 feature during its big event

Ars Technica reports that while both T-Mobile and Sprint have decided to allow iPad Air 2 models on their network to run with SIM cards that are compatible with multiple carriers, AT&T has decided to lock down this feature on the new iPads that run on its network.

“When you set up cellular data on a new iPad with the multi-carrier SIM, you’ll get this screen, which lets you choose a carrier,” Ars explains. “Click on AT&T and you’ll see this warning, stating that once the SIM is activated on AT&T’s network, it will be locked to AT&T and that you’ll need a new Apple SIM to change carriers.”

This means that if you hook your iPad Air 2 onto AT&T’s network and you decide to switch carriers, you’ll have to buy another SIM card from Apple instead of just switching your data provider on the device.

AT&T confirmed Ars‘ findings but wouldn’t say exactly why the SIM cards need to get locked in to run on its network. At the very least, then, anyone who wants the flexibility to switch carriers on their shiny new iPad Air 2 tablets might want to steer clear of AT&T.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.