A preinstalled data-only SIM card has been inserted into the $499 iPad Air 2, and allows users to change carriers at the tap of a finger. It’s available in the U.S. on AT&T, Sprint and T Mobile, and in the U.K. on EE. Consumers can buy short-term data plans and can switch between the carriers to find the best deal.
Consumers would be able to change the carrier on the iPad Air 2 if the network cut out, but one analyst said the “knockout” aspect was the potential to kill data roaming charges. And it is this ability to change carriers that could prove to be a game changer for other Apple products such as the iPhone.
Apple said on its website that users “may also be able to choose a data plan from a local carrier for the duration of your trip.”
“The final knockout is the fact that you can switch networks when roaming in the U.K. and U.S. right now, rather than paying expensive charges,” Ben Wood, chief of research at CCS Insight, told CNBC by phone