Why the Apple SIM is the future of mobile phone SIM cards in Australia

Apple SIM Intro – 60 second guide

Here are the key findings from the recent news story of Apple introducing the Apple SIM, included in the new iPads and all future releases moving forward, there are more details in the article below.

  • Apple SIM technology will allow iPad users to connect to different network carriers without the need to switch out physical cards in the internal SIM card port.
  • Apple is rolling out this Apple SIM feature with three network operators in the US and one in the UK. It no doubt won’t be long before this also reaches Australia.
  • The future of SIM cards will be the eSIM format which is great news for consumers and will force a change in the Australian telecom industry.

What SIM news was announced recently by Apple?

At the recent Apple webcast event they announced to the audience that along with news on the two recent releases of the new Mac laptop and iPads, the later would for the first time be shipped with a built-in Apple SIM.

This is big news in the telecom industry as Apple SIM technology will lead the way for a not too distant future, where SIM cards being a small plastic card will be outdated and replaced with eSIM built right into the smartphone or tablet device.

Although not mentioned in the Apple webcast presentation, they have recently secured a deal with four major operators around the world. Three of which are in the US and one located in the UK, to help them ship their LTE-capable iPads which include the new multiple network Apple SIM feature.

Consumers which buy an iPad where the Apple SIM is an included feature will discover a normal nano SIM card slot which can be used if you choose to use a traditional card-based SIM.

How does the Apple SIM work?

The clever part is that this SIM port also offers the functionality of allowing the user to take advantage of multiple operators and not be restricted to just one service provider.

This removable Nano SIM port is what’s known in the telecom industry as a soft SIM. There are industry standards agreed to on this and it’s configurations. This was done primarily for M2M implementations and as the Apple SIM is the first step in the direction of full featured eSIMs.

At first look, it appears that Apple is doing this as they have future plans of being an MVNO operator, as they currently enjoy a large market share of loyal users which purchase and use both their smartphone and tablet products.

Why is Apple launching the Apple SIM?

It’s a logical next step that Apple would be looking into expanding their market share and becoming a service provider as well as manufacturer of mobile phones.

By enabling Apple product users to enjoy the flexibility of changing providers on the fly in real time, without having to change SIM cards, there is a strong chance that Apple can attract subscribers to their own prepaid MVNO.

Apple and their partner operators both understand that while smartphone penetration on the carrier networks is at an all time high, the same can’t be said for the number of users connecting from their SIM enabled tablet or other handheld device.

While there are many different reasons for why this is the current case, the biggest factor slowing the uptake of this is the simple fact that consumers are not interested in the hassle or expense of signing up for secondary SIM cards.

The Apple SIM or also known as the eSIM is a simple solution to solve this existing problem. A user which is currently subscribed to one network, for example here in Australia the MVNO provider Amaysim, can easily input their phone number and details into the iPad via the Apple SIM and connect to the Amaysim 4G network. This allows users to not have to mess around with their primary SIM, removing it from their smartphone and inserting it into their iPad or tablet device, the same as they don’t need to worry about paying for two prepaid subscriptions.

Are network carriers interested in the Apple SIM feature?

The operators involved in this partnership with Apple must be aware of the changing needs of consumers and that an increase in revenue is better than no increase. Even though deals like this are sure to chip away at their market share, when allowing large companies such as Apple to compete directly against them.

No doubt as the years go on, more device manufacturers such as Google and Samsung also jump onto this emerging market bandwagon and take even more market share aware from the traditional network carriers.

What does this mean for iPad users?

For consumers, this development is nothing but great news and brings with it a whole raft of advantages. If for example you are moving from an urban area to a more remote rural one, you can simply switch networks.

If you are an international business person or travel abroad for your holidays, you won’t need to worry about swapping out your SIM card and you will be able to connect to any network carrier via the Apple SIM internal feature.

The simple way to think of this in practical non-technical terms is that the Apple SIM is an alternative to paid WiFi. Rather than paying for expensive hotel WiFi you can easily input your SIM details into your device, via the Apple SIM feature and connect to your service providers network.

In Conclusion – The AppleSIM will change everything

This is a clever innovation created by Apple and is sure to become the industry standard across the board as we move into 2016 and beyond. With Apple leading the pack it won’t be long until other companies roll out supportive technologies on their tablets and handheld devices, before moving over to their smartphone products.

But let’s keep in mind that network operators will try everything in their power to resist this new technology from coming into widespread use too quickly. It’s in their best interests financially to now all this new tech to become the industry standard to quickly, in an ever-shrinking marketplace where their traditional business models are being overtaken.


See all SIM Only plans

If you need another network, for example you’re after an unlimited plan with Telstra coverage, or you live in a city and you’re happy with Vodafone, you might like to check our SIM Only Comparison page and compare all the plans ( including every one mentioned on this page. )



Neil Aitken

Having worked in 3 countries for 4 telcos on both voice and data products, Neil is in a position to give you the inside track. Get beyond the marketing messages to the best plan for you.