Loyalty to a company or a product isn’t an uncommon sight in this industry. But sometimes, no matter whether you are totally on board with one company or another, you have to give credit where credit is due and admit when a good product or feature is created. When it came to the new Apple iPad Air 2 announcement, there was one feature that caught my eye: the nearly all-in-one SIM card.
Now, SIM cards have been around for a long time at this point. Honestly, there wasn’t anything I thought that could be done with a SIM card to make life with a smart gadget any different than it ever had been, except for maybe being the main way to switch between CDMA networks. Anybody who has ever switched phones in a CDMA network probably shares the same feeling; it’s much more convenient to simply pop a card out and pop a new one in instead of calling in to your provider and dealing with the mess of dealing with your carrier to switch between phones. I never thought I would see the day where using a CDMA network via SIM card would be possible, much less just by changing the settings within a device without actually having to change a SIM card at all.
And somehow, someway, Apple managed to make that happen. A little known trait of the iPad Air 2 is that you can switch between three of the four major carriers fairly seamlessly.
While Verizon is still missing from the list, Apple’s done a pretty amazing thing by allowing iPad Air 2 owners to switch between carriers as they please without any of the hassle of having to go out and find a SIM card for each carrier if you were to switch. As it stands, you can switch between Sprint, T-Mobile, or AT&T with very little issues.
While this might not be anything to write home about much right now, it’s something that I hope catches on in the near future. Although Sprint and Verizon’s phones do use SIM cards most of the time now, they still have the ability (or perhaps they choose to practice the ability) to lock certain phones out of their system. It’s pretty easy to switch between T-Mobile and AT&T phones without much of a fight, but switching between CDMA carriers is pretty much a no-go - and even moreso for switching between CDMA and GSM carriers with their respective phones. It just doesn’t really happen, and when it does it doesn’t come without its complications.
Maybe it’s not the breakthrough technology everybody was hoping to see, but it is a helpful feature. Honestly, I’m on board with anything to make smart products just a little bit easier to use. It’s not a defining feature, or even anything most people would even care about right now - but it does make a lot of sense to implement. Switching between providers using one device shouldn’t be that hard whether you plan on using CDMA or GSM, and if the technology to switch between both types of radios is possible through a single SIM card, there’s no reason we shouldn’t embrace that at least a little bit. Now if only we could get Verizon on board with the idea, then maybe we have ourselves an all-around solution. Until then, this step in the right direction will do just fine.