T-Mobile CEO John Legere is known for being open and speaking his mind. For example, during an interview earlier this month, he referred to then-potential T-Mo buyer Iliad’s CEO as “that long-haired porn guy.” Now Legere has opened his mouth again, but this time around what he had to say was a bit more informative.
Last night, Legere conducted a “tweetstorm” in which he explained the details of the Apple SIM that’s included with the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3. He said that the intention behind the Apple SIM is to “[give] customers ability to choose which carrier they wanted” and let them switch operators over time. He went on to explain that when you buy from Apple, Verizon is excluded from the Apple SIM, AT&T doesn’t allow you to switch after you pick it and AT&T is removed from your options if you choose Sprint or T-Mo.
The T-Mobile CEO then revealed that the iPad models that are shipped to carriers are different than the ones sold by Apple. The devices sold by Sprint and Verizon come with their own SIMs, while AT&T and T-Mobile models come with Apple SIMs that are preconfigured to the carrier that they’re sold by.
Carrier-sold iPads need a new SIM to switch service, and the non-confgured Apple SIMS aren’t available to carriers now, but they might be eventually. Finally, Legere shared that Sprint requires an Apple SIM-activated device to be in its registry to be activated on its network, and so if you buy a new iPad from a carrier, it won’t activate on Sprint unless you try to convince the carriers to get your iPad’s IMEI added to its system.
It’s not often that we get this kind of insight into the mobile industry, especially when it comes to the carriers and Apple, which is what make’s Legere’s tweetstorm even more interesting. Obviously it’s kind of a bummer that the Apple SIM isn’t quite as awesome as it originally turned out to be, but now that the device is actually available, perhaps we’ll see the carriers participate more as the SIM gains in popularity and Apple exerts some pressure on them.