Apple didn't mention it during the company's "It's Been Too Long" media event, but the company has taken a bold step in giving consumers power over their wireless service for iPad Air 2. Apple's iPad Air 2 website shows that the device ships with the "Apple SIM," a new SIM that allows you to switch between AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile in the U.S.
One Sim, Many Options
Note that Verizon, the largest carrier in the U.S., is not listed. In fact, if you go to buy an iPad Air 2, you no longer have to pick a carrier. Instead, the device ships with the Apple SIM, the end, and Verizon won't be a default option available when you go to fire it up.
Look Ma, No Carrier Choice
If you click the "What's the Difference" link for Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + Cellular, a line buried in the middle notes, "If you’re a Verizon customer, you’ll need to visit a Verizon store to get your SIM." So there.
We don't know why Verizon isn't an option, but dollars to donuts says Verizon wasn't at all pleased with the idea of its customers being able to leave its network. That's just a guess based on that company's history of putting its customers somewhere far down on the priority list (throttle, throttle, netflix extortion, throttle).
I'd be delighted to be proven wrong in my cynical ways, but I bet just like Verizon caved on allowing Apple to control the user experience with the iPhone itself, Verizon will cave and become an option on the Apple SIM.
In the meanwhile, more choice for consumers gives them more power, and that's a good thing.