The iPad mini and iPad Air Apple quietly announced ahead of its big March event will come with eSIM support. Cupertino’s latest iPad Pros have eSIM support, as well, but these new entries are the first non-Pro models with the feature. While the Apple SIM works similarly — and present in older non-Pro iPads — it’s only compatible with the tech giant’s partner carriers. By giving these devices eSIM support, they’ll be able to work even on the networks of non-partner carriers.
As Engadget Japanese has noted, that makes them convenient for traveling, since you’ll simply have to find a local carrier and then enable your plan of choice over the internet. No need to swap out physical SIM cards or to rent pocket WiFi devices. That said, the technology is pretty young, and there’s always a chance that the place you’re going to doesn’t have a carrier with the option. You can check for eSIM and Apple SIM coverage on the company’s Cellular page.
Apple seems to be expanding its support for the standard in recent years. The iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR also works with eSIM options, though they’ll have to be unlocked if you want to use two different carriers.