How the latest Apple announcement can save us travelers time and money on data plans

5:54 AM

Imagine this: you just landed on your destination, you open your smart phone and you are being prompt to select a data plan from various local carriers. No commitment, you just need to choose the best plan and set the duration of your stay. Wouldn't you love to have this feature available on your device? Saving you a lot of time and money and keeping you connected wherever you roam.

It was only a month ago when Apple announced the new iPhone 6, iPhone 6+ & iOS 8 and just a few days ago in a much smaller event, Apple announced a new handful of products:

  • iPad Air 2 With better camera, reduced reflection, 18% thinner than the previous modelread more
  • iPad Mini 3  With Touch ID, 5MP camera, full HD video recordingread more
  • New iMac With Retina 5K displayread more
  • New Mac Mini With major HW improvement, it will beat the old mac mini by generation read more
  • OS X 10.10 Yosmite With Redesigned interface, better iOS & Mac connectivity, new appsread more.
  • iOS 8.1 – With Apple Pay, Camera Roll & iCloud Photo libraryread more.

Well … among the list of features of the iPad Air 2 hides this one really neat feature, for travelers, which wasn't even introduced during the keynote:
“The Apple SIM gives you the flexibility to choose from a variety of short-term plans from select carriers in the U.S. and UK right on your iPad. So whenever you need it, you can choose the plan that works best for you — with no long-term commitments. And when you travel, you may also be able to choose a data plan from a local carrier for the duration of your trip.”

Taken from the iPad Air 2 page:

Hopefully this feature will be available soon for more devices (currently available for iPad Air 2 only) and involve more carriers (currently available only with some US & UK carriers).
It is another turning point imposed by Apple on carriers business models, as Apple (with the first iPhone) was the first mobile phone manufacturer which didn’t allow carriers to make any changes to the device configuration prior to its sale to the end user. More than that, it built an entirely new ecosystem of free services in the form of applications which competes directly with carriers traditional services (such as messaging, media sharing and even voice calls) and now with SIM-less mobile devices the roaming business model is being challenged, but further more as you will be able to change you carrier with a click of a button.

I guess it will take time till this feature will be available to other devices, but anyway it is a major move by Apple to re-challenge carriers and empowers end users.

Nice one!

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