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Contributor

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3 Messages

Fri, Nov 8, 2019 1:41 AM

Can I have an unused phone line SIM be used for iPad?

So, with a recent BOGO offer, I wound up with an extra phone line that I have a SIM and no use for.  Because of the structure of my account, plan, number of lines, etc... it made little financial difference to add the line on.  I also have an iPad that is cellular capable, but has no service on it.  Seems like a no brainer that that could just use the extra phone line SIM that I need to keep for 2+ years.

 

So, I tried to just put the SIM in and it doesn't work.  A quick Google search reveals, as others have asked, that the line would need to be provisioned for an iPad/Data line.  I could go to the store and find out, but I have an educated guess how it would go.  They'd say I need a data line for the iPad, and since the unused line is for an iPhone and part of the contractual BOGO deal it wouldn't be able to just swap it over so I'd need a separate iPad SIM/Data plan and the fee attached.

 

If I'm wrong about any of this, please tell me.  I just have a feeling that's how it will go based on reasoning through it and reading what others have to say.  I guess the point of my post is to ask why this is the case and if maybe ATT's practice here is a little outdated and in need of revision.  I have an unlimited plan for my phone lines.  So with the existing unused phone SIM, I have access to unlimited calls, text and data included in what I'm paying for.  If ATT simply allowed me to use that in an iPad, it would use the same unlimited data, no phone, and I'm a little unsure about if it would use the texting from the plan/phone line attached or simply iMessage from data.  Whatever the case, from the way I see it no matter how you break it down it is going to use less resources, service, and network traffic.  Plus, this may not be the case for every user, but for me personally and I would think a majority of people, the iPad data is used a smaller amount than the nearly constant phone usage, but I know that's very subjective.

 

I'm not looking to get over on the company or find some loophole or something, just seems from my perspective that it's mutually beneficial to company and customer so why not allow it?  Is there maybe some reasoning I'm overlooking?

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sandblaster

ACE - Expert

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34K Messages

2 months ago

You are not wrong. An iPad is a data only device and a SIM card for a phone line won’t work in it. You must have a line and sim card that is provisioned for a tablet. I can understand what you are asking for. You are paying more for that phone line than a tablet line would be, why can’t you use it in a tablet? The answer is simply because you can’t. It’s a technical limitation. They can’t change the system to allow what you are asking for.

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Contributor

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3 Messages

2 months ago

Yes, I understand everything you're saying and maybe it's a moot point presently.  I guess I'm just saying that as things change in the mobile world, that could be something that's revised.  Having mobile service since 1999, there's a lot that changes with the times.  Seems like this is one of those things they could look at and decide to change those technical limitations.  Really, I could swap the SIM between any iPhones and use it as I wish or leave it unused as it is now.  And if I put it in an iPad instead of an iPhone (saying they did change that technical aspect), it wouldn't be getting anything over on the company, putting any strain on their network or causing any loss of revenue.  The iPad data SIMs, like cell service on an Apple Watch, are a less expensive way for people to get data on that device.  If it was the other way around and putting an iPad data (lower cost) only SIM in an iPhone (higher cost), I would understand that would be against the company's best interest.  But here I'm looking to take what I pay the higher payment for and put it in a lower payment device.  Just seems like a simple thing they could revise if it doesn't hurt them and could potentially benefit a customer experience.