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Apple Offers Reprogrammable SIM Card in iPad Air 2 - Analyst Blog

Apple Inc ( AAPL ) recently unveiled a new, thinner iPad Air 2, which carries a reprogrammable SIM card. The SIM card works with multiple US carriers including AT&T ( T ), Sprint ( S ), and T-Mobile ( TMUS ). However, Verizon ( V ) is not supported on the SIM.

The reprogrammable SIM allows users to not only enable or disable a cellular plan as they see fit, but also switch back and forth between carriers to find the plan that perfectly fits their requirement. Also, when traveling, users can now pick a short-term data plan from a local carrier through the Apple SIM, instead of getting a separate international SIM.

We believe that the introduction of the Apple SIM with the iPad Air 2 is an indication that it will be a part of next year's iPhone as well.

The new iPad Air 2 is equipped with an improved screen, a better camera and faster processing in comparison to its previous variant, iPad Air. Moreover, the new device is also equipped with Apple's fingerprint recognition technology, Touch ID.

In comparison to its competitors, iPad Air 2 is half a pound lighter than the 12-inch Galaxy Tab S 10.5 while it is heavier than the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 and Google Nexus 9.

The 16GB version of iPad Air 2 is available for a sum of $499 while the 64GB and 128GB versions are priced at $599 and $699 respectively. The 16GB version of the device is dearer than the 16GB versions of the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 and Google Nexus 9.

However, the Galaxy Tab S 10.5 has the same starting price as of iPad Air 2, but provides a microSD card slot, giving users the capability to add storage.

We believe that the availability of Apple Pay on iPad Air 2 will be a game changer for the company. Apple Pay is set to debut today iOS 8.1 software update and will be available at selected retailers like Walgreen's, Bloomingdale's, Macy's, McDonald's, Staples and Whole Foods.

Apple's mobile payment system has already received support from major payment networks like American Express, Visa and MasterCard ( MA ). Since the announcement of Apple Pay, the company has added 500 new banks to the service, which significantly expands the purview of the system.

Of late, iPad 's have experienced slowdown in demand especially with the advent of large-screen smartphones. Whether these new updates spice-up iPad sales will be something to watch for, in our view.

Currently, Apple has a Zacks Rank # 2 (Buy).

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APPLE INC (AAPL): Free Stock Analysis Report

AT&T INC (T): Free Stock Analysis Report

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T-MOBILE US INC (TMUS): Free Stock Analysis Report

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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