We are thinking of buying the mother-in-law an iPad so that she can keep in touch with her grand-children. Since she no longer has an internet connection, we would opt for the iPad with cellular communication and were hoping to buy her a BT data-only SIM. However, looking at the Apple web site, it looks as if they are already fitted with some sort of eSIM and there are only a limited number of providers that they will work with - none of which are BT. One of the providers, however, is EE.
I assume that having an eSIM means that one does not actually have to fit a provider's SIM into the iPad, so ordering a BT SIM would simply not work.
My question is whether, given that BT rides on the back of EE, there are actually any BT plans that would work with it?
Alternatively, whether BT Broadband customers can get a discount on suitable EE plans for an iPad?
I cannot seem to find any information on plans for iPads on either the BT or EE sites.
Apologies for the vagueness of the question, but I have little to no knowledge about Apple products.
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Hi, @BorderReiver welcome to the community and thanks for posting.
As far as I'm aware as well as having an eSim iPads also have a slot for a normal sim card but I'd recommend checking the specifications of the one you're looking at to make sure. Anyhow you can get £5 off our Data only Sims if you're a BT Broadband customer and I'd recommend checking out this link for more info on the available plans.
Thanks Neil, I eventually managed to get through to someone at Apple who confirmed that, as well as the eSIM option, an iPad can take a physical SIM - so it looks like one of the BT ones WILL be usable.
You don’t say which iPad you refer to but if it is to be a new purchase then presumably it will be either a basic iPad, iPad Air or iPad Mini cellular model. All of these have a nano sim slot. So you are able to put any nano sim in there. Whilst BT don’t do a specific data only sim you can use a nano phone sim. I have been using one for light use in an iPad mini for some time. Clearly whether you choose this option or a data only one from another ISP will depend on the amount of use you will be putting the iPad to data wise.
Sorry just assumed you had checked that they didn’t do data only. So in that case an iPad with a sim slot will definitely be the way to go, just be sure that the signal is good where it is to be used. A poor signal will cause web pages, for example, to be very slow to load and be next to useless for FaceTime calls.
Worth remembering that you don’t have to purchase a data only sim for the iPad. Data only SIM’s can sometimes work out more than a subscription that includes minutes and SMS.
You can put your SIM in any device you want.
Continuing with this thought, we wondered whether WhatsApp might be an easy way for her to communicate.
However, I assume that it needs a mobile phone number to operate - in which case it would need an ordinary SIM. Has anyone any experience of using WhatsApp on an iPad to confirm this?
You need a phone for WhatsApp to work, it won’t work on an iPad.
IIRC some Samsung tablets can make and receive calls/SMS and should mean you can install the WhatsApp app and it will work