Esim iPad pro. Apple iPad Pro M2 (2022) review: The extraordinary made a little ordinary

Apple iPad Pro M2 (2022) review: The extraordinary made a little ordinary

Laptop-beating performance and subtle quality-of-life improvements cement the iPad Pro M2 as the most powerful, feature-packed iPad to date, though the lack of flashy upgrades does shine a harsh spotlight on iPadOS 16’s fumbled multitasking features. If you want the very best iPad — no matter the caveats or the cost — the 2022 iPad Pro won’t disappoint.

What we like

Ridiculously strong performance

Apple Pencil hover a delight for digital artists

What we don’t like

Fancy display only on larger model

Relatively slow to charge

Apple iPad Pro M2 (2022)

Laptop-beating performance and subtle quality-of-life improvements cement the iPad Pro M2 as the most powerful, feature-packed iPad to date, though the lack of flashy upgrades does shine a harsh spotlight on iPadOS 16’s fumbled multitasking features. If you want the very best iPad — no matter the caveats or the cost — the 2022 iPad Pro won’t disappoint.

When Apple CEO Tim Cook unveiled the first-generation iPad Pro in 2015, he called it, “the biggest news for the iPad since the iPad.” Over seven years later, the 2022 iPad Pro is the least newsworthy iteration of Apple’s flagship tablet to date. With a grand total of new features you can count on one hand, is this model worth its princely asking price? Find out in this iPad Pro M2 review.

About this Apple iPad Pro M2 (2022) review: I tested the 12.9-inch iPad Pro (M2 — Wi-Fi only, 128GB) over a period of four weeks. It was running iPadOS 16.1.1. The unit was purchased by Android Authority for this review.

esim, ipad, apple, 2022

Update (March 2023): Added references for Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro apps.

What you need to know about the Apple iPad Pro M2 (2022)

  • Wi-Fi only: 799-1,899 / £899-£2,149
  • Cellular: 999-2,099 / £1,079-£2,329
  • Wi-Fi only: 1,099-2,099 / £1,249-£2,499
  • Cellular: 1,299-2,399 / £1,429-£2,679

Apple’s premium tablet series for late 2022 hit shelves 18 months after the iPad Pro M1. The 11-inch iPad Pro (4th generation) and 12.9-inch iPad Pro (6th generation) are more commonly categorized as the iPad Pro M2 due to their chipset of choice.

Like the iPad Air (5th generation) which also launched in 2022, the iPad Pro M2, no matter which version you opt for, is fundamentally a tock-year tablet; a slate that borrows the same design and overall feature set of the “tick” predecessor, while ratcheting up the compute power and attaching some welcome, but somewhat minor, bells and whistles.

The titular M2 is the star attraction, of course, with Apple proclaiming that it has effectively “supercharged” the iPad Pro. Inherited from Apple’s MacBooks, the custom Apple Silicon M2 chip is claimed to deliver a 15% faster CPU and a 40% GPU performance boost. It also houses an upgraded Neural Engine for a supposed 40% uplift in speed for machine learning tasks, and offers nearly double the memory bandwidth compared to the M1 iPad Pro.

This combined might enables one of the iPad Pro’s other headline features: the ability to capture low-compression ProRes and ProRes RAW video in 4K at 30fps, plus faster ProRes transcoding (up to three times faster than the iPad Pro M1. As with ProRes-capable iPhones, 4K recording is not available on the base 128GB model, which makes sense; it’d eat that up in seconds (storage options go up to a whopping 2TB). What makes less sense is that you’ll also need to download a ProRes-ready app, as, for some baffling reason, Apple’s default camera app doesn’t have a ProRes toggle.

The connectivity suite has also been bumped up from Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 to Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3. While you’ll need appropriate networking and accessories to take advantage of both, considering iPads are often long-term purchases, this is some welcome future-proofing.

With a grand total of new features you can count on one hand, the iPad Pro M2 is quite clearly a ‘tock’ tablet.

If everything we’ve listed so far seems horribly dry and uninspiring, I have some bad news for you — that’s all the new features you get on the hardware front. Otherwise, everything that was great about the M1 iPad Pro is carried over wholesale, though the same is true of some pesky legacy issues that have plagued the iPad Pro for several generations, but we’ll get to those later.

The one final truly new feature — that no other iPad is currently capable of — is a hover ability for the 2nd generation Apple Pencil, which shows you a preview of where your stylus will touch the screen. It’s unclear why this is exclusive to the 2022 iPad Pro, but Apple has hinted that the M2 chip is an essential ingredient.

The iPad Pro M2 (2022) is available to buy from Apple, Amazon, and other major third-party retailers around the world. As for colors, don’t expect any surprises here either — it’s Space Grey or Silver (pictured), just like the last three generations.

What’s good?

Apple has faced fair criticism over its proclivity for copy-paste products in 2022, but staying the course and iterating on success isn’t always a bad thing. As such, the iPad Pro M2 benefits from the elite design benchmark set by its direct predecessor, from which it borrows essentially every aspect of its build and aesthetic. The only significant visible difference? It now says iPad Pro on the back, not just iPad. Exciting stuff.

The 12.9-inch model I tested once again comes equipped with a dazzling Liquid Retina XDR, “ProMotion,” mini-LED display, with peak brightness of 1,000 nits, or up to an eye-popping 1,600 nits for compatible HDR content. It’s an absolute stunner that outputs intense yet accurate colors that are easily viewable even in the brightest conditions, with a dynamic 120Hz refresh rate ensuring animations are smooth whether you’re doomscrolling or gliding around in Genshin Impact at 120fps.

The rest of the package is equally premium. The glass/recycled aluminum construction is impeccable, with squared-off edged, curved corners, and just enough bezel room to avoid touching the screen with an errant finger when held. It’s certainly not a small or light tablet, especially if you opt for the larger model, but the careful weight distribution means it’s perfectly possible to use like any other traditional tablet, either in landscape or in portrait. The booming quad speakers and fast and accurate Face ID biometrics are also retained from the iPad Pro M1, as is the USB-C 3.1 “Gen 2” port for docking accessories or outputting to a monitor.

iPad Pro M1 Geekbench 5 test

iPad Pro M2 Geekbench 5 test

But let’s get to the star attraction. What does Apple’s marketing line of “supercharged by M2” really mean for the iPad Pro (6th generation)? A decent jump in benchmarks, for a start. The iPad Pro M2 leads in all metrics for CPU tests when put against its predecessor. The GPU didn’t quite reach Apple’s 40% increase claim in our tests, but a ~37% bump is close enough, especially when it also topped the MacBook Air M2’s top score in our testing (~6,250).

3DMark’s GPU stress test (below) did reveal a few more interesting details, however, as the M2’s score drops by 20% after a single run. Even at this point, it’s still higher than the maximum offered by the M1, but that peak GPU performance is seemingly only available in short bursts. That said, the M2 iPad Pro then sticks extremely close to that second run throughout the rest of the test, with less than 300 points separating the second run from the twentieth.

The iPad Pro M2’s performance not only obliterates its tablet competition, it bests most laptops, too.

The M1, by comparison, doesn’t have as dramatic of a fall-off, but the true level of sustained performance doesn’t really kick in until it hits the 4,100-3,900 range. This should ensure that the M2 can handle GPU-heavy tasks like media editing and gaming at a more steady rate than the M1 iPad Pro. Of course, it’s worth remembering that even the lowest scores here are over double the peak of an equivalent Android tablet like the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1-powered Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra, which caps at around 1,800-2,000. It’s a similar story for the Surface Pro 9 (SQ3) which sits just below 3,000 after a single run.

Benchmarks aside, the iPad Pro M2 runs like a dream. Navigation around the UI is astonishingly smooth and even with multiple apps running at once, I couldn’t get the tablet to buckle under the strain. Wondering about gaming? The notoriously power-hungry Genshin Impact ran at maxed-out settings at 120fps with no discernable hiccups. The only place you’ll notice any dips at all is if you’re extensively transcoding ProRes RAW video, but essentially everything else the iPad Pro is actually capable of won’t even come close to maxing out the M2’s potential.

Thankfully, there’s no significant knock-on to battery efficiency. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro M2 I tested matched the M1 iPad Pro I’ve been using since the latter’s launch, with only a few minutes of variance here or there. When measured to the minute, the M2 model does come in under the M1 model, which isn’t a surprise considering the M2 MacBooks have also fared fractionally worse than their M1 counterparts. However, in real-world use, you won’t notice such a minor change.

Your mileage will vary wildly due to the extreme screen brightness the iPad Pro is capable of, and whether or not you’re running 5G on the cellular model. For basic web browsing or watching movies, the iPad Pro M2’s 40.88-watt-hour cell typically gets 10-10.5 hours on a single charge. That’s well within the ballpark for any modern iPad, even with the raw power of the M2 chip. Again, this was for the 12.9-inch model, and historically the 11-inch version has surpassed these figures by adding an hour or more to the slate’s endurance stats by virtue of its less power-hungry display.

The iPad Pro M2 arrives running iPadOS 16 out of the box. With it come a handful of new software features — some hits, some fairly significant misses. On the more positive end, iPadOS gains a lot of the useful tweaks we saw in iOS 16, including improved Focus modes, edit or delete in Messages, and some added polish to stock apps — most notably the underserved Home app for Smart home controls and management.

Speaking of apps, there’s also now a default Weather app which finally brings the iPad’s meteorological chops up to the same standard as iPhones and Macs. Files, Contacts, and Notes have also seen iPad-specific tweaks, though the sixth-gen iPad Pro gets some extras to boot, such as virtual memory swapping support for all models, Display Zoom resolution scaling to squeeze more apps and objects on a single screen, and Reference Mode for adapting the screen to professional color grading. Many of these features are also coming to previous generation iPad Pro models, but the M2 version is guaranteed to offer all of them. You’ll notice I haven’t mentioned the big new software feature yet, Stage Manager — we’ll get to that later.

Like the hardware, none of the software changes were seismic enough to rock the foundations of the iPad Pro experience when the tablet originally launched. However, Apple, after years of pleading, finally brought Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro to all iPads with an M1 or greater chipset. With true pro-grade Apple apps for video and music editing, the tablet’s usability is now far closer to the MacBook than it ever has been. It’s also worth remembering that more general big-screen app availability and compatibility, long-term software support, and Apple’s product ecosystem interoperability are all second to none in the tablet world. On the latter, multi-screen Universal Control, in particular, is an absolute joy on the larger, fast-refreshing screen when positioned next to a Mac.

The one M2-only feature that might convince dedicated digital artists to open their wallets is the Apple Pencil “hover.” While not a truly novel feature (remember Samsung’s Air Actions?), Apple’s implementation is genuinely impressive. Being able to see where the tip of the stylus will land immediately improves drawing accuracy, and the ability to preview color combinations when sketching saves precious seconds. The true potential will depend on third-party developer buy-in, but we’ve already seen updates to the likes of Pixelmator, Luna, and ASTROpad Studio to enable unique hover capabilities.

What’s not so good?

Despite my praise for the iPad Pro M2’s display, it should again be noted that I tested the 12.9-inch model. The 11-inch model still has a reasonable enough Liquid Retina panel, but it lacks the crazy-high brightness capabilities and the 2,500 local dimming zones that provide greater contrast and deeper blacks. The 300 price difference between the models plays a factor, of course, but the 11-inch model’s display is similarly found lacking when compared to several of Samsung’s Super AMOLED-equipped Galaxy S8 tablets that fall in the same price category. It’s not bad, but it’s not exactly “Pro,” either.

And neither is the camera setup. In terms of hardware, the rear 12MP standard and 10MP ultrawide cameras are identical to the iPad Pro M1’s shooters. These are tried and tested cameras and are appropriately performant considering the inherent limitations of taking photos with an ~11-13-inch square device. The addition of ProRes capture is also a unique boon for the M2 iPad Pro. However, when the Pro-tier iPhones are rocking dedicated zoom lenses and 48MP main sensors, it wouldn’t be unfair to have expected at least a minor spec bump.

Is it really ‘pro’ to look like you’re constantly staring off into space during a professional video call? Apple apparently thinks so!

The real camera sore spot, though, is that pesky portrait-positioned selfie shooter. We now live in a time where the only iPad with a sensible landscape camera is the iPad (10th generation) — which is itself a confusing mish-mash of a tablet. Perhaps the Apple Pencil magnetic charging or Face ID hardware is to blame. Whatever the reason, the result is that it’ll look like you’re rudely staring into space on a video call — a scenario that will very likely occur for the professional crowd the iPad Pro M2 is actively courting. Center Stage continues to be great at keeping the subject in the frame with its face-tracking techniques, but that frame will forever be at an awkward angle until Apple sees sense.

For a premium-tier tablet, the iPad Pro M2 lags behind in the charging stakes in a similar fashion to Apple’s smartphones. The 20W brick included with the iPad Pro M2 charges the 12.9-inch model’s whopper battery in roughly two and a half hours from zero to 100%. That’s equivalent to previous generations and respectable enough in isolation, but we have to keep in mind that the monster Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra’s equally enormous 11,200mAh cell can be refilled in under one and a half hours (though you will need to buy a compatible charger). The iPad Pro M2 technically can draw 30W from a compatible Power Delivery charger, but that’s an extra expense, and you’re still looking at a two-hour wait for a full recharge.

The iPad Pro M2’s real kicker, though, is the state of Apple’s tablet software. Yes, iPadOS is getting better with every iteration, but it’s still an awkward, glorified take on iOS that isn’t as lean as its originator, nor as feature-rich as full-blown macOS. Like the iPad itself, it’s stuck somewhere between a mobile and a desktop experience, and it doesn’t fully satisfy as either.

This manifests in the small details. Sure, there’s a dedicated Weather app now, but still no stock calculator? How about multi-user support? Even true extended display support — a long-requested feature — isn’t there out of the box, having been pushed back to iPadOS 16.2 (due in late 2022). The culprit? Stage Manager. Oh, Stage Manager…

Ostensibly Apple’s solution to running multiple apps at the same time on an iPad with a dock-like UI, Stage Manager has sadly flopped on arrival due to nonsensical choices made regarding how it actually works. It’d take far too long to explain every confounding foible, but the “Stage” and “Pile” setup, where you drag apps from a stacked pile onto the main workspace, doesn’t operate with any consistency and is a far cry from genuine multi-tasking. Meanwhile, some apps scale according to their position, others don’t. It also feels like trying to decode the Matrix figuring out what order of inputs might cause an app to outright disappear from a pile, or how to get it back without Stage Manager throwing its toys out of the pram and closing completely.

The promise is there, and those wondrous moments where you’ve got three apps running harmoniously at once on the Pro’s screen can occasionally feel like a revelation, but Stage Manager too often operates like a pre-beta feature that should’ve been kept under wraps until iPadOS 17.

Stage Manager is, perhaps mercifully, restricted to M1 and M2 iPads for now. Though this is one of the only obvious ways that Apple is actually harnessing all that untapped power from its refreshed silicon. The App Store is home to countless delicately-optimized apps, but that’s true of any iPad — a pro needs to up the ante. Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro are fantastic additions and long overdue, but we’re still waiting on Xcode, Blender, and numerous other pro-grade apps — not even modified ones to fit the iPad’s form factor — the iPad Pro still only truly comes into its own as a true professional product when used in conjunction with a Mac or MacBook. But even then, with Universal Control active and all the software advancements that come with macOS then just a screen away, the latent potential of the iPad Pro feels even more painfully unrealized.

Stage Manager too often operates like a pre-beta feature. Meanwhile, iPadOS still lacks many popular pro-grade apps.

There’s even less incentive to pick up an M2 model for non-professionals, too. The most demanding games already ran at maxed-out settings on the M1 version — what else are you going to do with all this power? The tablet will keep ticking at Rapid speeds for the many years that Apple will support it with software updates, but that was also true of the 2021 version, which itself was already barely scratching the surface of the M1’s capabilities.

And if you do want to take full advantage of the iPad Pro M2’s full feature set, you’ll need Apple’s first-party accessories. Now, those accessories are beautifully made and effortlessly functional, but they’re all optional and they cost a fortune. The hover feature may as well not exist for anyone disinclined to stump up 129 for the second-generation Apple Pencil (89 at Amazon). The Magic Keyboard is another Apple favorite and is essential for transforming the iPad Pro (M2) into a laptop-tablet hybrid. However, the limited viewing angles and lack of a function row make the 299-349 asking price (depending on the size) harder to stomach. It’s also bizarre that an iPad (10th generation)-exclusive folio case exists with a detachable keyboard, kickstand, and a function row. Where’s the iPad Pro version, Apple?

eSIM on iPhone: How it works and how to set it up

Apple has become one of the leading tech companies with eSIM-enabled cellular devices since 2018; they are now a reference point, and the iPhone is the traveler’s favorite cellphone. Since they need to change their cellular data plan frequently, and the eSIM technology provides this feature.

Now Digital SIM is becoming the main cellular service tech for most devices, such as the iPhone 14, which only allows the use of eSIM. For this reason, many telecommunications companies are incorporating virtual SIMs into their services, and we see more and more international eSIM carriers daily.

But let’s start with the main topic of this post! You may be wondering what an eSIM is, how it works on iPhones, which iPhones support eSIM, and how to set up one. These and other questions we will answer in this article.

What is an eSIM?

An eSIM is a digital SIM that allows you to activate a cellular data plan from your local operator or from an international operator without having to use a traditional SIM card.

It is based on a tiny chip embedded in your Apple device, which is activated once you download and add a virtual SIM plan. They have become very popular because of their versatility. You can use them on different devices, such as laptops, smartwatches, and even cars!

How does eSIM work on the iPhone?

The eSIM on iPhone devices works exactly like in other devices that support eSIM. Each iPhone cellphone has an embedded chip where you can download and install your Digital SIM card once you buy one from your local operator or an international eSIM carrier. Below, you will see how to install and activate your eSIM if you have an iPhone compatible with virtual SIMs.

Which iPhones use eSIM

With the above paragraph, you might wonder if all iPhones have eSIM, and the answer is no. Most iPhone devices support eSIM now, but some older smartphones do not support this technology.

Below you can see which iPhones support eSIM:

  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone 11 Pro
  • iPhone SE 2 (2020)
  • iPhone 12
  • iPhone 12 Mini
  • iPhone 12 Pro
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone 13
  • iPhone 13 Mini
  • iPhone 13 Pro
  • iPhone 13 Pro Max
  • iPhone SE 3 (2022)
  • iPhone 14
  • iPhone 14 Plus
  • iPhone 14 Pro
  • iPhone 14 Pro Max

But if you want to know more about eSIM-compatible iPhone devices, we recommend you look at our post: Cellphones compatible with eSIM.

How many eSIMs iPhone can have

In most iPhone cellphones that support virtual SIM cards, you can have up to 20 eSIMs, but you can use just one eSIM or two Digital SIMs simultaneously. It depends on your iPhone model, but in a large percentage of iPhones, you can use your traditional SIM card and a virtual SIM simultaneously; this is called Dual SIM.

What is a Dual SIM card?

Dual SIM means you can use a nano-SIM (the classic) and an eSIM (virtual card) simultaneously; it means you can use data, recieve and make calls with both SIMs. This is how the dual SIM works in many iPhones, but with the launch of the iPhone 14, which does not have a physical SIM slot, you can now use two eSIMs simultaneously.

esim, ipad, apple, 2022

You can find more information about Using Dual SIM with an eSIM on Apple’s support page.

How to set up an eSIM on iPhone

If you are thinking of buying an eSIM or you currently have one and you don’t know how to set it up, you are in the correct place! We will teach you in an easy step by step how to install and activate your Virtual SIM.

What do you need to do?

There are different ways to set up and activate your eSIM on iPhone, but the most common is with a QR code. Let’s take a look at two ways you can set up your eSIM. Remember, this can vary depending on your iPhone model and current iOS version.

Scan a QR code (provided by the network operator)

  • Go to settings, then to Mobile/Cellular data, Add eSIM, Use QR code:
  • Position the QR code from your carrier in the camera frame.
  • Scan the QR code.
  • When the Cellular Plan Detection notification appears, tap Continue.
  • Tap Done.
  • Tap Continue
  • Select which line you want to use as the default line, tap Continue.
  • Choose the cellular line you want to use as primary line for iMessage, and tap in continue.
  • Select the line you will use for cellular data.
  • Tap Continue.
  • You will see your eSIM ready to use in the settings.

Manual Activation

  • Go to settings, then to Mobile/Cellular data, Add eSIM, Use QR code, Enter details Manually:
  • For this step, you will need the SM-DP Adress and the activation code for the eSIM.
  • Write the SM-DP Adress and the activation code.
  • Tap in Next
  • When the Cellular Plan Detected notification appears, tap Continue.
  • Tap Done.
  • Tap in Continue.
  • Select which line you want to use as default line, tap Continue.
  • Choose the line you want to use as primary line for iMessage, and tap Continue.
  • Select the line you will use for cellular data.
  • Tap Continue.
  • You will see your virtual SIM ready to use in the settings.

iPad SIM and eSIM: All You Need to Know

As the name suggests, cellular iPads can connect to the internet via the cellular network. For quite some time, this has been achieved by having a physical SIM card tray in your iPad: you put in a SIM card from your network provider to this tray, and you can connect to the network.

However, the latest generations of iPads and iPhones have followed the steps of Apple Watches in adopting the new eSIM (embedded SIM) technology. With an eSIM, you actually get several features and conveniences you won’t otherwise get from a standard SIM card in the older iPads.

Here will discuss all you need to know about SIM cards and eSIMs in iPad, their key differences, and what kinds of benefits it will bring to your iPad’s connectivity.


Since the early 1990s, the traditional SIM cards have powered our cellular phones (and later, smartphones) and enabled them to connect to the cellular network. Yet, the new eSIM technology is already here to replace these physical SIM cards.

Despite the pretty similar name, however, the SIM card and eSIM are actually two very different technologies, although they do share some similarities:

  • Both have the main function of connecting your device (in this case, iPad) to your cellular network
  • Both have the word SIM, which stands for ‘Subscriber Identification Module’. So, both are used to identify your device and the type of plan you are subscribed to the network provider
  • They are mainly used in mobile phones, but now many different IoT devices are utilizing SIM and eSIM.

With that being said, there are actually some important differences between a SIM card and an eSIM.

The most important difference is fairly obvious: an eSIM is embedded, so it is not removable from the device, and in fact, it doesn’t have the same card-shaped form as a SIM card. An eSIM, instead, is a very small chip that is integrated into the device itself. So, there’s nothing to insert and remove at all.

Another important difference is that a regular SIM card is typically locked with just one cellular provider (i.e. you must get a T-mobile SIM card from T-mobile). So, if you want to switch to another network, you’ll need to get a new SIM card from the new provider. This has been the practice we’ve got accustomed to for years, if not decades, but imagine if you need to change network in 10 or 20 devices at once, obviously this can be a major hassle.

With an eSIM, on the other hand, you can switch between networks with just a single eSIM. The eSIM can download and store multiple identification data from different networks, and typically you only need to go to the network provider’s app and download the new ID for the eSIM.

Also, a physical SIM card, although relatively small, does take some space on the device. Without this tray, the device can be made so much smaller, like in the case of smartwatches with eSIM.

The last but not least major difference is durability. Since the eSIM is placed inside the device’s body, it’s protected by the device’s shell and so it’s much more durable than a physical SIM card that is prone to all sorts of damages, especially when removed from the device.

Benefits of eSIM in iPad

Now that we’ve discussed some of the important differences between an eSIM and a traditional SIM card, what actually are the benefits of getting a new iPad with eSIM?

Here are some important benefits of the iPad eSIM over the standard iPad SIM card:

  • Since with an eSIM you can easily switch between different networks without needing to replace the SIM card, this can be a huge benefit if you often travel abroad. In the past, we’d need to purchase a local SIM card to avoid those hefty roaming charges, but with an eSIM, you can simply get an iPad data plan with global coverage. A global data plan will allow your iPad to automatically switch to the most reliable local network in your current location/country.
  • In older iPads and iPhones, when the devices are stolen the thief can easily throw away the SIM card so you can no longer trace the device with the Find My iPad feature. With an eSIM, they won’t be able to do the same and so your device is more secure.
  • Even if you don’t travel a lot with your iPad, in cases when you need to switch to a new network, for example, if you’ve just found a cheaper plan, you can switch to this new network without needing to physically replace the SIM card.

How To Use iPad eSIM?

First, check whether your iPad does have an eSIM or embedded Apple SIM in it:

  • iPad Pro 12.9 inch (3rd gen or newer)
  • iPad Pro 11 inch
  • iPad Air (3rd gen or newer)
  • iPad (7th gen or newer)
  • iPad mini (5th gen)

Also, make sure to register with a local operator in your location that supports iPad eSIM.

Truphone, for example, offers a global iPad data plan with coverage in 100 countries.

Then, you can follow these steps:

  • Go to SettingsCellular Data
  • Follow the following:
  • If you want to set up a brand new cellular data plan, choose your network provider and follow the on-screen instructions
  • If you want to add another data plan to an existing one, choose Add New Plan
  • If your provider provides a scannable QR code, choose Others, then position your iPad to scan the operator’s QR code on the on-screen frame. Alternatively, you can also enter the details manually. Depending on your operator, you might be needed to enter a confirmation code provided by the network provider.


With an iPad eSIM, you get more versatility and convenience especially if you often switch between carriers and/or travel a lot with your iPad. If you plan to travel a lot with your eSIM-enabled iPad, you might also want to get an iPad data plan that supports international or global coverage to ensure you can always avoid those expensive roaming charges without ever needing to remove and replace your SIM cards ever again.

Learn Which Size SIM Card Your iPhone or iPad Uses

You don’t want to end up with a SIM card that doesn’t fit in your phone, right? Let’s see if you can find out which SIM sized you need!


SIM cards are tiny and releasable Smart cards that are used in mobile phones. All cell phones, including smartphones, need SIM cards to connect to a cellular network. SIM cards also store information such as your mobile number, carrier company, and billing data.

But not every phone uses the same SIM card. There are different sizes and types of SIM cards available, which are suited for different phones.

To learn which SIM card your iPhone uses, find your model in the list. Not sure which iPad or iPhone you have, read: How to Identify Your iPhone and iPad Model.

If you purchased an iPhone 14 model in the United States, your iPhone doesn’t have a physical SIM card; it has an eSIM. SIM cards are different from your IMEI number, another confusing mobile technology buzz word. Check our this article for a better understanding what an IMEI number is and its purpose.

Why do SIM cards come in different sizes?

Smaller-sized SIM cards are becoming highly desirable nowadays because they provide more room in a cellphone (or other devices) for placing additional features like a larger battery without increasing the size of the phone.

Some older cell phone models and some devices that do not need to optimize their space still use the standard larger SIM card. But all models of cell phones released nowadays use smaller-sized SIM cards like nano or micro-SIM cards. The most recent innovation is the e-SIM.

Nano-SIM card

The Nano-SIM was first released in 2012 and it is the smallest detachable SIM card when compared to other SIM card sizes, except for the eSIM. The dimensions of nano-SIM are 8.8 x 12.3mm.

The Nano-SIM is essentially a tiny IC (integrated circuit) with nearly nothing surrounding it and almost no border. The great majority of present-day electronic devices use this type of SIM card.

The iPhone and iPad models that use nano-SIM cards include:

  • 5th generation and higher iPads
  • all models of iPad Pro
  • all models of iPad Air
  • all models of iPad mini
  • iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5
  • 1st generation, 2nd generation, and 3rd generation iPhone SE
  • iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus
  • iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 Pro Max
  • all models of iPhone 14 bought outside the U.S., including iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max.

The nano-SIM from one iPhone model can be transferred to another if the new phone supports nano-SIM.

Micro-SIM card

Introduced in 2003, the micro-SIM card is not as widely used as it used to be.

This SIM card and chip are bigger than the nano-SIM card and have a size of 12 x 15mm. It has a plastic border bigger than the nano-SIM but small when compared to the original standard-sized SIM card.

The micro-SIM card is used in older models.

The iPhone and iPad models that use micro-SIM cards include:

  • 3rd generation and 4th generation iPad
  • iPad 2
  • iPad
  • iPhone 4, iPhone 4s

Standard SIM card

The largest SIM card size now in use is called a standard SIM. Despite being called “standard,” it is very rarely used nowadays and is mostly found in very old phone models.

It was released in 1996 and has dimensions of 15 x 25mm. Even though the chip size of the Standard SIM is the same as that of newer SIM card types, it has a large plastic border surrounding it.

These SIM cards are also called mini SIMs or regular SIMs. They were called mini-SIMs during their release because there used to be an even larger SIM card, which is not used nowadays.

The iPhone models that use standard SIM cards include:

Setting up data plans is easier for removable SIMs. You need to insert the SIM card into the prescribed slot and turn ON the mobile data. Having an active data plan will allow you to access the internet even when you are away from your home or office Wi-Fi.


An eSIM, where “e” stands for embedded, is a SIM card that is embedded in your iPhone or iPad. The eSIM cannot be removed from your iPhone or iPad. The iPhone 14 series released by Apple support eSIMs. The eSIMs, which are smaller in size when compared to nano-SIMs, free up a lot of space in the phone.

This will help with improvements in cell phone models, like larger batteries. eSIMs can also be included in wearables like Apple Watches because of their compact size. The main benefit of e-SIM is the simplicity of switching plans and networks. Since you cannot replace the eSIM embedded in your phone, you need not buy a new SIM if you wish to change to a new cellular network. The eSIM has the capability to switch to the new network of your choice.

Furthermore, an eSIM has the capacity to store multiple numbers and networks. That is, you could theoretically have multiple cell phone numbers on a single SIM card. You also need not worry about the compatible SIM card sizes for your phone if you have an eSIM. Tracking your iPhone is also easier if it has an embedded eSIM. So, you need not worry about getting your phone back in case you lose or forget it somewhere. The use of an eSIM also increases security because network providers will be able to access and control it remotely.

Requirements for having an eSIM

The eSIM feature is available in some iPhone models in certain regions and countries. The basic requirements for having an iPhone with eSIM include:

  • an iPhone XR, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, or any later model
  • a wireless service provider or international mobile operator that supports eSIM
  • a stable Wi-Fi connection on your iPhone

The eSIM-only iPhone 14 models can be activated without Wi-Fi.

In mainland China, eSIM is not available for iPhones. Some iPhone models, like the iPhone XS, 2nd and 3rd generation iPhone SE, the iPhone 12 mini, and the iPhone 13 mini, use eSIM in Hong Kong and Macao. Many international service providers offer eSIMs for usage with prepaid data packages for tourists visiting the Chinese mainland.

Wireless carriers that support eSIM Carrier Activation

An e-SIM can be assigned to your iPhone by your service provider either at the time of purchase of the phone or later when you call them after setting up for an e-SIM.

All service providers do not offer eSIM activation. There are also limitations on the regional availability of eSIM presently.

In the U.S., the service providers that support eSIM Carrier Activation include ATT, Boost Mobile, Cellcom, Credo Mobile, C Spire, FirstNet, H2O Wireless, Spectrum Mobile, Straight Talk, Strata, T-Mobile USA, Tracfone, US Cellular, Verizon Wireless, and Xfinity Mobile. T-Mobile supports eSIM in Poland along with the U.S. Vodafone supports eSIM Carrier Activation in a number of countries, including Australia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Romania, and Spain. Other wireless carriers supporting eSIM include Magenta (Austria), Telekom (Germany), Magyar Telekom (Hungary), Reliance Jio (India), au (Japan), Sunrise (Switzerland), Swisscom (Switzerland), and EE (United Kingdom).

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Setting up data service using e-SIM for iPad

When using an eSIM, you can activate data on your iPad by:

  • using the carrier app to purchase a plan
  • setting up a new plan with a worldwide service provider that supports eSIM.
  • scanning the QR code provided by the carrier; in some cases, you may need to enter an activation code provided by the carrier.