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iPad Pro 9.7" Embedded Apple SIM problem?
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Jedi Knight
Picture of Steven J Gold
AIM: Online Status For StevenGold
posted
I received my new iPad Pro 9.7" last week. I also received my "Bring your own device" nano-SIM (the one for the AT&T towers) from Consumer Cellular so I could hopefully add the tablet to my existing account.

No luck -- I spent a half hour with their representative trying to get it to work. When the CC SIM is installed, the iPad reports the correct Cellular Data (phone) Number but reports the "Carrier" as AT&T 24.0 instead of "CC 24.1" like my iPhone shows. The rep manually updated their system with the correct IMEI for my iPad and "Activated" it but no luck.

Under the Cellular Data item in the iPad's Settings, it shows Cellular Data as being On, alone with LTE and Roaming, but the General settings reports "Network -- Not Available" and no signal-strength dots appear.

Under Cellular Data --> Choose a data plan, there is "AT&T SIM Card" with a check-mark in front of it (can't be unchecked). There is also "Manage AT&T Account..." which brings up an AT&T window!

I and the rep suspect the problem is the Apple Embedded SIM, seeing that Consumer Cellular is using the AT&T network, is assuming I want AT&T service and overriding the info stored in the Consumer Cellular SIM.

They tried manually having me install a "Consumer Cellular Web" profile to configure the Consumer Cellular Internet APN but installing it made no difference. All the rep could finally suggest is given that the iPad Pro with embedded SIM is so new, I wait a week or so and then call them back after they have some time to look into the issue.

This begs the question: Has anyone gotten the new iPad Pro to work with any MVNO such as Cricket (owned by AT&T), Straight Talk, etc? If so, how?
 
Posts: 234 | Location: Oak Park, MI | Registered: June 11, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Poobah
Picture of Donna
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I may be mistaken, but, from what I've read, you need to have the one that comes without SIM. Then you put your own SIM. Perhaps you have ordered the ATT version.
 
Posts: 2263 | Location: Ann Arbor MI USA | Registered: October 22, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Jedi Knight
Picture of Steven J Gold
AIM: Online Status For StevenGold
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The iPad Pro 7.9" is unique in that the Apple Sim is part of the logic board and can't be removed (or apparently disabled). I didn't see any option to get a unit without it as Apple doesn't believe you would ever not want to sign up with either AT&T, Spring, T-Mobile, Verizon, or GigSky (the latter for international travel).
 
Posts: 234 | Location: Oak Park, MI | Registered: June 11, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Jedi Knight
Picture of Steven J Gold
AIM: Online Status For StevenGold
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New development: the Apple Systems Engineer assigned to UM advised me to open a case with AppleCare; I'll do so Thursday when I have some time.

Meanwhile, I really need to know if anyone has gotten the new iPad Pro 9.7" to work with any MVNO like Cricket or Consumer Cellular as both use the AT&T network and should have the same problem.
 
Posts: 234 | Location: Oak Park, MI | Registered: June 11, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
iBBS Addict
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Steven:

Check out this link.

Brian
 
Posts: 1640 | Location: Oak Park, MI, USA | Registered: January 31, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Jedi Knight
Picture of Steven J Gold
AIM: Online Status For StevenGold
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Nothing new there -- note Apple's documentation says the Apple SIM works only with "certain selected carriers" (all of the listed ones own their own networks) and Consumer Cellular and Cricket Wireless are not listed (they are MVNOs who don't have their own networks but lease network capacity from the Big Guys).

Normally, with the newer iDevices *except* for the new 9.7" iPad, the Apple SIM is removable; to use a non-"selected carrier", you remove the Apple SIM and replace it with the MVNO's SIM *i.e., the SIM Consumer Cellular sent me, but on the 9.7" iPad Pro you can't remove the Apple SIM and that seems to create a conflict when the MNVO uses the same real cellular towers as a "selected" one.
 
Posts: 234 | Location: Oak Park, MI | Registered: June 11, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Jedi Knight
Picture of Steven J Gold
AIM: Online Status For StevenGold
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Now it’s gotten REALLY INTERESTING!

I took out the Consumer Cellular SIM which meant only the Apple Embedded SIM is there.

I then tried to transfer my existing AT&T Cellular Data Plan over from my old iPad 2 to the new iPad using the feature “Set up cellular service” on the new iPad.

It established a connection to AT&T and gave me the option to transfer service from the old iPad, which I did. So it seemed to work *except* that now the iPad says “AT&T-PREPAID Expired” as the status even though I just got an email from AT&T that the data plan had been renewed yesterday. And any attempt to use the cellular service results in failure with a notification my plan has expired... Eek

I called AT&T and spent almost an hour on the phone with them. They verified I had an active data plan but were unable to tell the iPad that either.

They finally transferred me directly to AppleCare.

Told the friendly AppleCare specialist my sad story and she said Apple Engineering wanted to see my iPad ASAP as they’ve had other reports of issues configuring cellular accounts.

They are sending me a box to send them my iPad ASAP. She emphasized it was going to Engineering and not a repair depot, but I wouldn’t get it (or a replacement) back for 7-10 days. Take one for the team. Mad :-(

I can’t say I’m happy about this; taking it into the Apple Store wouldn’t help as they’d need to send it out to Engineering too.
 
Posts: 234 | Location: Oak Park, MI | Registered: June 11, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Poobah
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Keep us informed.
 
Posts: 2263 | Location: Ann Arbor MI USA | Registered: October 22, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Poobah
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Steven,

If you took it to a local Apple store, they would be able to return & replace it for another iPad Pro AND send it back to Engineering for testing. Apple has a 14 day return policy and for brand new products "having issues"such as yours, offer extended return policies.

Please visit a store at your earliest chance to resolve your issue and help others along the way.


Dave McGuire
President - MacGroup Detroit

"What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about?"
 
Posts: 2101 | Location: Orion Twp, Michigan | Registered: July 25, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Jedi Knight
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Dave, I assume if I give them (local Apple Store) the AppleCare Case #, they can see the history and status I've already discussed via phone?
 
Posts: 234 | Location: Oak Park, MI | Registered: June 11, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post



Poobah
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After you book your Genius Bar appointment, they should be able to look up the notes the AppleCare agent made by the case number or the Serial number of the iPad Pro.

Since you are trying to use a "non-supported" carrier for your data plan, this issue may be unresolved for quite a while. I was surprised to read your troubles with your AT&T account not working. I assume you restored the iPad Pro already?


Dave McGuire
President - MacGroup Detroit

"What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about?"
 
Posts: 2101 | Location: Orion Twp, Michigan | Registered: July 25, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Jedi Knight
Picture of Steven J Gold
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Yes, I had tried a restore to see if it helped -- it didn't. I removed the Consumer Cellular SIM before trying to signup/transfer my existing AT&T tablet data plan so the case number is strictly dealing with the inability of the Embedded SIMM to work with my existing AT&T plan. That *is* supported and is why Engineering wants to see it.

It's possible that the AT&T issue may be related to the Consumer Cellular problem since they both use the AT&T network, but one issue at a time! Of course, maybe trying to use the Consumer Cellular SIMM first caused the AT&T issue and I'll make sure the Genius adds that to the case narrative.

Off to Somerset for a 1 pm Genius Bar appointment!
 
Posts: 234 | Location: Oak Park, MI | Registered: June 11, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Jedi Knight
Picture of Steven J Gold
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OK, everyone — here are the TOP SECRET steps to resolve this issue if it ever happens to you:

(1) Receive the box Apple sent to ship the iPad back to Engineering. Set it aside.

(2) Mention the trials & tribulations you’ve been thru on the MacGroup Detroit bulletin-board system.

(3) Receive advice from someone to make an appointment at my local Apple Store (Somerset Mall) as they can look up the info in the case file and both send the iPad to Apple Engineering *and* swap it for a new one since i bought it less than two weeks and there is an “unusual situation”. This sounded better to me than a 7-10 *business days* delay.

(4) Go to local Apple Store. Apple Genius has trouble deciphering notes from the AppleCare Specialist I dealt with on the phone, and he’s unfamiliar with the Apple Embedded SIM design. Still he’s amiable to swapping my unit for a new one, but concerned the new one might have the same behavior. (So am I.)
He asks me to demonstrate it. I do, including the alerts that I’ve exceeded my purchased data cap and the one that my AT&T plan is expired.
We do a reset/restart. Same thing. He says he needs to “go into the back and research this”. He returns 10 minutes latter to tell me the specialist the level above him is mystified too and it needs to get escalated even higher so please allow him another 15 minutes.

(5) Just to make sure the Genius is is aware of the precise steps to recreate the issue, I volunteer to demonstrate them and repeat it one more time.

(6) Shutdown & restart the iPad yet again and get a pop-up from AT&T that transferring the data plan was unsuccessful.

(7) Yep, you guessed it — suddenly, it’s working and I have cellular AT&T tablet data service! And the “Cellular Data” setting now shows the AT&T plan as being Active! Turn off Wi-Fi access and verify internet connectivity via 4G/LTE.

(8) Ignore rest of customers sitting at the Genius Bar who are staring at The Genius & I, wondering why our mouths have dropped to the floor and we have astonished looks on our faces.

(9) Take the now-working iPad home.

That’s it. Neither Apple or I can figure out why it suddenly is “fixed” since we did the exact same things we tried before.

I’m both happy it’s working, and disappointed no one knows why.
Best guess is that AT&T pushed out a “silent"change to their system to better support the Apple Embedded SIM.

The Genius has documented everything and still will follow up with his higher-level specialist but since it’s now working he sees no reason to send it to Engineering and put me through the time required to restore/setup a replacement.
He’ll leave the Case open in case anything else happens…..

I’ll wait a few days and then maybe try the Consumer Cellular SIM again since it’s a better plan than the AT&T one.
Maybe that will totally break the iPad again? — we’ll see.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Steven J Gold,
 
Posts: 234 | Location: Oak Park, MI | Registered: June 11, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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