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Apple SIM may be biggest news of Apple iPad event. Here's why

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While the second-generation iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 are hogging the limelight, Apple has also unveiled a little nugget poised to be the next big thing: the Apple SIM.

So far, cellular variants of the iPad have come either without a SIM or with one from a carrier in the user's country of residence. With the advent of the Apple SIM, all that is about to change.

This innovative SIM from Apple is software-based and aims to make life easier for users, especially those who are constantly on the move and need to swap networks because of frequent travel. The feature will also save users roaming charges that they would otherwise incur.

The Apple SIM will enable users to select a participating network operator of their choice worldwide from the given options and make the payment directly on screen.

"The Apple SIM gives you the flexibility to choose from a variety of short-term plans from select carriers in the U.S. and UK right on your iPad. So whenever you need it, you can choose the plan that works best for you -- with no long-term commitments. And when you travel, you may also be able to choose a data plan from a local carrier for the duration of your trip," says Apple.

The Apple SIM seems akin to a traditional SIM and will likely operate by virtue of a unique ID number, which is registered with the participating mobile operators that Apple has on board.

Interestingly, Apple did not announce the Apple SIM during its event on Oct. 16, but analysts say the Apple SIM is set to revolutionize the consumer space.

"The 'Apple SIM' is huge news. Shows the strength of Apple's hand with carriers -- no other mfr could have done that," tweeted Ben Wood, analyst from CCS Insight.

Network operators Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile have partnered with Apple in the U.S., while EE will be a participating carrier in the UK. Apple has revealed that the list of participating carriers may change, with more to be added in the future.

The Apple SIM is packed inside the iPad Air 2; it is anticipated that the iPad Mini 3 will also house the SIM.

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