In this week’s announcement, Apple released new versions of its popular-yet-struggling iPad lineup. Thinner and far more powerful, the iPad Air engineering has definitely stepped up a notch. But for WiFi-hungry travelers, the true tech announcement was the Apple SIM.

The Apple SIM allows the user to select any short term plan from any carrier right in the Settings.

The new SIM option is an enormous change benefiting any regular traveler, as they are no longer beholden to one carrier. This also means that, while traveling, users can select different local carriers for a short-term data plan.

Apple SIM

This eliminates the need for a SIM card, or that scurry around a location to find a local SIM upon arrival in a new destination. These sorts of localized carrier partnerships will be rolled out over time alongside this new tech feature, with AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and EE among the first US and UK carriers to support Apple SIM.

Of course, the company is not quite there yet. Note the non-committal verbiage: “And when you travel, you may also be able to choose a data plan from a local carrier for the duration of your trip.” Almost there – but maybe not quite yet the true revolution in the way that data plans are purchased and consumed.

Taking advantage of the giant leap in WiFI speeds – up to 2.8x faster, according to Apple – is now much easier for travelers in the US and UK wanting to choose the best cellular data provider for the current location, without long-term commitment.

Original author: Nick Vivion