Apple recently announced the iPad Air 2, the newest device in its tablet family. The biggest feature, however, was not mentioned during their keynote: the introduction of Apple SIM, which will allow users to change data carriers without changing the SIM card, was quietly announced in their promotional materials. This feature gives users the ability to switch between carriers through their iPad’s settings without swapping out the SIM card.

This feature is made during an ongoing push toward contractless mobile data—in recent months, T-Mobile specifically has been paying off the termination fees for other carriers to encourage consumers to move to data plans without contracts. T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint have all signed up to be part of the new Apple SIM program, though Verizon is opting out. Apple SIM challenges the current model of adding mobile data to existing plans. However, carriers hope that by moving to temporary data options, consumers would be more willing to try their services when Wi-Fi isn’t an available option.

There isn’t any news yet on whether Apple SIM will be available for future models of the iPhone, but many tech analysts speculate what it would mean for the mobile phone market. If SIM cards that aren’t connected to a specific carrier become the new trend, it could change the way consumers choose wireless plans, carriers, and even new devices. It also opens up the market to reselling phones without having to “unlock” them, which can often be a frustrating process for end users.

The effects of Apple SIM have yet to be observed, but it could herald a new era in the future of the tech industry. Apple SIM may very well change the way we use and integrate our devices. New features such as Apple Pay, released earlier this month for iPhone 6 and soon to be available for the iPad Air 2, further solidify Apple’s push for product integration between its devices and services. Contact us to learn more about the iPad Air 2 and Apple SIM.