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Thread: Very strange SIM compatibility problem

  1. #1
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    Very strange SIM compatibility problem

    T-Mo couldn't figure this out so maybe someone here can. I have 2 brand new on a card T-Mo SIM cards both with 2022 expiration dates. I have a new iPad Pro. I also have a iPad Mini 5 and an iPhone Xr.

    Mini 5 has had a prepaid data only plan with T-Mo for the last 6 months with no problem. Obviously the 5 month old SIM is fine. The SIM from the Mini 5 works fine in ALL 3 devices.

    Put the BRAND NEW sim in the iPad pro and setup a prepaid data only account and was unable to get data. Kept getting a message that "There was no funds on the card." Called T-Mo and everything looked fine on their end. The same SIM also did NOT work on the iPhone Xr but DID work in the Mini 5.

    What could be different between these 2 sims ? I ended up putting the new sim in the Mini and the old Mini sim in the iPad Pro and all is good. Any thoughts ? 3hrs over 4 calls with T-Mo and they couldn't figure it out other than the new sims aren't fully compatible with everything which is obvious but not logical as the new sims were recent vintage.

  2. #2
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    Clean the sim then try again... other than that... try testing it with other phones. See if you get the same problem with other devices. See how far it goes.

    Also it is more plausible that data only cards may not work in an iPhone.

    Do all 3 use the same sim card sizes? A

    When you use the problem sim cards and get no data there is a process that has to occur many times to get data working. You would usually have to get that 'sim refresh' process going on the device. It may be as simple as manually entering the APN settings yourself.
    So you would have to go into settings look for cellular or mobile network option. Look in there for the APN settings. Apple says this:
    If your carrier allows it, you can view your APN settings in one of the following locations:

    Settings > Cellular > Cellular Data Options > Cellular Network

    Settings > Mobile Data > Mobile Data Options > Mobile Data Network.

    If your device doesn't have either option, contact your carrier.

    If you can at least view the settings you can get an idea if the settings are even getting applied. It does happen at times where the settings don't get applied to the device you put the sim card in.

    May have to update carrier settings on those devices that didn't work.

    I am saying these options despite the error message you are getting as sometimes the message means nothing. For it to work some sort of connection still needs to occur for it to know if there's funds on an attached account. (Authorized account)





    Some sim cards are simply just not compatible with all devices.

    Sent from my SM-N986U using Tapatalk
    Helio Touch...

  3. #3
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    Also why do you have a Mini & a Pro? I assume for different ppl in the household but aside from that...... why have both?

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    I also have a mini 5 and a 11" iPad Pro and use them for different purposes. The Mini will fit into my back pocket, so I can take it with me without keeping it in my hands while I'm out and about. The Pro is nice for the screen size and extra memory. I also use it as a monitor while I fly my drone and the extra size and brightness outdoors is great. It is also a great display for recipes on the counter while I cook and need hands free visibility. Both have cellular T-Mobile voice sims from free line promos, so I get data on them also.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ninja_unmatched View Post
    Also why do you have a Mini & a Pro? I assume for different ppl in the household but aside from that...... why have both?

    Sent from my SM-N986U using Tapatalk
    I also have both. Sometimes I just want to read when i'm gone.. sometimes I need a full on "computer-ish" device.

    They definitely fit different purposes.

    OP: You may have just gotten a bad SIM. I've also had mixed luck moving data/phone sims between the devices they're not meant for plan wise.
    T-Mobile: Magenta Amplified (airline employee plan)
    AT$T: $50 Unlimited Elite Prepaid promo (for more “rural” areas)

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    Quote Originally Posted by brad15 View Post
    I also have both. Sometimes I just want to read when i'm gone.. sometimes I need a full on "computer-ish" device.

    They definitely fit different purposes.

    OP: You may have just gotten a bad SIM. I've also had mixed luck moving data/phone sims between the devices they're not meant for plan wise.
    Mmmmm no... if you are an iPhone person then you have the phone to supply the smaller screen purposes while the iPad for those larger screen tasks... Sorry but your arguments are quite invalid...lol... they are very much same as having an iPhone. With phones sizes being what they are now.. there is virtually no need in getting a Mini unless that is the tablet of choice you want along side your iPhone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ninja_unmatched View Post
    Also why do you have a Mini & a Pro? I assume for different ppl in the household but aside from that...... why have both?

    Sent from my SM-N986U using Tapatalk
    Why? Because i bought it before the iPad Pro and waited the Pro. I am 74 yrs old, retired after working over 55 years and can afford to have all the toys. Lol. I also use it for my DJI drone that I really don’t need but is a cool toy to play with a couple times a year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ninja_unmatched View Post
    Mmmmm no... if you are an iPhone person then you have the phone to supply the smaller screen purposes while the iPad for those larger screen tasks... Sorry but your arguments are quite invalid...lol... they are very much same as having an iPhone. With phones sizes being what they are now.. there is virtually no need in getting a Mini unless that is the tablet of choice you want along side your iPhone.

    Sent from my SM-N986U using Tapatalk
    And that's a valid opinion.. BUT you are not seeing it correctly.

    sometimes I want to use a tablet for light streaming or reading without draining my iPhone battery.. like when I'm on an airplane all day (it happens often, even now), and will not reliably be near a plug all day.. So, instead of carrying a power bank.. I choose an iPad better suited for the task at hand.

    Other times, I have a higher workload that needs more power and then I use the Pro, since I do not use a laptop anymore. It just depends on the task I need done that day, and when you factor in the Magic Keyboard, Pencil that flops off in the bag, the extra space/weight.. I do not always need to carry that much.

    When i'm leaving for 1-2 days, bag space is at a premium and swapping something as little as an iPad can take me from just needing a backpack, to needing a roller bag instead.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by brad15 View Post
    And that's a valid opinion.. BUT you are not seeing it correctly.

    sometimes I want to use a tablet for light streaming or reading without draining my iPhone battery.. like when I'm on an airplane all day (it happens often, even now), and will not reliably be near a plug all day.. So, instead of carrying a power bank.. I choose an iPad better suited for the task at hand.

    Other times, I have a higher workload that needs more power and then I use the Pro, since I do not use a laptop anymore. It just depends on the task I need done that day, and when you factor in the Magic Keyboard, Pencil that flops off in the bag, the extra space/weight.. I do not always need to carry that much.

    When i'm leaving for 1-2 days, bag space is at a premium and swapping something as little as an iPad can take me from just needing a backpack, to needing a roller bag instead.
    Uuh ..... a power bank? The scenario is still the same either way. Those tablets die just like any other. Don't want to kill phone take out the iPad.... ???? Its just extra money spent that you could use for other luxuries. No one ever needs all 3... lol. I get it.. but buying all 3 is not practical. You are just enthralled by everything ... So you want every & anything they make. I get it... but truth... you don't need all 3... that is off topic anyways though...

    Someone said the sim card was bad but didn't it work in one phone? When I went to Sprint they had to use several sim cards to find one that works to activate a phone. They they knew how to identify certain ones by their sim numbers somehow. So there is some sort of difference.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ninja_unmatched View Post
    Uuh ..... a power bank? The scenario is still the same either way. Those tablets die just like any other. Don't want to kill phone take out the iPad.... ???? Its just extra money spent that you could use for other luxuries. No one ever needs all 3... lol. I get it.. but buying all 3 is not practical. You are just enthralled by everything ... So you want every & anything they make. I get it... but truth... you don't need all 3... that is off topic anyways though...

    Someone said the sim card was bad but didn't it work in one phone? When I went to Sprint they had to use several sim cards to find one that works to activate a phone. They they knew how to identify certain ones by their sim numbers somehow. So there is some sort of difference.

    Sent from my SM-N986U using Tapatalk
    Well, it's my money.. I make enough to pay cash for said devices and still keep a healthy amount in my bank account/investments all while remaining debt free, also whilst being on track to be able to retire by 45..

    So if I want a 2nd small tablet to offload my other items too.. I'll have it... just as the OP here has multiple iPads as well.

    Just because it does not fit your needs, nor can you comprehend it, does not mean it's not within a realm of possibility

    Sometimes carrying around a bigger iPad just is not practical.. and if i'm in a park/plane/airport/hotel - i'd rather lose the $399 iPad that has a bigger screen than my iPhone for content consumption (but really bought from work for $200), and not the $1,500 iPad.

    I just really love the Android die hards that cannot comprehend when you do not have to replace a phone every 1-2yrs to keep getting meaningful OS updates, and have actual resale value... you can use your money in better ways.
    Last edited by brad15; 11-12-2020 at 05:24 PM.

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    Apple saw the functionality for at least 2 different sizes, so do I. I don't need to justify spending a few cents on things I want.

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    Well, back to your SIM question, did either of the new SIMs come with / get purchased with a device? Generally, the T-Mo SIMs are all the same (at least pre-5G), and the only time I've run into a similar issue was when trying to activate a SIM that came with a device. That SIM was associated with an account / IMEI in their system, even though it was never activated / used. I did get CS to fix one of those for me about a year ago, but it was definitely an escalated tech support rep that knew how to fix it.

    Out of curiosity, why didn't you just use the eSIM functionality on the iPad? I thought T-Mobile was available that way for prepaid (at so I remember from my iPad Air 3). That said, I use a physical SIM on mine as I already had the Mobile Broadband account set up and I like to SIM swap.

    I feel so left out -- I only have 1 iPad, but I do have 3 iPhones...

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    Quote Originally Posted by high technology View Post
    Well, back to your SIM question, did either of the new SIMs come with / get purchased with a device? Generally, the T-Mo SIMs are all the same (at least pre-5G), and the only time I've run into a similar issue was when trying to activate a SIM that came with a device. That SIM was associated with an account / IMEI in their system, even though it was never activated / used. I did get CS to fix one of those for me about a year ago, but it was definitely an escalated tech support rep that knew how to fix it.

    Out of curiosity, why didn't you just use the eSIM functionality on the iPad? I thought T-Mobile was available that way for prepaid (at so I remember from my iPad Air 3). That said, I use a physical SIM on mine as I already had the Mobile Broadband account set up and I like to SIM swap.

    I feel so left out -- I only have 1 iPad, but I do have 3 iPhones...
    No such T-mobile SIM cards are the same, After late of 90's all SIM supports both 5V and 3.3v dual mode.
    From the late of year the new T-Mobile SIM card (TM9263 SIM) only supports 3.3v and made it is less compatible on older phones.
    Nowadays it moves to support further down to 1.7v/3.0v from 3.3v (R15 SIM) ... possibly more devices have compatible issue, especially i-Junkies for the fanboys paying more for less.


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    Last edited by Androided; 11-13-2020 at 08:27 PM.

  14. #14
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    I have 3 ipads and have had similar issues. Ny tmobile sim worked fine in my new iPad but my 2 older ones it did not work. Tmobile and apple could not figure it out. I ended up buying two LG tablets because of this issue and they work great. I am getting so sick of Apple. I keep telling people and no one believes me but there is some sort of compatibility issue with Apple and tmobile. I feel Apple works the best with AT&T. We have 12 lines with Tmobile, 1 Verizon for work and 1 At&t for work as well. My Verizon iPhone always has connection issues and low signal, same with 1 of our tmobile lines but for AT&T its smooth sailing, Apple just works seamlessly with at&t. We had much better luck with Android phones on tmobile and Verizon. Everyone can say their Apple phone works great but when you have a plethora
    of devices like I do on every network you really get to see what works best. All our lines are post paid, no prepaid. To the op, your iPad may be old. Also, the new sim cards are optimized for 5g so that may play a role as well. Try the sim cards in an android tablet and see what happens.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by dieselguy26 View Post
    I have 3 ipads and have had similar issues. Ny tmobile sim worked fine in my new iPad but my 2 older ones it did not work. Tmobile and apple could not figure it out. I ended up buying two LG tablets because of this issue and they work great. I am getting so sick of Apple. I keep telling people and no one believes me but there is some sort of compatibility issue with Apple and tmobile. I feel Apple works the best with AT&T. We have 12 lines with Tmobile, 1 Verizon for work and 1 At&t for work as well. My Verizon iPhone always has connection issues and low signal, same with 1 of our tmobile lines but for AT&T its smooth sailing, Apple just works seamlessly with at&t. We had much better luck with Android phones on tmobile and Verizon. Everyone can say their Apple phone works great but when you have a plethora
    of devices like I do on every network you really get to see what works best. All our lines are post paid, no prepaid. To the op, your iPad may be old. Also, the new sim cards are optimized for 5g so that may play a role as well. Try the sim cards in an android tablet and see what happens.
    I’ve never had an issue with anything Apple working with T-Mobile.

    Sprint: Yes, Verizon: Yes... T-Mobile: No.

    Sprint: because it’s Sprint and they had a janky backend that was almost ducktaped together

    Verizon: because they are spectrum constrained, and tend to have their macro sites spaced further apart thanks to originally being CDMA... intel modems did not do nearly as well in fringe areas, and this is very apparent on verizon.

    AT&T and T-Mobile use the same GSM/UMTS/LTE base... so other than a few wonk SIM cards, I’ve used several different iPads, iPhones, etc with no issue.

    AT&T, as much as they’ve improved these last few years with FirstNet, they still suck where i’m from in Columbus, OH and ironically my neighborhood in Chicago (Does not work indoors in most of my neighborhood).. So cannot be my daily carrier, and has by far more connectivity issues for me due to sheer signal strength issues.

    Now.. T-Mobile is odd about what plans work with what - so if that particular IMEI is not whitelisted for that “plan” attached to the SIM, you will have issues with it.

    I honestly think your issues are relative to you just being in a weaker signal area with an Intel radio. AT&T/Verizon have been building since 1983, and have far more lowband spectrum deployed than T-Mobile, and on an LTE device - at best you’re going to get a 5MHz chunk of lowband LTE when you’re on it with T-Mobile vs 10-30MHz of lowband on AT&T.

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