Skip to Content

Does an ipad need a sim card to work? Explained

Last Updated on April 3, 2022 by Kennedy

Looking at the question of the day and which is does an ipad need a sim card to work, what makes you to think that an iPad may not work without a sim card.

First you should ask yourself if all iPads do have a sim card and it may be surprising to you thar not all iPads do have a sim card as we have iPad Wi-Fi and iPad cellular data.

By looking at the question being asked we’ll be looking at if at all do iPad cellular needs a sim card to work.

Does an ipad need a sim card to work?

iPad doesn’t necessarily need a sim card to work especially if there is an available Wi-Fi around. However, if there is no available Wi-Fi around you then you can’t use the internet on your iPad and this will make to you to go get a sim card to use on your iPad.

The first and foremost you need to know is that Wi-Fi only iPad doesn’t have a sim card slot and this literally means that you can’t use a sim card on ipad Wi-Fi only. 

Now this shows you that the question of does an ipad need a sim card to work is not necessarily applicable to Wi-Fi only iPad but rather cellular iPads.


Related Posts:


Let me explain a bit more about iPad cellular.

iPad cellular quick overview

iPad cellular is a type of apple iPad that has both Wi-Fi and cellular network service or probably cellular data and this means that iPad cellular do have a sim card slot unlike the iPad Wi-Fi that doesn’t have a sim card slot.

On cellular iPad, you can use a Wi-Fi or probably purchase a data plan for your internet activity especially when there is no available Wi-Fi around. This is one major advantage cellular iPad have over the Wi-Fi only iPad.

On cellular iPad, you have a good advantage to enjoy a fast internet connection especially 5G network service by subscribing to a data plan as you will browse direct without sharing internet speed with any other person around you.

Here’s the fact about cellular iPad;

Cellular iPad cost more than the Wi-Fi only iPad.

For example, all iPad pro tends to have more of cellular iPads as they have both the Wi-Fi and the sim card slot compared to iPad mini and the rest.

Moving back to the question of the day on does an ipad need a sim card to work, I will focus more on cellular iPads and it majorly concerns it.

What does a SIM card do for an iPad?

A sim card helps a user to make and receive calls, send and receive sms text messages, and as well use the internet through cellular data plan.

As long as you want to enjoy network service on your iPhone or iPad, you simply need a sim.

However, all iPhones do support a sim card as it is a smartphone or mobile and cellular network service is pretty much compulsory, but the case is different on iPad.

As long as you want to enjoy network services like calls, sms text messages and cellular data you do need to have a sim card in your iPhone, but on ipad, you will only enjoy cellular data as calls and sms text messages are not available on all iPads. 

So these are the functions or what sim card do in an iPad or iPhone. 

Going back to the topic.

Does an ipad need a sim card to work?

If you don’t need cellular data for internet on your iPad, then you don’t need to have a sim card in your iPad cause iPad can work perfectly fine without a sim card.

Once again what cellular network services I’m talking about that requires a sim card;

  • Using cellular data when Wi-Fi is not available.

This is the functions of a sim card in an iPad.

Aside from all these functions, you can enjoy your iPad as long as you have an active Wi-Fi which will substitute for the cellular data and the iMessage which will substitute for sms text messages.

Lastly, facetime which will substitute for incoming calls and outgoing calls on your iPad. 

But what if you want to call an android phone user or send a text message?

Okay I got it. 

FaceTime now works on android but hey, the video quality is way too poor compared to any other apple device. 

Aside from facetime, you have whatsapp which can be used to call and send messages or probably you go for google voice as it seamlessly work just like the cellular network service. 

My opinion

If you actually have the budget to buy a cellular iPad, I recommend you to do that cause in some way you may want to use cellular data or network service on your iPad and maybe frustrated if you have Wi-Fi only iPad. 

On the other hand, if you happen to have an iPhone which you can use for any cellular network services like calls and sms text messages, then you can chose to save a little buck and go for Wi-Fi only iPad.

But for me, irrespective of the fact that I have an iPhone, I still bought the cellular iPad in other to enjoy full speed 5G network on my iPad. So the choice depends on you, what you want and your budget.

Please note: ipads don’t support Calle and sms text messages but if your network provider has an phone app, you can download and install the app. Afterwards use it to make and receive calls on your iPad. 

There are network providers that has phone app for iPad users. 

Can an iPad be used without a SIM card?

iPad can be used without a SIM card. Sim card are only for network services and may not be necessary on an iPad. 

As long as you have an active Wi-Fi around you, you can do away with a sim card unless you don’t have any then you need a sim card for cellular data and internet connectivity on your iPad.

Lastly, for the fact that we have Wi-Fi only iPads shows that iPad be used without a SIM card.

What happens if you don’t have a SIM card in your iPad?

If you don’t have a SIM card in your iPad, then you cannot enjoy network services like phone calls, sms text messages and high speed cellular data on your iPad.

Once you don’t have a SIM card on your iPad, you will only depend on Wi-Fi for internet connectivity and the speed may not be fast as you are sharing internet with other users. 

When you directly use a cellular data to browse on your iPad and which is of 5G network, you will enjoy it so much compared to when you are using Wi-Fi for your internet. But the truth is that you will have to subscribe to a data plan and which will cost you money.

Do all iPads have SIM cards?

Not all iPads do have a sim card especially if it says Wi-Fi only iPad. But if it says cellular iPads then it means the iPad do have a sim card or do support a sim card.

Once again this is to tell you that Wi-Fi only iPads will not have network service, Making calls, Receiving calls, Sending sms text messages, Receiving sms text messages if your network provider has a phone app for iPad, and using cellular data when Wi-Fi is not available.

It depends on what you want and also your budget as cellular iPads are pricey compared to Wi-Fi only iPads.

Do all iPads have cellular capability?

The answer is no. Not all iPads do have a cellular capability as only cellular iPads do have cellular capability. The likes of Wi-Fi only iPads don’t have cellular capability simply because there is no sim card available in the iPad as it is strictly Wi-Fi only.

How do I know if my iPad has cellular?

To know if your your iPad has cellular, look at the right side of the iPad and check if you will see a sim card, once you have seen a sim card slot on the right side of your iPad it means it is a cellular iPad. But if you didn’t see a sim card slot on the side of your iPad, it literally means it is a Wi-Fi only iPad.

does an ipad need a sim card to work

Kindly look around your iPad and see if you will see a sim card slot.

Another way to know if you have a cellular iPad is to look at the back of your iPad and if you see a stripe on upper body of your iPad, it signifies that indeed it is a cellular iPad.

does an ipad need a sim card to work

The fun part is that Wi-Fi only ipad don’t have those stripes and a typical example of a Wi-Fi only iPad is the above picture which doesn’t have the stripe. Mind you, the stripe can be black, grey, white, or any other color.

Another method to know know if your iPad has cellular is by going to the settings app, tap on general and open about page.

Scroll down and you will see where it states carrier and below it will display cellular data number along with other informations.

These are the ways to check if an iPad is of cellular or Wi-Fi only.

How much is a SIM card for a iPad?

The price of a SIM card for a iPad depends on the network carrier as some offer $3 to $5 for a sim card. Also note that you can use your iPhone or android sim card on your iPad as long as it is nano sim card and compatible with your iPad.

What’s the difference between Wi-Fi and cellular iPad?

The difference between Wi-Fi and cellular iPad is that Wi-Fi only iPads cannot use cellular data for internet activity except for Wi-Fi, whilst cellular ipad has both Wi-Fi and cellular data for it’s internet activity. 

And this is where I come to the conclusion of this post, does an ipad need a sim card to work. So it is left for to make your decision.