The iPad is making a unprecedented change, and instead of using a standard SIM like the iPhone does, they are using a 3FF or MicroSIM card. This card is half the length of the normal SIM card, and it pretty much guarantees that you won’t be able to grab any old SIM and stick it in your iPad for some 3G goodness.
Adam Turner from Hydrapinion says that this is Apple’s and AT&T’s way to keep the iPad under their control when it comes to getting broadband on the go. Also, you should consider that the frequencies the iPad deals with manage to exclude T-Mobile as well.
Wired reports that until Apple announced the iPad, the only other product that uses the MicroSIM was a Children’s GPS watch sold by .
Is this Apple trying to lock you in to AT&T or Apple trying to innovate? Why haven’t we heard much about the MicroSIM until now? No one knows. The one good thing about the MicroSIM is that the contacts are exactly the same as a regular SIM, the card is just smaller. So you could take a regular SIM and shave it down. However, you’d still be stuck with AT&T, since the frequencies the iPad uses only works with them. So in reality, like the Nexus One, the iPad isn’t locked, but it might as well be since you can’t use it anywhere but on AT&T.
This kind of weirdness is only going to continue unless the FCC puts a stop to the nonsense. A GSM/HSDPA device should work on ANY carrier, and until the FCC puts a stop to it, we’ll continue to be at the carriers’ mercy.