Apple SIM launches in Australia but just for roaming

Apple's one SIM to rule them all has launched in Australia, but will only be useful to Australians looking to take their iPad overseas.

From Wednesday, Australians will be able to use the Apple SIM for their iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3, but without the feature that made Apple SIM a compelling option for UK and US users.

With the arrival of the iPad Air 2, Apple included the Apple SIM, a SIM card that allows users to switch between rival mobile operators on short-term prepaid plans in the United States and the United Kingdom, depending on which prepaid offering is a better deal or has better coverage.

The service has now been made available to Australians, but only for those travelling to other countries.

Apple has signed a global roaming agreement with GigSky to offer roaming services on the Apple SIM to over 90 countries.

Unfortunately, the benefits of being able to choose the carrier have been removed for other countries, meaning that those travelling to the UK or the US will not be able to find a better deal using the Apple SIM.

Australians can pick up the Apple SIM for AU$7 from the Apple Store, and then select a data package for the country they are visiting through GigSky.

The SIMs are also going on sale in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and Turkey.

Roaming data rates are still higher than what Australians would pay at home for iPad data, with the most data available in the US at 1GB for AU$50. The UK is lower, at AU$50 for 3GB.

A customer travelling to New Zealand, however, would only get 500MB for AU$50.

In theory, an Australian using the SIM could use it in Australia, but would face a much higher data rate than they would when buying a SIM from another telco. The most amount of data on offer is also 500MB for AU$50.