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Where to buy an IPad chip

We will travel through Wales, England and Spain this summer, arriving at Gatwick airport. I plan to buy a chip for my ipad mini when I get there. Any advice on whether to buy a chip at the airport vs. a city phone store? I've had some poor past experiences with both scenarios in the past and can wait till we get to Cardiff. If anyone can make a specific vendor recommendation, please do.

Also, is it still necessary to buy separate chips for Britain and Spain, or is there uniformity of service across Europe now? I'd read last year that the different countries were trying to become more "user friendly". That would be nice!

Posted by
2658 posts

Why do you need a chip? I was in Wales and England a year ago, used my iPad Air every single day, didn't need a chip, just wifi. I used it for blogging and face timing the family, didn't have any trouble what's so ever.

Posted by
1839 posts

I have an ipad 2 so maybe I'm behind the times, but mine can not hold a chip. Not sure what you would need a chip for?

Posted by
285 posts

My iPad Air 2 is both wifi and cellular enabled, but it has no changeable "chip" that I am aware of.

Posted by
2474 posts

We have used our iPad in London, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Hungary, and Istanbul without ever doing anything to it, other than having to enter a password for local wifi.

If you have any doubts, call Apple (or check various online help forums) about this, they will tell you the same.

Posted by
31471 posts


Based on the information in your question, I'm assuming that your iPad is a Wi-Fi & Cellular model, and that you're asking about a SIM card? What purposes do you intend to use the iPad for?

One other question that comes to mind is do you have a cellular plan for your iPad at home? You may be able to roam using that for a reasonable cost.

I don't know if cellular plans for iPads work the same as for phones, but if they do you should be able to roam in Spain uisng a SIM card purchased in England, but at slightly higher cost. One thing you'll have to ensure is whether you'll be able to top-up the card once you leave England.

You didn't say which part of London you'd be staying in, but you should be able to find a Carphone Warehouse somewhere nearby. The hotel staff should be able to direct you. The staff at the mobile shop should be able to answer all your questions.

Posted by
5 posts

My iPad is just WIFI and I used it all the time everywhere. No chip, no cellphone, no fees.