iPad 2 to launch with integrated SIM, says source

Apple is continuing its efforts to tie down its devices, with a source claiming plans are going ahead to introduce a non-replaceable SIM card in the next-generation iPad, to thwart the unlocking community.

The claims, revealed by an unknown source to The Sunday Telegraph, come as the company's rumoured plans for an iPhone with integrated SIM card are cancelled amid complaints from mobile networks over the practice.

The source goes on to claim that, while the iPhone will retain its user-replaceable SIM card, the next-generation iPad 3G will have its SIM permanently inserted into the device - preventing users from swapping to a different mobile network.

The move follows the original iPad's use of the small-form-factor micro-SIM, which necessitated some careful cutting if buyers wanted to replace the SIM card with one from a different network.

If true, the move would render the efforts of the iOS hacking community to offer an 'unlock' for the device, which bypasses carrier lock-in and allows the use of third-party SIM cards, moot - and potentially open the floodgates for mobile networks to provide contract-locked and subsidised iPads to their customers.

What isn't yet known is whether the move to an integrated SIM card will come as a 'feature' of the iPad 2, or as a quiet change to the existing iPad hardware.