I had a real thrill recently — and not the kind you like to get. My wife welcomed me to the day with "My iPad Air isn’t working right."
She said that, when she opened the iPad, it had an error message saying "No SIM Card Installed."
When I looked at it, I noticed that the top left corner, where it would display signal strength and AT&T (we’re on the AT&T network) said, instead, No SIM.
Fortunately, it was Saturday morning, so I was able to take some time to try to resolve the problem. The first try was simply to power-off the iPad Air, and then to turn it back on. No joy. Same error message.
My plan was to take the unit to the AT&T store as my first choice, then to the Apple Store if I need to for warranty work.
First step was to back up the unit. First, we did a backup of HandBase — this is one of the apps that I consider critical. Unfortunately, it syncs via a wireless connection, not via iTunes. Then we did a sync to the iCloud (which is only a sync of some typical iPhone apps like Contacts and Calendar) to get quickly operational in case Apple swapped the unit for another one. Finally, we did a backup to my wife’s computer, which covered everything else.
By the time I had finished this process, I decided that there was no need to go to the AT&T store — the Apple store would be our destination.
I remembered that you can make a reservation for service at the Apple Store, rather than just showing up and getting on the list. So, I went to Apple.com to get my reservation.
What a challenge!
One would think that the correct selection on the Apple.com menu would be Support. No, that’s not it.
The right selection is Store. When you get to the Store page on Apple.com, it seems focused on selling Apple goods to us. Well, it is. But, in the bottom right hand corner, there are some links under Apple Retail Store.
The link I needed was Genius Bar. It’s one of those links that, if you don’t know the Apple lingo, you’re never going to find it.
On the Genius Bar page, there’s a simple description of the process, and a link to make a reservation. When I clicked that, I got a page where I could pick the store for my Genius Bar Reservation. (I could also make an appointment for a Workshop, but that wasn’t my goal.)
After selecting the state, individual store, and Genius Bar, I clicked Next and found the function I really wanted — well hidden from most users.
I could make the reservation for a repair appointment. More helpfully, there was a link that would let me "Save a trip to the store.". In other words — a support option that would let me talk to someone via phone, chat, or email.
That quickly solved the problem.
I needed to eject the little tray that held the SIM card, wipe the card carefully, and reinsert the SIM card and its supporting tray.
I didn’t even need to power off first. This solved the problem, with no trip to the Apple Store necessary.
While my problem was specific to an iPad Air, the same type problme could easily occur with an iPhone, or any other type of smartphone or tablet that has a data service. So, this solution could come in handy for you one day.