Japanese iPad to be SIM-Locked for Softbank

(This article was originally posted in Japanese at 12:24 May 10, 2010.)

Apple's iPad is coming out in Japan on May 28 and Apple and Softbank started to accept reservation today. and Apple and Softbank started to accept reservation today. Since the original version of iPad is unlocked, fans have been expecting that it will be SIM-free too in Japan. But, unfortunately, this awaited device is confirmed to be SIM-locked and to be only used with Softbank SIM.

Read on for detail.

We confirmed on Apple's customer support that 3G iPad will be provided only with Softbank SIM for now and is SIM-locked so you can not use other operators's SIM.

NTT Docomo has been said to provide Micro SIM card for Japanese iPad users, but this news will impede the attempt. Customer support person also noted that if Docomo accepts contract with Apple to be an iPad reseller, Apple will agree to release unlocked device for Docomo.

Almost all of cell phone handset sold in Japan is SIM locked and this news is nothing strange for ordinary cell phone users in Japan. But it's quite a sad news for smartphone fans expectiong to use iPad on Docomo network, which is considered to be the widest and most stable network among Japanese cell phone operators.

There's no official comment from Docomo for now. There seems to be 2 alternatives for them; To make a contract with Apple, or to update their 3G network to improve interchangeability with existing unlocked smartphones provided only in overseas.

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in Posted by darkhorse_log