Japanese iPads will be SIM-locked to Softbank Mobile

iPad_Softbank

Computerworld is reporting that Apple, Inc. is reneging on the initial claim that “all the iPad 3G models are unlocked,” as the Cupertino company will be SIM-locking the Japanese version of the iPad 3G to WCDMA carrier Softbank Mobile. Softbank, currently the exclusive vendor of iPhones in The Land of the Rising Sun, will purportedly be selling the iPad 3G subsidized with a price tag comparable to other unlocked international versions of the device. In Japan, the practice of SIM-locking is far more commonplace — and stringent — than here in the States. Carriers are not required to, and therefore don’t, offer unlock codes to their customers and third-party unlocking services are, for the most part, non-existent. Apple’s decision to reverse course in the eleventh hour is not likely to win over the hearts and minds of potential iPad 3G buyers in Japan still on the fence — especially those who prefer a rival WCDMA network such as NTT DoCoMo.  The iPad 3G is scheduled to go on sale in Japan on May 28th.

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