Japan: iPad 3G compatible only with Softbank cards – Macitynet.it
In January when Steve Jobs announced the iPads, Steve Jobs said among other things that "all iPad 3G models will be free of blockages". Instead, apparently for Japan this is not the case. The carrier Softbank, which distributes the iPhone 3GS exclusively, has in fact confirmed the presence of a block on the SIM for products sold in that country, making it practically impossible to use them with a SIM from another country unless carrying out a risky procedure unlocking device.
The decision is not commented on by Apple USA or by the Japanese branch, but the protest of many Japanese users in these hours is emerging on the net, especially via Twitter. Disappointment is the dominant feeling, also because Softbank is accused of having a not particularly performing 3G network (compared to those of NTT DoCoMo and other operators of that technology).
The SIM lock is a common practice in Japan as it is in the Anglo-Saxon countries and serves to allow operators to sell the appliances at reduced prices with a constraint with an average duration of one or two years to recover the investment with interest. In the case of iPad, however, apparently not only will there be a constraint, but there will be no subsidy plan. The iPads will simply be sold exclusively with Softbank Mobile for the 3G model.