iPad 3G is SIM-locked to Softbank Mobile network in Japan

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Despite Apple's claims that the iPad would ship unlocked, allowing owners of the 3G model to access any compatible wireless data network they might choose, the device is locked to carrier Softbank Mobile in Japan.



Apple confirmed on Monday to IDG News Service that the iPad will ship locked in Japan. That's a change from January, when the iPad was first unveiled and Apple co-founder Steve Jobs said that the device would be unlocked internationally, allowing customers to choose their carrier.



"All Japanese models will be SIM-locked to Softbank Mobile, Apple's iPhone partner in Japan, Apple said late Monday," the report said. "The company confirmed the presence of a SIM lock but couldn't immediately explain why it was enforcing the restriction in Japan."



The report noted that SIM locking is common in Japan, where unlocking is not offered by network operators. It also said the iPad price is comparable with other countries, suggesting the price of the touchscreen device is not subsidized by Softbank in Japan.



Japan is one of nine countries that will receive the iPad -- both the Wi-Fi -only and 3G-capable models -- on May 28. Apple has just begun accepting preorders. As with the U.S. launch, preorders of the iPad are limited to two per customer.



The iPad uses a micro-SIM card measuring 12mm x 15mm, which is under half the size of a standard SIM card as found in the iPhone 3GS. It is possible to cut down a full-size SIM card to turn it into a micro-SIM.



In the U.S., iPad data plans are available through AT&T, at $15 per month for 250MB of data, and $30 per month for unlimited access. Though the device is unlocked stateside, the iPad's internal 3G radios are only compatible with AT&T's high-speed data network in the U.S., leaving customers who wish to use the device on T-Mobile's network relegated to slower EDGE speeds.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 87
    bergermeisterbergermeister Posts: 6,784member
    Apple in Japan... pathetic. If I didn't absolutely love their devices, they would have lost me as a customer years ago for the way they operate here.
  • Reply 2 of 87
    elmcitywebelmcityweb Posts: 109member
    I wonder how Apple will try to weasel out of this one.
  • Reply 3 of 87
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ElmCityWeb View Post


    I wonder how Apple will try to weasel out of this one.



    Why is it that people have to come out on attack as soon as there's ANY news about Apple?



    Presumably, at the time that he made the announcement, Jobs believed it to be true. Something happened in the next 3 months to change that. $hit happens.
  • Reply 4 of 87
    I wonder if there is some sort of regulatory requirement for locking in Japan?



    Otherwise, I can't figure out what Apples motivation would be.
  • Reply 5 of 87
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 20,225member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by swtchdtomak View Post


    I wonder if there is some sort of regulatory requirement for locking in Japan?



    Otherwise, I can't figure out what Apples motivation would be.



    What does this have to do with Apple? It is Softbank.
  • Reply 6 of 87
    jsonjson Posts: 54member
    Any information about the policies in other countries? We know about the US and what Steve said. We have now heard about what is supposed to be Softbanks policy, but what about other countries?



    For instance, I would be interested to know if Swisscom (or other Swiss operators) will have any restrictions?
  • Reply 7 of 87
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post


    Apple in Japan... pathetic. If I didn't absolutely love their devices, they would have lost me as a customer years ago for the way they operate here.



    This iPad rubbish is making me more and more SICK.
  • Reply 8 of 87
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by swtchdtomak View Post


    I wonder if there is some sort of regulatory requirement for locking in Japan? Otherwise, I can't figure out what Apples motivation would be.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    What does this have to do with Apple? It is Softbank.



    Well it's two sides of the same coin. A mobile device manufacturer in a country may or may not choose to lock their device. A telco distributing mobile devices may or may not have them locked. The telco-regulatory-authority in a country may or may not allow locking. It's a morass of, well, it's a morass.



    At least in several major countries, SIM locking devices is illegal. There could be loopholes.



    F**K THIS SIMLOCK BULLS**T MAN. Hasn't Apple had enough of this nonsense? Still going through this? MicroSIM AND SIMLOCKED as well? Geez. You make an iPad, Apple, just sell the bloody thing! Just sell it! And people are buying it! What's the problem Apple? These Telcos made you an offer you couldn't refuse?



    Damn, I could very well be the next Teckstud on this forum.
  • Reply 9 of 87
    jerseymacjerseymac Posts: 408member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    Why is it that people have to come out on attack as soon as there's ANY news about Apple?



    Presumably, at the time that he made the announcement, Jobs believed it to be true. Something happened in the next 3 months to change that. $hit happens.



    Apple should be criticized when they do something wrong, and this is wrong. Call it what it is: a corporate sellout. You may like what it does for your stock, but locking devices and dictatating whom people do business with is bad for consumers.
  • Reply 10 of 87
    bergermeisterbergermeister Posts: 6,784member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by swtchdtomak View Post


    I wonder if there is some sort of regulatory requirement for locking in Japan?



    Otherwise, I can't figure out what Apples motivation would be.





    The government has been debating making it illegal for a while. This would have been the perfect chance for Apple to "Think Different" and lead the charge against locking here. Instead, they played the game. SoftBank is laughing all the way to the bank here, but that seems to be what both companies are after: money at any expense (such as happy customers).
  • Reply 11 of 87
    bergermeisterbergermeister Posts: 6,784member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post


    This iPad rubbish is making me more and more SICK.



    I'm wondering when the last straw will be played and I will give up on Apple altogether. Dealing with them here in Japan is the definition of stressful. My current systems will last me another two years at least (desktop is now two years old), so I will likely hold off for a while. I used to upgrade every two years, but I no longer want to feed Apple sales and drive up their stock.



    I also think that Apple is risking this move in Japan because they think the Japanese will just grin and bear it. Hopefully, enough people will voice their frustration on this to bring about a change.
  • Reply 12 of 87
    onhkaonhka Posts: 1,025member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    ?SIM locking is common in Japan, where unlocking is not offered by network operators.



    And that is Apple's fault?



    Quote:

    Pressure is building to halt the practice of locking. The government has suggested it may ban it. Carriers have reacted with opposition to the proposal, arguing that locking enables them to subsidize the cost of cell phones.



    http://www.pcworld.com/businesscente...ese_ipads.html



    It would appear that the issue is amongst the carriers, government and the people of Japan. For Apple to try to dictate their terms would be suicidal. Being successful in Japan is difficult enough for foreign companies.



    Perhaps a little studying on international affairs are in order for many here. Unfortunately, I doubt most are not capable of understanding the complexities.
  • Reply 13 of 87
    bergermeisterbergermeister Posts: 6,784member
    What is very interesting about this is Apple Japan sucks. With the iPad, Apple chose not to go through Apple Japan, instead using SoftBank (who then sends stock to the Apple stores) who is proving to be just as bad as Apple Japan. Thing is, Apple looks bad for not controlling either entity. As a customer in Japan, that sucks.
  • Reply 14 of 87
    rco3rco3 Posts: 76member
    Apple's strategy for dominating the computing market starts by identifying what the customer wants, making sure the customer can't have it, and doubling the cost of the device. Then they go out and radiate mind-control fields, located in the magneto-gravitic spectrum, which they have secretly developed in their labs in East Timor and which cause otherwise normal and rational human beings to donate all of their money to the Buy Steve Jobs A New Adam's Apple fund in exchange for a Apple-logo'd plastic bag and whatever leftover PCBs and recycled LCD monitors they can cram into a laptop-sized enclosure. It's amazing how many people not only buy these things, but how many of them pretend to be happy with them so that their neighbors don't mock them. Fortunately, we have folks posting the TRUTH here on AI. Thanks, guys.



    You can see the signs: Apple pretends that it's AT&T who won't allow tethering, but we all know that if Apple wanted it, they'd just go take tethering away from RIM and make AT&T do it. No, Apple doesn't WANT you to actually use your hardware. They want your money once and ONLY once, and then they want to find some other sucker to fleece. That's why Apple has the best customer satisfaction in the industry, why Apple consistently owns the high-value laptop and desktop market, and why no other vendor currently stands a chance of sniffing 25% market share in portable music devices - because Apple is so anti-consumer and makes crap that no one really wants. Really. I promise.



    You people with your "waagh, Apple doesn't rub my tummy and make me warm milk before I go to sleep at night" rants about how a sim-locked iPad suddenly represents the Fall of Western Civilization are just ridiculous. If you really think that this is the last straw and you can't ever buy another Apple product again, GOOD! Stop buying Apple. And stop posting on AppleInsider while you're at it, since you no longer have any interest in Apple. Just take the whining back to Mommy where it belongs. I'm tired of hearing it.



    P.S. I'm telling Steve on you. Both of you. You're gonna be in trouble.
  • Reply 15 of 87
    phone-ui-guyphone-ui-guy Posts: 1,019member
    Before we run out to lynch Apple... Has anyone reviewed the iPad launch keynote to see if the "unlocked" was meant to apply only to the US version? It is possible that it was specifically meant to be about the US version and the agreement with AT&T. It may as well be locked with the major competitors running a different network technology.
  • Reply 16 of 87
    williamgwilliamg Posts: 322member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post


    I used to upgrade every two years, but I no longer want to feed Apple sales and drive up their stock.



    .





    Apple is DOOMED!
  • Reply 17 of 87
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,653member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post


    Damn, I could very well be the next Teckstud on this forum.



    Could be?
  • Reply 18 of 87
    bergermeisterbergermeister Posts: 6,784member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RCO3 View Post


    You people with your "waagh, Apple doesn't rub my tummy and make me warm milk before I go to sleep at night" rants about how a sim-locked iPad suddenly represents the Fall of Western Civilization are just ridiculous. If you really think that this is the last straw and you can't ever buy another Apple product again, GOOD! Stop buying Apple. And stop posting on AppleInsider while you're at it, since you no longer have any interest in Apple. Just take the whining back to Mommy where it belongs. I'm tired of hearing it.




    Having a nice day?



    You obviously haven't bothered reading my posts that well. Welcome to my ignore list.
  • Reply 19 of 87
    bergermeisterbergermeister Posts: 6,784member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by WilliamG View Post


    Apple is DOOMED!



    You don't know how many of their devices I've bought, currently own, or suggested others to buy. I still love their devices, it's the sales and support here in Japan that are tough to deal with. If they would fix a few things, they would sell tons more and then make more money and be able to make better products that we would all buy and then...
  • Reply 20 of 87
    bergermeisterbergermeister Posts: 6,784member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    What does this have to do with Apple? It is Softbank.



    Actually it's both: Apple signed a contract with SoftBank that lets them market the iPad in a certain way. Sure, it is SoftBank making the plans, but I would have thought (hoped) Apple could have pulled a little more.



    Lots of things are afoot right now here in Japan with Apple, lots of restructuring. They totally bypassed Apple Japan with the iPad (in that it is imported by SoftBank). They have completely eliminated hundreds and probably thousands of retail outlets nationwide in the past month. Some thing is really going on, and I have said most of the way that, while frustrating for the customers (and the shops), my hope is that Apple is finally trying to clean up the mess that is Apple Japan. I have my doubts but I am hopeful.
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