The Telegraph reports today that the iPad will be SIM-locked to Softbank in Japan, meaning that Japanese iPad owners wanting to use the 3G facility will have to sign with the company in order to do so. This makes Japan unique in being the only country where customers will have no choice if they want to use the 3G network on their iPad when it’s launched there on May 28th.
According to the Telegraph, Softbank has been criticized by iPhone owners in Japan for its slow network speed and occasional spells of downtime due to the huge volume of traffic it has to deal with. The Telegraph points out that Softbank is Apple’s sole iPhone partner in Japan, and now with this new exclusive iPad deal, Softbank’s rival network operators such as DoCoMo are understandably bristling at being shut out.
For any Japanese 3G iPad owners planning to travel abroad though, Apple has announced that, despite being locked to Softbank in Japan, Japanese iPads will be compatible with any international network outside of Japan, enabling Japanese owners to use cheap local MicroSIMS elsewhere.
By Maura Sutton, iPadForums.net