SoftBank Mobile gained exclusive rights for 3G iPad in Japan – taking orders now and shipping units on May 28th – clips from several sources here: http://bit.ly/9RRby9
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.
“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.”
Softbank Mobile Corp. said Saturday it will start selling Apple Inc.’s iPad tablet computer in Japan on May 28 under a partnership with the U.S. firm.
A basic model with Wi-Fi wireless Internet access is priced at ¥48,960 and a model that can use both Wi-Fi and 3G mobile network service costs ¥58,320. A monthly network usage fee of ¥3,225 is necessary for the 3G model under a two-year contract.
Softbank Mobile will begin taking iPad orders from Monday through some of its own outlets and consumer electronics retailers. It will also be available at Apple’s retail outlets in Japan.
Softbank Mobile’s announcement came after Apple said Friday that the iPad will be available in Japan and eight other nations including Australia, Germany and Italy on May 28.
NTT DoCoMo Inc., Japan’s largest mobile-phone operator, said it abandoned plans to offer wireless service for Apple Inc.’s iPad tablet computer in the country after rival Softbank Corp. entered an exclusive deal.
DoCoMo spokesman Shinjiro Minami confirmed the decision by telephone today. The Tokyo-based carrier’s President Ryuji Yamada last month said the company is interested in selling iPad users a Subscriber Identity Module, or SIM card, a chip that allows them to connect to DoCoMo’s network.