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The iPad drama continues in Japan.

Since Apple’s CEO promised at launch that the device would be SIM free, long time contributor to our community, Doug Lerner, admittedly quite upset by the situation like many others, took the initiative to send Steve Jobs an email.

And, in one of these nice moments when Steve answers, Doug got this:

Actually, the version of iPad sold in Japan does accept international SIMs.

Here’s Doug original email:

Hi. In the U.S. iPad 3Gs are cool. They are SIM-unlocked, which is great. And the unlimited no-committment AT&T contracts are convenient.

But in Japan we won’t have the option to buy an internationally usable iPad 3G. SoftBank has been given exclusive rights to sell the iPhone 3G, and the unlimited data option at about $35/month requires committing to a 2-year contract. There aren’t any no-commitment unlimited contracts like the $30 AT&T plan.

And what’s worse, unlike the U.S. version, the iPad 3G sold will be SIM-locked! So we can’t get an AT&T microSIM to use during travel in the U.S.!

The reverse is also true. If you are coming from the U.S. to Japan, you can’t get a microSIM card from SoftBank to use your iPad 3G here.

The iPad 3G could be such a cool, internationally usable device. Why isn’t Apple letting it be open in Japan like it is in the U.S.?


Doug Lerner,

Now look at these two screenshots taken from the official Apple website, more specifically from the iPad FAQ on the Japanese online store:

One is from yesterday. One from this morning. Notice anything different? Yes, Apple Japan does now explicitly states that you cannot use a micro SIM obtained from another country for your iPad.

Kinda contradicts what Steve Jobs just sent by email, no?

What a nice drama. We’ve got Steve Jobs relieving the Japanese iPad users willing to travel and avoid data roaming charges contradicted by a last minute edit on the official iPad FAQ.

Sit down and watch, I’m pretty sure there will be more to that story.

Follow our complete iPad landing in Japan coverage

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