Pre-orders for the iPad began earlier today in Japan. What began as a bout of excitement turned sour as purchasers realized that unlike the rest of the world, iPads in Japan shall be SIM-locked. That is, iPad users may not be able to move away from Apple’s carrier partner, Softbank Mobile to another carrier.
No explanation has been offered by Apple as yet on why the company had chosen to SIM-lock the Japanese iPads. Softbank is notorious for its slow network in a country that is used to high speed internet infrastructure. Also, like AT&T in the US, Softbank Mobile does not offer tethering for iPhone users and these are possibly reasons why Apple’s decision to SIM-lock the Japanese iPad 3G units has been followed by dissent in Japan.[via PC World]