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Old Nov 27, 2012, 04:26 PM   #1
shiinx
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Japanese iPad

I will be visiting Japan next month. Currently, I am considering buying an iPad Mini over there, since it is much cheaper. Though, I have some questions first, so that I won't run into any troubles:

First, I read that the Japanese iPad Cellular is sim-locked to the Softbank carrier while in Japan, but that you can use any sim-card when not being in Japan. Is this correct?

Second, can you even buy an iPad Cellular without a contract in Japan?
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 05:13 PM   #2
Ishimaru
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I was there in March when the 3 came out. It *is* locked to SoftBank. You wouldn't be able to use it on anyone other than SoftBank. I made sure of that. Also, if you're thinking in USD, it's actually more expensive to buy an iPad there.
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 02:22 AM   #3
shiinx
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Thank you for the input. I was actually thinking about EUROs - you can save mire than 100 Euros, depending on the model.

Did you actually buy the iPad and try to use back in the USA with another carrier. The articles I found online stated that you are restricted to Softbank in Japan, but when being somewhere else in the world you can use a local carrier (anything else would probably also be pretty expensive for Japanese travellers - unless Softbank has cheap international roaming).
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 11:17 AM   #4
Ishimaru
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Originally Posted by shiinx View Post
Thank you for the input. I was actually thinking about EUROs - you can save mire than 100 Euros, depending on the model.

Did you actually buy the iPad and try to use back in the USA with another carrier. The articles I found online stated that you are restricted to Softbank in Japan, but when being somewhere else in the world you can use a local carrier (anything else would probably also be pretty expensive for Japanese travellers - unless Softbank has cheap international roaming).
I walked into the Ginza store to buy a 16GB 4G version in March. I asked the guy if I could take this back and use it with AT&T, but he said that it was locked to SoftBank and that I would be wasting my money on a 4G version that I couldn't use. I ended up getting the WiFi version instead.
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 11:58 AM   #5
Night Spring
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ishimaru View Post
I walked into the Ginza store to buy a 16GB 4G version in March. I asked the guy if I could take this back and use it with AT&T, but he said that it was locked to SoftBank and that I would be wasting my money on a 4G version that I couldn't use. I ended up getting the WiFi version instead.
How do you know the guy in the Ginza store knows what he was talking about? My mother walked into the main SoftBank store in Kyoto, and asked if they had the iPad mini LTE. They said they had no mini, she has to buy from Apple. I googled, and found that LTE iPad minis go on sale in Japan on Nov 30. My Mom couldn't believe the SoftBank sales people didn't tell her that. Point is, store salespeople don't always know what they are doing.

That said, I don't know what's up with the LTE iPad models. I know that 3G iPads were locked to SoftBank in Japan but you could use them outside Japan with SIMs from overseas carriers.
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 01:11 PM   #6
i7QuadCoreMania
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I bought a Verizon 16gb white mini for this reason, international LTE and sim lock free.

I go to japan about once a year, and heard that this time around the verizon unit is the "International model" from what I understand the Verizon model should be able to connect to LTE networks in Asia and Europe while the AT&T model just USA/Canada. HSPA+ is the same for both units.

I'm an AT&T customer, so I knew I wouldn't be able to get LTE on the verizon model but if HSPA+ worked then I was set! (I also have an ipad 3 LTE)

I got a NANO sim from AT&T and ordered a NANO to MICRO sim adapter, this way I'll be able to swap between HSPA+ on the verizon Mini and LTE on the ipad 3.

to OP, unless you have money sitting in the bank in Japan, Electronics almost always cost more there anyway and with the unfavorable yen to dollar conversion you're getting hit 2x.

funny how apple made prices cheaper this time around in Japan compared to the USA, if you primarily live in the USA get yours here the small difference in price isn't worth it, and you lose your 1 year warranty.
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 03:48 PM   #7
shiinx
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Thank you for the replies so far. I guess, I'll take my chances and buy one in Japan. In the worst case, I will be stuck with an "iPad Mini WIFI with GPS" instead of an "iPad Mini Cellular". But that's actually fine, since a) I will be paying only 20 Euros more than for the base WIFI version here in Europe and b) I only really need the GPS part of the Cellular model. Thus basically, I'll simply pay 20 Euros premium for GPS and that's fine with me. If cellular works back in Europe that's an added bonus.
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 03:56 PM   #8
mrkjsn
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It sounds like more trouble that its worth. Plus you won't be able to use it on the way there. Being stuck in an airplane for hours is when iPads are the most useful for me.
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 05:11 PM   #9
haruhiko
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I can confirm that all iPads with cellular are with sim lock in Japan. Actually it may be the only country in the world that locks iPad.
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 08:14 PM   #10
i7QuadCoreMania
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Originally Posted by haruhiko View Post
I can confirm that all iPads with cellular are with sim lock in Japan. Actually it may be the only country in the world that locks iPad.
I looked on the japanese site and looks like they are offering the mini on Softbank as well as AU but unable to order yet.

Wondering if the AU would be locked as well?
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 07:52 AM   #11
yourmother
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From my experience AU is even more uptight than Softbank so my money is that it would be sim locked.


For the guy coming to Japan, I don't really think you are saving money with the exchange rate the way it is. But if you do buy a Wifi ipad mini from Apple, which I did 2 days ago, there is a campaign from Softbank which gives you a password to access their wifi hotspots for free. All they do is ask you if you live in Japan, but they don't check that u actually are.

EDIT: Sorry I was looking through it again and you have to provide a japanese cell phone number to register so nvm.
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Old Apr 11, 2013, 09:01 PM   #12
efj
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Hi,

Being currently in Japan, I am hesitating to take one. They all mention it is sim locked in the shops.

Have you bought yours? Is it working with international sim?

Thanks on advance,

Eric
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