All iPads Does LTE iPads from Japan work outside Japan?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by zhaf, Nov 14, 2013.

  1. zhaf macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2012
    #1
    This might be a far stretch to ask here. Are there anyone here from Japan or owns a Japanese LTE apple product?
    If so do you by any chance know if they work outside Japan? The tech specs for the ipads and iphones are the same on the product pages. So I'm hoping that they will work outside Japan.

    I'm going to travel to Japan during December and the iPads are significantly more cheaper there than where I'm from (Sweden). So I'm hoping I could get one there, preferably a LTE model. If they work outside of Japan that is.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. windowpain macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #2
    Hello.

    Unfortunately I'm pretty sure the LTE models are only available on contract.. So it may be difficult to get one. ( I had a 3G ipad1 and that was the same.)

    The wifi only ones though you should be able to pick up in a store..
     
  3. zhaf thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 18, 2012
    #3
    thanks for the reply. I guess the wifi only one will have to do. :)
     
  4. discostick macrumors newbie

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    Nov 8, 2013
    #4
    Aren't all ipads sold unlocked? Maybe someone in Japan can help? Or try to email Apple Japan to find out.
     
  5. cfs macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 8, 2008
    #5
    I'm pretty confident that if you buy an LTE in Japan it will be carrier locked while in Japan but if you travel overseas you will be able to stick a SIM in it. However, as a poster mentioned, LTE iPads in Japan can only be purchased through a cell provider with a contract. It is not sold in store.
     
  6. discostick macrumors newbie

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    Nov 8, 2013
    #6
    If it's carrier locked then I think it won't work overseas with an overseas sim card.
     
  7. wib macrumors member

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    Nov 16, 2013
    #7
    Wifi only's your best bet...

    The cellular models may technically work on any network, but you will find it virtually impossible to get one without a contract.

    The contracts are usually for 2 years and you need to prove residence to get one - I'm sure you don't want that just for a short trip.

    If you don't mind wifi only, they are easy to buy - no need for a contract.

    - I read somewhere that iPads were even cheaper in Hong Kong, if you fancy a side trip...

    Happy shopping!
     
  8. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

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    Jul 17, 2008
    #8
    No, Japan's iPads have this weird thing going where they are somehow carrier locked so they can't be used with other Japanese carriers, but can work with overseas carriers.
     
  9. discostick macrumors newbie

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    Nov 8, 2013
    #9
    Oh that's good to know because I am trying to decide if I should buy the rMini LTE in HK (where I work) or Osaka (where my J-wife lives).
     
  10. Ryox macrumors 6502a

    Ryox

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #10
    on amazon and rakuten you can find grey imports of unlocked LTE models from Hong Kong, but from inside Japan, they are sim locked, and impossible to get without a contract
     
  11. discostick macrumors newbie

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    Nov 8, 2013
    #11
    I haven't looked into the contract for iPads in Japan due to their complicated plans and also lack of Japanese language. If by signing up on contract (through my wife) you get a cheaper or free iPad, plus if it's cheaper than the b-mobile data only SIM cards, then it might be worth it. Otherwise, I'll probably get one on contract in HK and then tether to my japanese iPhone instead (not sure if it's even allowed by SoftBank/Docomo).
     
  12. haruhiko macrumors 68040

    haruhiko

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    Sep 29, 2009
    #12
    I think you should get it in Hong Kong since there is no sales tax.
     
  13. discostick macrumors newbie

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    Nov 8, 2013
    #13
    Hi Haruhiko, do you know if it's possible to get just the postpaid sim card from SoftBank or Docomo without buying the Japanese iPad from them? My wife says no but I am pretty sure she hasn't looked into it in detail as we are not living in Japan at the moment.

    Sorry to the OP for hijacking your post.
     
  14. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

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    Jul 17, 2008
    #14
    I'm pretty sure you can't. My mom lives in Japan, and she uses cellular iPads. When we were discussing the possibility of what I might do with my older iPads, she said she couldn't use them because Japanese carriers wouldn't let her activate or give her SIM to use in iPads she didn't buy from her carrier.
     
  15. discostick macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2013
    #15
    Thanks for the info Night Spring. Looks like buying the LTE iPad in HK and tether to the Japanese iPhone when in Japan is the best option. I did read somewhere that some carriers don't allow tethering. The Japanese telcos really need to open up their services for non-residents/tourists. Coupled with the lack of wifi hotspots, there are gonna be many upset tourists who can't use their iPads except offline when they host the Olympics!
     
  16. haruhiko macrumors 68040

    haruhiko

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2009
    #16
    I remember there was a plan few years ago in NTT docomo (well, that's before they have the iPhone, so now I'm not really sure) that allowed people to bring unlocked iPhone to their network, there was even a website telling people how to set the APN. But my friend who subscribed to this plan with his iPhone 4 bought from Hong Kong already had a phone purchased from NTT docomo at that time so I'm not sure if this is a true "SIM only" plan or just a simple tutorial for teaching people how to make their iPhones work with their current plan.

    But I don't know for the cellular iPad.
     
  17. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    #17
    Oh, yes, the Olumpics! If that doesn't shake them out of their island mentality, I don't know what will!

    I would love to be able to freely pass on my older iPads to my mom or to my other friends / relatives in Japan, and have them be able to use their cellular functions. Right now, all my old iPads I've passed on to people in Japan are being used as wifi only devices. :(
     
  18. zhaf thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2012
    #18
    No problem for hijacking... interesting discussions. I heard that South Korea is have the same uptight policies for their cell network.

    Seems like getting a of contract LTE ipad is pretty difficult at this point. I guess the wifi only model will have to do.
     
  19. discostick macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2013
    #19
    Maybe instead of flying direct, u can stopover in Singapore or HK. You can get the sales tax back at the airport in Changi and HK is also probably better deal than Japan.
     

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