iPad mini iPad Mini: What is the carrier situation this time around?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Cathode, Oct 31, 2012.

  1. Cathode macrumors regular


    Aug 5, 2008
    Flagstaff, AZ
    I've just recently moved to Japan where I'll be located for the next several months. Like the United States, Japan is very serious when it comes to which carriers you can use with what. Additionally, carriers in Japan do not offer unlocking for any circumstance (much like AT&T until recently).

    I've always been a huge fan of staying connected. I have a iPhone and iPad 3 with cellular service. The iPad was purchased a few months before I came and I feel like I literally wasted the extra money because Japan will not provide a SIM for it.

    I'm going to purchase the new iPad Mini but have serious reservations about getting the cellular model this time around. I won't be in Japan for probably more than the next six months, so if I buy a unsubsidized iPad mini and it's carrier (SIM) locked to SoftBank or Au I will be in the same situation all over again. I plan to visit the Americas and Europe later next year and I want an actual carrier unlocked device where I can simply insert my local SIM and go on with my day. I don't necessarily care about if I get full LTE speeds. I just need data.

    Searching Google, most of the carrier related talk for iPads goes back to the original one. I can't seem to find any new relevant information. This could be due to the fact that the iPad Mini obviously isn't released yet. But, I want to make an informed purchase.

    So, do any of you know anything about this? It seems each Apple Store (Japan, Norway and America) all have different verbiage regarding how you can use cellular. But it does not explicitly state it's unlocked from what I can see.

    TLDR: If I buy a iPad Mini (cellular model) in Japan, is it carrier unlocked internationally?

    Update: I called Apple in Japan and the English speaking sales rep said he believes it is unlocked. Apparently, you literally take your iPad Mini to either Softbank or Au and they provide a SIM and activate service on the spot.

    1. This is a sales rep, who might not have factual knowledge of it being carrier locked or unlocked.
    2. Even if it is unlocked out-of-the-box, could Softbank or Au lock it once you sign up for pre-paid service?
  2. grandeabc macrumors member


    Sep 15, 2007

    I'm looking for this answer as well: If I buy a iPad Mini (cellular model) in Japan, is it carrier unlocked internationally?
  3. skeleb macrumors member

    Jan 26, 2011
    Any new info regarding this? I'm visiting Japan soon and would like to buy the iPad mini LTE model from there if it's unlocked internationally.
  4. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    According to the Apple Japan website, you can take the iPad (both retina and mini) anywhere in the world, insert a compatible local SIM, and be connected to the Internet -- so yeah, it sounds like they are unlocked.
  5. skeleb macrumors member

    Jan 26, 2011
    Sounds great. Now I just have hope that Apple sells the Cellular models to foreigners who do not take a data service from the carrier.

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