Apple SIM-locks iPad Tablet In Japan

Apple has announced that it will SIMlock its iPad 3G making it exclusive for its local partner, Softbank Mobile and did not say what was the motivation behind the move.

Japan will be the only country where the popular tablet device will be SIM locked; earlier this year, an enthused Steve Jobs said that all iPad 3G would be unrestricted and unlocked.

The Japanese iPad will be released on the 28th of May as well as six other territories. Many prospective Japanese customers are fuming at the idea of being stuck with one mobile network.

Like AT&T, Apple's exclusive partner in the US, Softbank Mobile has been criticised in the past for a slow data network which ironically could have been caused by a significant upsurge in the number of data-hungry iPhone handsets.

Still, it appears rather arbitrary and uncommon for Apple to apply restrictions on certain countries without any explanation. Japanese politicians have already threatening to intervene in the carrier-subsidisation process and ban it completely.

The iPad is scheduled to be released in the UK by the end of the month but those who will pre-order will face a wait of an additional 10 days.