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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.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.