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Using iPad/iPhone internationally.

1320 Views 9 Replies Latest reply: Oct 15, 2011 11:24 PM by Dah•veed RSS
CORich83 Calculating status...
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Oct 11, 2011 3:26 PM

I am an active duty US military member stationed in Japan.  I have an iPhone 4 with Softbank, who is the carrier of most Apple 3G units in an about the area.  I am looking into upgrading my iPad to iPad 2 WiFi + 3G, however I don't want to purchase it in Japan with the risk of buying a Softbank "locked" iPad as with the iPhone.  I am visiting the states come December, and need a little guidance with American standards since I have been away.

 

If I buy an iPad 2 at an Apple store in the US, is it free from carrier?  I see you can buy it online with AT&T, and Verizon, but prefer to have no requirement to either carrier so that I may buy a SIM here in Japan, and any other place I may be stationed in the next two years (possibly Italy, Spain, Germany, UK, Greece, Belgium, or Switzerland) and use it without restriction.  I also want to use it when I come to the US for leave (being that all aforementioned locations will have SIMs purchasable/plans).  As I have understood too, Japan uses different band signal than most of the rest of the world, so if that is an issue, will the iPad 2 support use on US and European cellular bandwidths? I am okay with no Japan support in that case.

 

I would call the Apple store, but can't make calls for the next couple of weeks.

 

Just so confused with all this "locked", "unlocked" this-and-that in an international level.  Really just need someone to say... "you need iPad to work in US, Europe and Asia?  Here is where to buy it."

 

Thanks all!

iPad, iOS 4.3.2
  • Dah•veed Level 7 Level 7 (29,500 points)
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    Oct 11, 2011 5:33 PM (in response to CORich83)

    iPads sold world-wide for 3G networks, such as the AT&T model in the US, are not locked as some iPhones are. You should be safe buying the iPad in Japan. It should not be locked to a carrier.

    '09 Mac mini, '06 iMac, iPad 2, Mac OS X (10.7.1), iOS (4.3.5) Mac fanboy since 1984!
  • Dah•veed Level 7 Level 7 (29,500 points)
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    Oct 12, 2011 6:33 AM (in response to CORich83)

    They are designed to run on a GSM network, such as AT&T's, they are not locked to AT&T and they have a changeable microSIM. The Verizon model is designed to only run on a CDMA network, has no microSIM and is locked to Verizon.

    '09 Mac mini, '06 iMac, iPad 2, Mac OS X (10.7.1), iOS (4.3.5) Mac fanboy since 1984!
  • steeleblue Level 1 Level 1 (90 points)
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    Oct 12, 2011 6:39 AM (in response to CORich83)

    I seem to remember reading somewhere that the iPads in Japan were carrier locked so check to be sure if you buy there. 

     

    The ones here in the states are labeled as 'ATT' and 'Verizon' because the ATT version works on ATT bands (which are GSM and have a sim card) and Verizon works on their CDMA bands and have no sim.  The majority of countries use GSM rather than CDMA.  Since there is no "world" iPad I suggest you get the ATT version.  You can buy one without a sim and it won't be locked.  The main issue you may run into is finding a micro-sim.  However, you can cut them down to fit.  Just google it.  Then you just get the sim and data plan wherever you are stationed.

     

    And thanks for your service.  Sometimes we all forget the sacrifices our military makes.

  • Dah•veed Level 7 Level 7 (29,500 points)
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    Oct 12, 2011 6:57 AM (in response to steeleblue)
    I seem to remember reading somewhere....

     

    Spreading rumor is not a good idea, 'tis better to Goggle and not set folks off on the wrong course with gosip. The iPads sold in Japan are not locked. There is only one carrier in Japan that has a data plan for the iPad.

     

    http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2010/05/15/apple-clarifies-japanese-ipad-sim-lock-qu estion/

    '09 Mac mini, '06 iMac, iPad 2, Mac OS X (10.7.1), iOS (4.3.5) Mac fanboy since 1984!
  • steeleblue Level 1 Level 1 (90 points)
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    Oct 12, 2011 7:22 AM (in response to Dah•veed)

    I was not spreading a rumor.  I was on a forum and someone said the iPad he bought in Japan was carrier locked.  All I did was suggest to the OP that he verify just in case.  Please read my post again.

  • Dah•veed Level 7 Level 7 (29,500 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 15, 2011 11:24 PM (in response to CORich83)

    I guess that we shall have to have different opinions on the matter. The reason that folks in Japan eroneously believe that Softbank iPads are locked is because it is the only Japanese telecom selling hte iPad. The iPhones are locked so they assume the iPads are also. Apple says that they are not.

     

    You are welcome for the assistance.

    '09 Mac mini, '06 iMac, iPad 2, Mac OS X (10.7.2), iOS (5) Mac fanboy since 1984!

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