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  • NTT DoCoMo To Sell iPad SIM Cards?


    If you've read the Daily Yomiuri Online lately (and who hasn't), then perhaps you've been introduced to the speculation.

    We at ModMyi, however, did a little poking around and it seems that all sources point to a forthcoming reality that NTT Docomo Inc. may begin selling SIM cards for Apple's new iPad tablet computer. This, of course, will create a situation in Japan where such cards can be interchangeably placed between different carriers' cell phones.

    Pretty cool, huh?

    A subscriber identity module card, commonly known as a SIM card, is a small electronic card that records a cell phone subscriber's phone number and the details of their subscription. A cell phone will not work until a SIM card is inserted, and
    cell phones in Japan are SIM-locked, which means their SIM cards cannot be used in handsets sold by different carriers.
    Japan will be introduced to the iPad model with wireless capability late next month, while the 3G model will turn up closer to June. But according to said "sources," the 3G model will be SIM-lock free. Consequently, if Docomo moves ahead with selling SIM cards for the iPad, a landmark will be set.

    According to the Wireless Federation:

    With this development, Japan will eventually come in line with other countries, where such cards can be switched freely between different carriers’ cell phones. In Japan, cell phones are SIM-locked which means their SIM cards cannot be used in handsets sold by different carriers.
    It should be noted, however, that iPad SIM cards are roughly half the size of a typical SIM card for cell phones used in Japan.

    What does that mean? No compatibility, my friends. Nonetheless, it's something we iPhone users will have to adjust to as well.
    The introduction of micro SIMs will, indeed, preclude iPhone subscribers from simply popping their current SIM into Apple's new iPad.

    Image via Apple
    This article was originally published in forum thread: NTT DoCoMo To Sell iPad SIM Cards? started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 15 Comments
    1. mikerlx's Avatar
      mikerlx -
      First, I can see jailbroken ipads on the horizon.
    1. rhekt's Avatar
      rhekt -
      ^ thats a given. i remember seeing micro media card adapters in the past. somehow those might come into play.[or not. i might be thinking this backwards]
    1. hackint0uch's Avatar
      hackint0uch -
      One of iPad's accessories is a dock connector to camera (I think SD card) for transfering photos. (Apple - iPad - Technical specifications and accessories for iPad.)
    1. robbpell's Avatar
      robbpell -
      Quote Originally Posted by Messany View Post

      What does that mean? No compatibility, my friends. Nonetheless, it's something we iPhone users will have to adjust to as well.
      The introduction of micro SIMs will, indeed, preclude iPhone subscribers from simply popping their current SIM into Apple's new iPad.

      Image via Apple
      adapter card anyone? gonna be a good market for it soon!
    1. kraziebone's Avatar
      kraziebone -
      I guess applications like MyWi will have to be sufficient. That's fine with me, I would rather use mywi than have to switch sim cards back and forth. I wish the ipad had a usb port so I could also tether the internet. That way my phone would be charging simultaneously.
    1. Channan's Avatar
      Channan -
      I just feel the iPad will screw everything up. Make jailbreaking worse, new apps, etc. Maybe I'm just being too negative.
    1. LOCOPAPI's Avatar
      LOCOPAPI -
      Are you sure you need iBuddy? Is it because you are iLonely? or iConfused? either way you sound like you need a PAD.

      JLMAO
    1. knguyen's Avatar
      knguyen -
      A friend of mine raised an interesting idea. He wants to use iPad's micro sim in the iPhone to get the data only plan. You guys think this is possible?
    1. shimapan's Avatar
      shimapan -
      It is important to note that there is still far from any sort of compatibility in the Japanese telecom industry.

      * au/KDDI is on CDMA (with switched bands) and a "R-UIM", physically identical to normal USIM's but for au only. So, au phones cannot be used on UMTS networks nor on other CDMA2000 networks that use ESN to identify the phone, as the phone generates temporary ESN's tied to the R-UIM for roaming purposes.

      * Most of Japanese mobile phone subscribers do not use SMS/MMS and instead use email, which had been implemented for a very long time and circumvents some of the limitations associated with SMS - 70 character(Unicode) limit. Email applications limit are around 12,000 characters, and make use of certain code ranges to implement carrier specific emoji (emoticons). These email service specifications, as well as their gateway services, are all proprietary to each carrier. In fact, au does not even provide a SMS service.

      * Service area implementations, although largely standardised in 2100Mhz W-CDMA, still vary widely. docomo has decided to use 800Mhz W-CDMA for its "FOMA Plus" service in rural areas, which resulted in support for 800 and 850MHz W-CDMA in its newer phones. Softbank, and needless to say au, do not support this band. E-mobile, a largely data-only provider, provides W-CDMA service in the 1700/2100 (up/down) W-CDMA bands, not unlike T-mobile's 3G situation in the US. Accordingly, many phones are still not usable outside their carrier due to hardware limitations.

      * Content ecosystem, much like Verizon's BREW (which au does use), have been tightly regulated since very early. docomo's J2ME implementation, DoJa, is J2ME compatible but requires further signing on top. Since there are very few software unlocks in Japan (the most common kind of unlock is a SIM overlay that spoofs the IMSI), most phones are not unlocked, and thus most phones only support the carrier-specific implementation of app platforms, which once again are signed to a USIM, and not transferrable in any way. This results in incompatible and locked out applications when phones are used on another carrier in Japan.
    1. rhekt's Avatar
      rhekt -
      Quote Originally Posted by LOCOPAPI View Post
      Are you sure you need iBuddy? Is it because you are iLonely? or iConfused? either way you sound like you need a PAD.

      JLMAO
      HHHHUUuuWHAT??
    1. HDoan112's Avatar
      HDoan112 -
      wait.... correct me if im wrong, but is it saying the iPad can be used as a giant phone?
    1. hollow0's Avatar
      hollow0 -
      Quote Originally Posted by robbpell View Post
      adapter card anyone? gonna be a good market for it soon!
      Umm... how would you use an adapter card? You're going from big to small... You cannot shrink the SIM card. It will not fit period.

      Quote Originally Posted by knguyen View Post
      A friend of mine raised an interesting idea. He wants to use iPad's micro sim in the iPhone to get the data only plan. You guys think this is possible?
      If there's an adapter for micro SIM to regular sized then maybe...However AT&T will know that you're using an iPhone on their network. All devices used on their network is registered. But who knows.
    1. adp's Avatar
      adp -
      Quote Originally Posted by HDoan112 View Post
      wait.... correct me if im wrong, but is it saying the iPad can be used as a giant phone?
      Not as a cellular phone. The iPad will only be able to get cellular data. But that doesn't mean you can't use VOIP. So yes, you could use the iPad as a giant VOIP phone, but not a cell phone.

      Which reminds me of...

    1. z3r01's Avatar
      z3r01 -
      Quote Originally Posted by hackint0uch View Post
      One of iPad's accessories is a dock connector to camera (I think SD card) for transfering photos. (Apple - iPad - Technical specifications and accessories for iPad.)
      which is completely irrelevant to this discussion
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      Personally I think it would be too much of a PITA to pop out your iphone sim (or any other phone sim) and drop it in the ipad every time you wanted to use cellular data anyway. I don't imagine any situation in the first place where I would NEED the data on the ipad as opposed to my phone. Sure I can;t see the whole page I am looking at at the same time... but I waste less time scrolling/flipping through it than I potentially would swapping sims.