The statement on iGear’s website by Nicole:
The iPad WiFi+3G is carrier-locked and we cant use the U.S ones here, so we only expect availability toward September.
is absolute BULL and is CLEARLY intended to create confusion around the importation and use of US-purchased iPad 3G’s for use in South Africa.
I raised this point directly with Nicole in an email which pointed out that the quote on their website was incorrect.
On your website you state that: “The iPad WiFi+3G is carrier-locked and we cant use the U.S ones here.”
This is not actually true at all…
The Wi-Fi + 3G model has a micro-SIM slot (not mini-SIM ) located on the side of the device. The 3G model may be used with an AT&T data plan that does not require a contract. Apple has heavily advertised the uses of the no-contract plan on their website. Unlike the iPhone , which is usually sold locked to specific carriers, the 3G iPad is sold unlocked and can be used with any compatible GSM carrier.
I don’t know if you’ve included this statement on your website to try encourage local South Africans to purchase a WiFi version now, instead of waiting for later in the year once the iPad is officially launched in SA?
I don’t think that it’s right, and your statement is merely creating confusion regarding the 3G iPad and its use outside of the USA!
As you can see I raised the point of whether their intention was to encourage local South Africans to purchase a WiFi version now (from them at INFLATED RATES) instead of waiting for later in the year once the iPad is officially launched in SA, or instead of importing either the WiFi OR 3G model from the US for use now.
Nicole completely disagreed with me, and shot back a brief email which merely contained a quote from the iLounge website which Nicole used to back up her claim:
One big difference between the iPhone and iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G needs to be underscored at this point: every iPad ships unlocked and unsubsidized, without any requirement that you sign up for a cellular data plan. In other words, if you don’t purchase a cellular subscription for the iPad, it can still be used with any 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi network—just like the iPad with Wi-Fi. But if you want to be able to access the Internet with the iPad outside your home, office, or free Wi-Fi hotspots, you’ll have to pay a monthly service fee to do so, and as of review time, AT&T remains Apple’s only cellular partner in the United States.
It is clear that the above quote is stating that “AT&T remains Apple’s only cellular partner in the United States” and that “if you want to be able to access the Internet with the iPad outside your home, office, or free Wi-Fi hotspots, you’ll have to pay a monthly service fee to do so” and basically because AT&T are the only cellular company in the world that makes the micro SIM cards, you essentially can’t use the iPad on any other cellular network in the world.
The quote even states that “every iPad ships unlocked” … so where’s the confusion?!?!?
(We know that all you have to do is to take a pair of scissors to your Vodacom SIM card and cut it down to size and it will work perfectly in the iPad 3G)
I then wrote Nicole a whole long email explaining the difference, including a whole host of source articles on the subject, and telling her that she was wrong, and should amend her website accordingly.
She ignored me.
Since then my iPad 3G has arrived from the US, and I duly purchased a Vodacom 3G SIM card, RICA it, activated it, loaded on a data bundle, CUT it up – and guess what: IT WORKS PERFECTLY ….
So I sent Nicole another email updating her:
Just thought that I would drop you a follow-up email to confirm that my US purchased 64GB iPad Wifi + 3G is working perfectly and has been for the past week on the Vodacom 3G network… Just had to cut the SIM card a little smaller, but got it right first time around.
I trust that this puts the rumour that the iPad 3G is network locked to bed.
Her reply was brief:
This message has been marked as spam and will not reach the intended recipient.
Clearly there is no getting through to the people at iGear … it makes you wonder what’s going on there!!!!
O well, it’s really another SA company trying to make a quick buck by spreading rumours ….