The Apple iPad in Singapore? When and Where?

So yeah, the world finally has their God Tablet – the Apple iPad.

Most of the general predictions about a March shipping date are not exactly wrong, for the WIFI-only versions will ship in March, while the WIFI+3G versions, will sadly only be available from April.

Steve Jobs, during the keynote mentioned that their mobile data deals with international carriers will only be done in the June-July timeframe, which made many hearts skipped a beat when people outside the States thought they will only have their iPad earliest 6 months later.

Thankfully, that is definitely not the case.

While many have claimed that the 3G version of the iPad will be “locked” in a different sense due to the limited numbers of carriers who offer Micro SIMs (zilch in Singapore, in fact), but as a simple google search will show, the Micro SIM isn’t that different from a normal 3G GSM SIM. Desperados will easily be able to cut their full size 3G SIM to fit into a Micro SIM slot and have the SIM card work. Besides, I am almost very sure that the telcos will be ready with Micro SIMs and iPad data plans when the iPads are actually here. (Edit: Singtel PR has “no comments” about the future availability of Micro SIMs and iPad data plans)

Which brings us to another question – who will be selling the iPads? Will it be the Mac resellers, or the telcos?

Face it. We all hate the telcos. If the telcos could, they would squeeze us dry of every dollar and cent, for using very very very very little resources. Telcos are built this way. Singtel demostrated that with their iPhone sales, and only relented on their nonsensical pricing when M1 and Starhub came into the picture.

So when the good news that AT&T won’t be selling the 3G versions of the iPad with contracts, it is almost pretty clear that the same policy will applied to most of the developed world (can’t say the same for stupid Japan, which has a draconian policy for their mobile network management). My guess is that the telcos will be willing to sell you an iPad subsidized if you sign a mobile data contract with them, much like their infrequent MacBook deals where you get a free MacBook for every 3 year contract you sign with Singtel Broadband.

The Mac resellers, however, should still be the ones ultimately selling the iPads. This will also ensure a standard pricing of the device, unlike in the case of the iPhones where the telcos can price the iPhones to their liking.

However, It would not surprise me if the 3G versions are only available at Apple Premium Resellers though, something that will piss the hell out of my friend who works at probably the best non-APR Mac reseller shop in Singapore. After all, just look at the Apple resellers where you can find the iPhones. MI(Multimedia Integrated), Epicenter, etc. Need I say more?


MacRyu is the Mac Blog by Singaporeans and for Singaporeans. It was started in April 2007 as a side project of the then President of the Official Mac User Group of NUS, Ryu, and grew to become possibly one of the most popular Apple-related sites based in Singapore. MacRyu hopes to provide you with more Mac-related info, thoughts and stuff, from the Singaporean perspective.

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