Whatever scorned denials Japan's NTT Docomo whispered when it lost the iPhone to Softbank, a recent report hints that Docomo still pines for a relationship with Apple. According to the Yomiuri Shimbun, Docomo is considering selling SIM cards for the new unlocked iPad when the 3G version hits stores in Japan. And, contrary to the lack of international release date information from Apple, the paper claims that the WiFi version of the iPad will debut in Japan in March, followed by the 3G version in June.
According to the report, if Docomo goes through with such a plan, it would break a long held tradition in Japan's hyper-competitive mobile phone market by being "the first major domestic telecommunications company to sell SIM cards that are not bundled with handsets." While it's certainly no iPhone, since the iPad has a microphone, it's not inconceivable that the Japan hacker community might come up with an interesting way to turn the device into a new kind of mobile communications device we never could have imagined.
Via Yomiuri Shimbun