Softbank is the exclusive carrier of iPhone in Japan and is a big carrier of iPads as well. Now they're giving away free 16 gig iPads when you sign up for a 2-year contract for data network service. 32 and 64 gig iPads cost $115 and $230, which is still super mega cheap. It might just be some random crazy promotion or it might be a couple of other things. One, Apple going for scale, foregoing the premium pricing and prestige that goes with it in favor of ubiquity, being everywhere, coating Japan (and maybe other countries if it goes well) with iPads. But with the apparently impending arrival of iPad 2, this could just be a last major push to capitalize as much as possible on the present inventory.

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