Subsidized iOS devices are definitely nothing new, but Japanese carrier Softbank is offering what is certainly the most considerable discount we’ve seen yet on Apple’s iPad with their “iPad for Everybody” promotion.
The carrier will begin offering the 16GB 3G+WiFi iPad model for free to Japanese customers willing to sign up for a 2-year contract starting in the new year. The plan will run you ¥4,725 ($56)/month. This essentially means you will be paying US prices for the device deferred over the two years, but is still quite an enticing option for users that cant drop the $629 it costs to purchase the device outright.
In the US, Apple had begun to allow Verizon and AT&T to offer postpaid data subscription plans for the iPad, but this option is currently only available to business customers.