Japanese waiting to buy iPad last year. Credit photo to Reuters & wsj.com.
Japan will be getting their iPad 2 this coming March 25th 2011. And coincidentally, I will be going to Japan soon. This is so great. That’s why I am researching on whether should I buy iPad 2 in Japan. So, I asked someone who is expert in Apple products and lives in Japan. Here’s the excerpt:
Questions About Buying iPad 2 in Japan, Anyone?
Hi, I am going to Japan soon @ Saitama, Tokyo. I was thinking whether is it worthwhile to buy iPad 2 while I am in Japan. I saw what you wrote in your blog about buying iPad in Japan. There are a few things that I am worried of. Can you please enlighten me?
1. Will it be more expensive to buy iPad 2 in Japan? I’ve checked their lastest offering of iPad and compared the prices. Japan’s price for iPad is around RM200++ more expensive than what Malaysia Apple store can offer. More over, Japan’s currency is getting higher than Malaysia’s currency.
If you are comparing the prices between Malaysia and Japan, you’d notice that the Japanese prices are about 5% costlier than Malaysia, this is a value added tax that is levied on all purchases made in Japan BUT you can get a rebate if you show your passport and say: “PASSPORT-TO” to the salesperson (note: the “instant rebate” is only valid when your purchase is more than ¥10,000).
2. Will the iPad 2 have some tweaks made just for the Japanese which will give me trouble if I use in Malaysia? Example, the language and maybe some other issues?
No, all iPad Wifi hardware are almost the same (there are small tweaks involved but they will not affect you.), you can switch languages when you first launch the iPad, where it will ask you what language would you want to use with the iPad.
3. I read about the 5% discount for China Unionpay. Where can I apply this in Malaysia or anywhere that I can get it before I go to Japan end of this March?
Go to a Bank of China near you and ask them about the UnionPay card, they were issuing those cards before the World Expo, I don’t know if they are still doing that now. The EXTRA 5% discount on UnionPay cards are offered in YODOBASHI, so, if you are not planning on shopping in YODOBASHI, safe yourself the trouble.
4. Will iPad 2 give trouble to Malaysian customs? I have never bought any electronics items from overseas. No experience about the customs. Must I declare iPad 2?
The short answer is NO, the long answer is, if you carry only electronics goods for personal use, you are safe, but if you pushed a cart load of iPads, TVs, PSP etc past the customs officer, you’ll be in trouble.
5. Anything else that I might have overlooked? Please let me know.
If you want to keep the boxes, make sure you flat pack them into your luggage, the iPad box is a bit trickier, I’d empty the box and put other things into it so it shows up in the X-ray with a less conspicuous profile.
6. I am planning to get Nikkor 35mm/ f1.8 lens for my trip to Japan as I am having sharpness problem with my current 18-135mm Nikon D7000 kit lens. Is it worthwhile?
I bought the Nikon D7000 without the kit lens for the same reason: kit lenses are not good enough. However, if you are looking for a wide lens for daily use, I think the Nikon AF Nikkor 24mm f/2.8D is a better choice, but the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 is a great lens too.
Prime lenses are great investments, if you happen to have time to go to Tokyo, I can point you to the right shops for great deals.
These are the questions that I have asked him. Hope that answers some of your questions or worries. If you have anything to ask, leave a comment and I will get back to you soon! Cheers to all future iPad 2 owners.
Now, the thing to worry is whether should I get iPad 2 in white or black? Only WiFi or 3G + WiFi iPad 2. 16GB, 32GB or 64GB iPad 2?
There are speculations that Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore will get their iPad 2 two weeks or more after the March 25 2011 international markets launch. This means that Hong Kong, Taiwan & Singapore will be getting their iPad 2 around April. 2011 Maybe Malaysia will be getting their iPad 2 around May or June 2011?
What’s your say?