Apple has announced that beginning June 10, the iPad Air and iPad Mini with Retina display will be available on Japan’s largest cell carrier, NTT Docomo. Even though Apple has an impressive footprint in Japan and the company has worked closely with Docomo, it has taken months for either tablet to reach the carrier’s stores; both the iPad Air and iPad Mini with Retina display were first released in North America in November of 2013.
NTT Docomo’s website already has listings for LTE models of both tablets, although pre-order won’t be accepted until June 2. Even in some of Apple’s most important markets—like Japan—the company still has trouble getting devices into stores. And when it comes to NTT Docomo in particular, delays are nothing new.
When the two companies began working together, it was four years after other Asian carriers started offering the iPhone, since NTT Docomo only listed the device in 2013. Following that multi-year delay, there has been a hangup between each Apple product release and the availability of those products on Docomo. The iPad Air and iPad Mini with Retina display are no different, but hopefully NTT Docomo will begin offering Apple devices at least a little bit closer to when they are released.