Q: I’m traveling to the U.S. in four weeks. I was planning to buy a 3G iPad 2 but I was not sure whether I will have any problem to put it to use after I return to Brazil. Are iPads meant to work with any 3G supplier like laptop computers do, or is there any catch I should be aware of?
A: Unlike the iPhone, all GSM iPads are sold unlocked and should work fine on any carrier that can provide you with a micro-SIM card and a 3G data plan. The obvious exception to this is the Verizon iPad, which is of course designed only to run on Verizon’s CDMA network in the U.S.
iOS 4.3 includes the carrier settings files for all worldwide iPad carriers, although in some rare cases it may be necessary to connect to iTunes and apply a carrier update file in the event that the carrier’s settings have changed since iOS 4.3 was released. This is a very straightforward process and should be automatically handled by iTunes whenever you connect your iPad to your computer.
The only other issue to be aware of is the comptaibility of the iPad AC adapter that comes in the package. A U.S. iPad will include a North American power adapter in terms of the physical plug, although the adapter itself can be used anywhere in the world simply by changing the plug using the Apple World Travel Adapter Kit or by using any power cable that can fit in the figure 8 socket (see this FAQ item).