Japan's Softbank Mobile is subsidizing the entire cost of a 16GB iPad 3G (translated link) for those willing to sign a contract for two years of monthly data plan payments. By agreeing to pay Softbank $56 (¥4,725) a month at least 24 times, customers get the iPad for free -- sort of. The way the plan is structured, the monthly payments are actually split evenly between the unlimited data plan and payments on the device.
One of the many upsides to buying an iPad is that, even if you opt for the 3G version, you don't have to get locked into another two-year AT&T contract. On the other hand, that means you'll have to pay Apple's full list price to get one. Japanese customers now have an option to get a 16GB iPad 3G for no up front cost, but they'll give up a lot of freedom by doing so.