iPhone 3G Officially Available Unlocked in Hong Kong… Good News?

Apple HK made the iPhone 3G available to everyone with a HK shipping address via Apple Hong Kong’s online store.

This made Hong Kong the hub (and “source”) of iPhone 3G that are free from the shackle of the money hungry, backward thinking mobile carriers. As of the writing of this post Apple Hong Kong’s online store shows a 24 hours delivery time and free shipping. I am certain when news spread of this availability, the inventory will go quickly.

I was always against the idea of having to commit to Three HK for a 2-year contract just to gain the privilege of purchasing an Apple iPhone 3G. Now I have less of a barrier to bring this great device to the mobile carrier of my choice (“Smartone-Vodafone”).

Ah… my first generation iPhone worth even less now. Them are the breaks, especially with technology devices.

Is this move by Apple a sign of things to come for other (47) iPhone selling countries? Is this Apple’s way of changing their strategy to put as many iPhones in the hands of consumers as possible? This has always been one of the pain points of critics.

Continue reading “iPhone 3G Officially Available Unlocked in Hong Kong… Good News?”

iPhone 3G Unleash-able from Three HK

Three HK logoThere was a report last night that the iPhone 3G sold by the carrier, Three, in Hong Kong is unlocked; meaning it is not tied to a specific carrier.

This news was a bit hard to believe as news from other countries like US, Japan, Australia and New Zealand, the iPhone 3G sold there are all locked to the respective mobile carriers.

Therefor, if you do not want to stick with Three’s service you now have a choice, but the cheapest choice is:

HKD4680.00 + HKD188 x 24 months + MTR Fee (HKD12 x 24) = HKD9480.00 – HKD1742 = HKD7738 (including the rebate you will receive over 2 years)

Three HK Tariff in HKD

Now I have first hand confirmation from a friend who purchased one of these iPhone 3G at Three HK. He was able to put in a PCCW SIM card while having full access to all functionalities of the phone including EDGE and GPRS functions.

Is this really worth it. I say not, especially if you already have an iPhone (1st generation). Wait for the other carriers in Hong Kong; namely PCCW and/or Smartone-Vodafone receive the rights to sell the iPhone 3G.

Smartone-Vodafone Dropping POP3

Smartone-Vodafone LogoWell not exactly… that are dropping POP3 in the list of protocol that comes free with their “Internet Browsing” plan.

For those iPhone users in Hong Kong who followed my advice and subscribed to the Smartone-Vodafone’s “Internet Browsing” and the GSM 2G/3G Data plans, you should have received a SMS from Smartone-Vodafone to inform you that they will be dropping the POP3 protocol within the “Internet Browsing” plan.

One less protocol in the already limited features list of this “Internet Browsing” plan; you can see my article, “iPhone Hacked in Hong Kong on Smartone-Vodafone“, from a Smartone-Vodafone customer’s point of view on using the iPhone in Hong Kong for my opinions on this plan.

I am not certain if this decision of Smartone-Vodafone is the direct result of too many Smartphone and iPhone users using the Internet Browsing plan for POP3 and IMAP access. It is very obvious that their Product Development department did not think clearly about this plan before they launch it, and now they are trying to recover by dissecting the features of this plan further. Spawning even more VAS from it.

If you are one of the many iPhone users who took my advise in the article, “iPhone Hacked in Hong Kong on Smartone-Vodafone“, then there is no need for you to do anything. Unless your POP3 usage is so large that it exceeds your current 2G/3G Data plan monthly quota. In that case you may want to weight the benefit of upgrading to the higher 2G/3G Data plan of the new “POP3” VAS to the Internet Browsing plan.

Note: that Smartone-Vodafone only speak of POP3 and they did not mention IMAP, nor did they exclude any POP3 access over a VPN. So you should take these into consideration if you need to argue with them on your next phone bill.

Smartone-Vodafone Really Doesn’t Know

Over the past 3 months in preparation of my eventual iPhone usage on the Smartone-Vodafone network, I began testing to see which is the best combination Smartone-Vodafone data plan to subscribe to.

Prior to August of this year I subscribed to Smartone-Vodafone’s “HKD118.00/month Data Plan”, which gave me 10MB of usage per month and a HKD15.00/MB thereafter. While using my Nokia E61i at the time I frequently exceeds my 10MB allocation for the plan. I also did not use the GPRS access freely due to the limit imposed by the plan. Continue reading “Smartone-Vodafone Really Doesn’t Know”

iPhone Hacked in Hong Kong on Smartone-Vodafone

Many of you know that I was in North America this past two weeks and was also in New York City.

While at NYC I spent some time at the 5th Ave. Apple Store gaining some hands on experience with the iPhone. This was the first time I saw the iPhone in person and played with its applications and Multitouch interface. I will talk more about this in a separate post.

Getting back to the topic in question. While in NYC last week much had transpired regarding the unlocking (release of the lock down of the iPhone to the AT&T carrier). End of last month iPhone SIM Free announced that they had a software to unlock the iPhone from AT&T iron fist. They said that they will be selling the software on a per user (iPhone) license within a few days. Weeks had past and no announcements. Continue reading “iPhone Hacked in Hong Kong on Smartone-Vodafone”