This afternoon 3 HK, Apple's official carrier partner in Hong Kong released details of their iPhone 3GS tariff plans. From the prices of these plans, it indicates that the "contract-free" version to be sold at Apple Online Store Hong Kong and other Authorized Apple Resellers will be around the same HKD5400.00 and HKD6200.00 prices respectively; as with the iPhone 3G, for the 16GB abd 32GB models.
These phones and tariff plans will be available to all starting tomorrow, July 10th, along with a 2-year contract. For existing 3 HK customers there will be 12-month contract at special upgrade prices. Details of which will most likely depends on the number of months into and the tariff plan of the existing contract.
It is a bit strange to see the HKD398.00 plan that suppose to have unlimited "local" data access has a HKD290.00/month cap based on HKD0.01/KB. At that rate HKD290.00 = 29MB, isn't that less than the 100MB free "local" data for the HKD138.00 plan?
[Updated: July 9, 2009, 18:00] Finally able to get through to 3 HK Sales Hotline; understandably busy this afternoon. They clarified the "unlimited local data" definition, it is indeed unlimited. The HKD290.00/month cap based on HKD0.01/KB only applies to tariff plans of HKD298.00 and lower. This HKD290.00 is only a cap on the additional data charges and does not mean the data access will stop after the customer incurred an additional HKD290.00 of data usage.
In this case, I must compliment 3 HK on releasing a very competitive "Unlimited data" tariff plan for the iPhone. I wish my current carrier, Smartone-Vodafone will respond with a competitive "unlimited data" tariff plan of their only after the iPhone 3GS is officially available through all Apple HK sales channels.
So far, the Apple Online Store Hong Kong still does not show any signs of it making the contract-fee versions available tomorrow. There were rumors yesterday saying that the July 10th launch is only for 3 HK and the rest of the Apple HK retail channels will not have the iPhone 3GS until months (6) later. For anyone who lived in Hong Kong long enough, we hope that is not true. As I for one will not want to switch to 3 HK nor get bound to a 2-year contract.
[Update: July 10, 2009, 00:00] Apple Online Store Hong Kong released their prices for the iPhone 3GS 16GB and 32GB at HKD5388.00 and HKD6288 respectively. That's a decrease of HKD12.00 and an increase of HKD88.00 of the previous price points (for the iPhone 3G).
[Update: July 10, 2009, 13:00] None of the Authorized Apple Resellers in Hong Kong currently have the non-contract versions of the iPhone 3GS, but according to my sources and Premium Authorized Apple Reseller in Hong Kong are suppose to be able to sell any item that are sold through the Apple Online Store Hong Kong. This means that Premium Authorized Apple Resellers in Hong Kong should also have the iPhone 3GS today or the latest Monday, depending on whether Apple and the resellers can get their logistics straighten out.