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.

7 Comments

  1. Hi guys, just fell over this blog whole looking for any news on iPHONE 3G in HK unlocked for another carrier.I’m one of the many HKers that have either been waiting for a legal unlocked iphone or with a carrier of choice that will sell the iphone. Sadly as I see my favourite carrier PCCW (I use them for business and they are great), does not sell the iphone currently. Despite ‘pressure’ to go with a jailbroken 2G, I have resisted so far. I don’t really need the 3G fuctionality unless I travel to say Japan etc, it would be nice. HOwever my usage is 2G and web and mail and I would really like to have a phone that is 100% reliably integrated with my MAC.So I see form this forum and some others that Hutchison are the only place to get the unlocked 3G iphone and at a hefty price. Additionally the hassle experienced from ‘3’ from the poster on this forum with 3 confirms my very small experience in 2005 with Hutchison that they have inferior service and support. The comment that their sales and tech people are ‘clueless’ was me experience so I moved back 3 weeks later back to trusty PCCW CSL.. THe information to get onbaord with an iphone 3G unlocked using Hutchison is interesting but expensive as I guess they have to make money… but commercially for me is a waste of money… (sigh)My roaming is world wide (job related) is large and my bills are always over $HK12000/month. I also need to use some other simms as do mostof us when we travel. A stated earlier too, I agree that people outside of ASIA dont seem to understand the use of multiple simms for travelling in other countries… In summary, I’d like to hear if anyone has some thoughts or news that PCCW or other carriers in Hong KOng or even Apple may sell the phone unlocked in the future.It is sad that I have waited so long for the iphone and still I cant get into one.

  2. wZaHK,Thanks again for sharing your experience with the rest of the readers here.I am not sure if you had been to a real Apple Store; like in the USA, Canada, UK, Japan or Australia. The shopping experience is definitely not what you had described.The issues you’ve faced are what millions had taken for granted, which is most telephone companies around the world have poor customer services and bad shopping experience.I actually have a conspiracy theory as to why Apple let the respective mobile carrier take control of the iPhone 3G launch. I will explain this in one of my upcoming article in my Blog.

  3. Hello Vinko,FINALLY, after waiting 2 days over the weekend, my issues have been resolved.After 3 staff checking with their Apple support, they fixed the service unit & also explained the reason to me.The “service unit” that did not accept other sim cards is now fixed- According to 3 staff, all their phones need to have the IMEA no sent to Apple in order to register these phones as HK “unlocked” phones. Apparently they did this & now my phone is “unlocked” & can accept any sim cards.Mind you, there must be many users out there that are using service units with “3” cards in them, so they may have this problem but not aware of it. I urge users who have any iphone to double check & use another carrier’s sim card to check.Three Staff are still as hopeless & clueless when it comes to the iphone. Definitely, this whole experience has put me quite off the 3G iphone.

  4. wZaHK,Sorry to hear you have such a bad experience. That is so typical of carriers, they usually have the worst service of any industry. That is why I choose to stay with Smartone-Vodafone, as I have found over the past 11 years in HK, they are the only carrier who actually try to deliver good service to their customers. Where as the rest just care less as soon as they sign you us as a customer..The respond of the Three Customer Service saying that your “carrier lock” issue is a “… was an Itunes problem…” does not make sense. I cannot be certain, but iTunes only “activate” the iPhone, it would not place a lock or unlock the iPhone.I ask all the individuals out there to help shed some light on this “carrier lock” issue. Can iTunes be used to determine which carrier to lock your iPhone to? This logic does not make sense to me.What are the steps involved when activating an iPhone 3G via iTunes? Does one have to choose a country to activate the IPhone 3G in? Does it pick up your iTunes Store credentials that is already stored in iTunes? If the latter question is true, then it really does not make any sense for iTunes to be controlling the “carrier lock” on the iPhone 3G.You need to ensure you pressure them daily to get this resolved. Remember to always record the name and extensions of anyone you speak to about this. If possible, obtain a case number.I can tell you that your experience with Three Customer Service is not abnormal, that is why I think you should also contact AppleCare. When you get them on the phone, immediately ask to speak to a Customer Account Representative. Register a case number with Apple. Be sure to inform Apple of all the things that Three Customer Services told you.I wish you best of luck and please keep us inform.

  5. Hello there, I was just at the 3 Service Centre in Mong Kok, & after explaining the problem to them, they acknowledged this problem meaning that I was not the only one who experienced this. Their official response to me was that they had reflected this to APPLE, & don’t know why other sim cards do not work but insisted that ALL their “3” iphones are not locked. With this reply, I then requested that they just exchange a new retail unit because obviously their service units do not work, but they insisted that NO NEW UNITS will be replaced because this is theirs & APPLE’s policy.I then requested to try out 3-4 service units which had the same result. They then said that this was an Itunes problem & they will pass this to Apple’s technical support, but refused to replace my phone with a new one nor refund me.The plain ignorance & cluelessness of the tech support people is so frustrating; I almost blew my top when they offered me one ‘repaired’ service unit that even had marks from the case being pried open; I was not going to accept a scratched up unit with god-knows-what was wrong after paying good money for a unit that was just used for 2 days.Right now, I am still awaiting the reply from their customer services who insisted that I switch over to 3 service asap so that I can use their service units. I want my unlocked iphone.Will update more later I then demanded one of 2 things, 1. a working new unit, or 2. a full refund & cancellation of service.This is bullsh1t. I paid HK$6000 for a unit that was used for 2 days then malfunctioned only to be exchanged a unit that does not work with other sims.I went as far as to mention OFTA’s regulations only to be shot down by the manager on duty that told me that it is only a guideline & that many other providers in Hong kong such as Smartone lock many of their premium phones.At the end, I insisted They understand the need for HK users to switch sim cards which is the norm in the

  6. Thank you so much for sharing this with everyone.You should definitely complain to Three about this. If the “Service Unit” you receive is locked, that is not “allegedly” to be compliant to Hong Kong OFTA’s regulations.Plus you can use the excuse that you want to use local SIM card when you are away from Hong Kong.As for why these “Service Unit” are carrier locked. I don’t think they are from carriers other than Three, as if they were from, for example Japan, then it will be carrier locked to SoftBank and not Three.Your discovery could indicate a switch in strategy by Three to combat the large quantities of iPhone 3G grey market.I believe the OFTA regulations state that if the customer request the phone to be unlocked it can.Please do report back as to your results.

  7. I saw your post on iphonehacks.com, I need to let you & everyone else know that the “service units” – units that Hutchison Telecom’s mobile carrier “3” (Three) provides you with if you have a defective iphone, ARE LOCKED.One of the 2 iphones I purchased earlier this week had a problem with the top of the screen, & when I took it in for servicing, they exchanged it with a “Service Unit” which they claimed was “new”.I found this unit to be network locked & not able to function with any other sim card other than “3” sim cards.My guess is that they have some service units from australia or japan, possibly repaired iphones that were defective like one of the units I had

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