iPhone 3G With 3.0When I the create the post, To iPhone 3G S or Not?, I was not able to enable the MMS function on my iPhone 3G. Before I explain how to enable MMS on an iPhone 3G running the iPhone 3.0 firmware, let me explain my context.

My iPhone 3G is the officially "SIM unlocked" version of the iPhone 3G directly from Apple Online Store Hong Kong. It capacity happens to be a 16GB version. I installed the iPhone 3.0 firmware "Golden Master" version onto my iPhone.

The following applies to any carrier situations, no matter whether the carrier in question is an official carrier partner with Apple in the country.

[Update: 12:10, June 18, 2009] Added MMS settings for PCCW. Please note that these settings had not been tested on the iPhone. Please leave a note in the Comment section if you're a PCCW customer and tried it on your iPhone 3G.

[Update: 13:01, June 18, 2009] Thanks to reader Jon for pointing out the typo in the MMSC for Smartone-Vodafone.

[Update: 14:01, June 18, 2009] I just received some news from Smartone-Vodafone that contradicts the information I received from them in two separate occasions, which is the fact that they do not charge their customers for receiving MMS.

The latest information is that they will charge HKD0.04/KB; a maximum of HKD12.00/MMS, to receive MMS.

This comes back to my original point I always had with MMS, the technology will not get wide adoptions and acceptances by consumers until the carriers remove these ridiculous pricing.

I for one will not use it!

I encourage all to not use it and ensure you do not pay the fees to show our disgust.

[Update: 17:11, June 18, 2009] Thanks to reader Karay who pointed to a person calling himself "markmall_hk" on UWants.com, I have now updated the MMS settings for all mobile carriers in Hong Kong.

[Update: 01:10, June 20, 2009] Added settings for CTM in Macau.

[Update: 01:20, June 20, 2009] Thanks to reader Niels for the China Unicom 3G settings in mainland China.

[Update: 01:30, June 20, 2009] Thanks to reader Ju for confirming the settings for PEOPLE.

[Update: 15:10, June 20, 2009] Thanks to reader Todd for confirming the settings for CSL

[Update: 22:00, June 23, 2009] Thanks to the folks at iPhoneHacks.com we now have a set of instructions for our US friends who are stuck with AT&T.

[Update: 12:15, June 24, 2009] Thanks to reader Filipe for supplying the settings for CTM Macau non-prepaid SIM card customers.

[Update: 16:00, June 25, 2009] I just double checked Smartone-Vodafone's web site and it clearly states that "3G SmarTone-Vodafone customers" can receive MMS for FREE.

So I do not understand why the previous Customer Service representative claims that I have to pay the HKD0.04/KB when I clearly told her that I was on a 3G plan, plus she had my account opened in front of her.

[Update: 12:00, June 26, 2009] Added the instructions to enable to the "Cellular Data Network" option within the Network settings pane.

How to Enable MMS on iPhone 3.0

  1. Ensure you have a 3G plan with your mobile carrier. A data plan is not necessary with regards to MMS.
  2. Ensure the carrier had not blocked the MMS function from your account. In Hong Kong most carriers would not do so, unless you request them to do so.
  3. On your iPhone go to the Settings -> General -> Network -> Cellular Data Network settings and input the MMS settings specific for your carrier. The exact values for each of the fields will depends on your carrier. Do not worry if your carrier representative tells you that they do not support the iPhone. Be assertive and obtain the MMS settings: APN, Username, Password and MMSC. Most carriers would not have a Username or Password.

    If you do not see the "Cellular Data Network" option within the Settings -> General -> Network settings you can do one of the following depending on which OS you're on.

    Operating System Steps
    OS X
    1. Close iTunes.
    2. Start the Terminal (found in the /Applications/Utilities folder).
    3. Execute the command:
      defaults write com.apple.iTunes carrier-testing -bool TRUE
    Windows 32-bit
    1. Close iTunes.
    2. Go to Start then Run and type CMD.
    3. Execute the command:
      “C:Program FilesiTunesiTunes.exe” /setPrefInt carrier-testing 1
    Windows 64-bit
    1. Close iTunes.
    2. Go to Start then Run and type CMD.
    3. Execute the command:
      “C:Program Files (x86)iTunesiTunes.exe” /setPrefInt carrier-testing 1

    The following are the settings. Note that the APN is case sensitive.

    Carrier Settings
    Smartone-Vodafone APN = smartone-vodafone MMSC = http://mms.smartone-vodafone.com/server MMS Proxy = 10.9.9.9
    PCCW 3G APN = pccw MMSC = http://3gmms.pccwmobile.com:8080/was MMS Proxy = 10.140.14.10:8080
    PCCW 2G APN = pccwmms MMSC = http://mmsc.mms.pccwmobile.com:8002 MMS Proxy = 10.131.2.8:8080
    3 HK APN = mobile.three.com.hk MMSC = http://172.20.99.240:10021/mmsc Username = 3 Password = 1234 MMS Proxy = 172.020.097.116:8799
    CSL APN = hkcsl MMSC = http://192.168.58.171:8002 MMS Proxy = 192.168.59.51:8080
    New World APN = mms MMSC = http://mmsc.nwmobility.com:8002 MMS Proxy = 192.168.111.1
    Peoples APN = peoples.mms MMSC = http://mms.peoples.com.hk/mms MMS Proxy = 172.031.031.036:8080
    CTM Macau APN = ctmprepaid MMSC = http://mms.wap.ctm.net:8002 MMS Proxy = 192.168.99.3:8080
    CTM Macau (non-prepaid SIM) APN = ctmmms MMSC = http://mms.wap.ctm.net:8002 MMS Proxy = 192.168.99.3:8080 MMS Max Message Size = 307200
    China Unicom 3G (China) APN = uniwap MMSC = http://mmsc.myuni.com.cn MMS Proxy = 10.0.0.172
    • The "MMS Max Message Size" settings is optional but Smartone-Vodafone has a size limit of 307200 (300KB) where they charge HKD3.00/MMS.
    • For the PCCW settings you may want to try it first without the MMS Proxy settings.
  4. After these information are entered, you will need to restart your iPhone. Hold the Power button until the slider comes up asking you to slide to the right to shutdown the iPhone. Go ahead and shutdown your iPhone and then restart it.
  5. When the iPhone had restarted, on your iPhone go to the Settings -> Messages settings and ensure MMS is turned on. You can optionally turn on "Show Subject Field" if you like.

You should see an extra Camera icon when you compose a message in the Messages (previously known as "SMS") application.

In the Photo album application you will see an extra option to share your photo via MMS.

Please feel free to leave settings for your respective carriers in the comments and I will update the table above.

iPhone 3G imageRecently a friend of mine commented that my articles (posts) on the iPhone and its usage in Hong Kong are very helpful, but they are a bit technical for layman user like himself. So, for the sake of helping as many potential iPhone users understand what's involved before committing to a purchase of an iPhone in Hong Kong, I decided  to summarize some key points here.

  1. All iPhone sold in Hong Kong are "carrier unlocked". That means you can take the iPhone purchased through legitimate channels1 straight out of the box, place a carrier SIM2 card in the phone and the it will work.
  2. You should not use any "carrier unlocking" software (like Yellowsn0w from the iPhone Dev Team) on iPhone 3G sold through legitimate channels in Hong Kong, because of point #1.
  3. When the say "iTunes" this is the application that manages the synchronization of your iPhone with your computer and all your music. Where as "iTunes Store" is the online store where Apple sells3 music, videos, audiobooks and iPhone applications. The section that sells iPhone applications is called the "iTunes App Store".
  4. All iPhone 3G sold in Hong Kong requires activation, this is accomplished by connecting it to iTunes, and logging into iTunes Store. So a free iTunes Store Hong Kong account is required. No longer requires an iTunes Store Hong Kong account.
  5. Even if you do not want to pay for any iPhone applications from the iTunes App Store you will have to provide a valid Hong Kong credit card to create an account in the iTunes Store Hong Kong.
  6. All carrier plans have limitations on the type of data traffic included. Therefore you need to be very specific with the sales person when choosing your data plan. For example, Smartone-Vodafone "IOM Value Pack" data plan only covers "web browsing traffic". It is hard to know what they mean by "web browsing", but it does not cover traffic generated by the built-in iPhone Mail application, and 40% of the traffic generated by iPhone 3rd party applications. Details of choosing a plan can be found in my post Is Smartone-Vodafone’s IOM Value Pack Right for iPhone?
  7. Unlocking and Jailbreaking software are easily available from iPhone Dev Team for FREE. At this stage, because the procedure is so simple, I would not pay anyone to do either for your iPhone (whether it is a 2G or 3G version) purchased outside of Hong Kong, unless you really have a phobia of technology.
  8. Jailbreak means to hack the iPhone so that you can install Apple unauthorized iPhone applications onto the phone. Jailbreaking does not include unlocking.
  9. The term "Carrier lock" means the iPhone is only usable on a particular mobile phone carrier's network and SIM card. So "Unlock" means to remove this restriction, and performing an Unlock will include Jailbreaking. Also see point #2.
  10. All iPhones sold outside of Hong Kong usually requires a 2-year contract commitment with the Apple's carrier partner. In most cases if an iPhone is not activated within 30 days the difference is charged to the purchaser's credit card. So you should think twice before asking a friend to purchase an iPhone for you overseas.

1 Legitimate channels as of this writing are: Three ("3") carrier outlets, or Apple Hong Kong Online Store. [Update: February 28, 2009] All Apple Authorized Resellers.
2 The mobile SIM card needs to support GSM frequencies 850, 900, 1800, 1900 or 2100MHz
3 iTunes Store in Hong Kong only sells iPhone Apps as of this writing.

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.

In hindsight, did Apple make the right move, by first capitalizing on the revenue gain from the few carriers reselling iPhones, Apple not only stir up the excitements for the device, but was also able to string the carriers along with the privilege of exclusivity.

Steve Jobs always says that Apple is a software company focus on delivering the best, complete user-experience to the end-users. Assuming this action in Hong Kong is indeed a change in Apple's iPhone strategy, this means they are indeed focusing more on what one can do with the iPhone rather than simply selling iPhones. You can say it is a means to an end.

As a result more focuses will be placed on the AppStore in iTunes Store, and the debacle approval process that Apple had employed thus far for 3rd party applications. If Apple really going to focus on what one can do with the iPhone; aka software, then Apple will need to improve the development process, making it much more seamless and less of a walled garden.

May be Apple should consider the Mac OS X and Darwin approach, where it takes an open operating system like FreeBSD created Mac OS X and then released a version of it as Opensource called Darwin. Imagine Apple taking something like Google's Android, transform it into a new version of Mobile Cocoa and then contributing back to the Opensource Android platform.

With this proposed approach Apple will differentiate itself among the handset manufactures in terms of design, which Jonathan Ive consistently delivers. And on the great user experience of the Apple version of the Android compatible mobile phone.

Back when Apple first announced the availability of the iPhone 3G to 73 countries around the world, with many of those having more than one carriers receiving the privilege of selling the phone. I had predicted the plan of Apple is to introduce the iPhone through exclusive carrier to build up the hype. Then it allows certain countries more than one carriers to sell the iPhone so that consumers receive a choice, but when the carriers not able to differentiate themselves among its competitors, Apple steps in and say, "you [the carriers] cannot say we did not let you try.", they had for a year and a half. Now [the end of 2008] they take over and sell the phone independent of any 3rd parties and no one can complain they did not give them a chance.

If my analysis is correct, you may not want to rush out and get the iPhone 3G from Apple Hong Kong's online store. That is because the third phase of Apple's iPhone strategy will happen in Hong Kong when Three ("rumored") looses its exclusivity late October. Just in time for Apple to lower the price for the Christmas shopping season.

Most people; especially the critics, need to remember that Steve Jobs manages Apple like a chess master, he is always thinking many moves ahead of all of us. So don't be so quick to criticize his decisions. Over the years [24+], being a user of the Macintosh and making it my computing tool of choice, I have learnt to accept the fact that Apple; particularly Steve Jobs, knows better.

Apparently the highly anticipated Apple iPhone 3G will only be available to the selected few, at least in Hong Kong. Yesterday, O2 began announced that their pre-orders for the iPhone 3G had been filled and ask interested customer to return to their web site on July 10th to find information on new inventory and next availability.

Similar situation in Hong Kong with Apple's partner carrier, "3". I have inside sources informs me that their initial inventory of 500 Apple iPhone 3G had already been sold out 2 weeks ago. There was no limits placed on the number of phones each person were allow to purchase. Therefore, some of the selected few were able to purchase a dozen iPhone 3G, while the rest of us, under privileged in the eyes of Li Ka Shing's mobile carrier "3", will not be able to get an iPhone 3G on Friday, July 11th, even if I am willing to change carrier and choose one of the high tariff plans offered. Of course, I am not, so I am not too concern.

For the rest who are already a 3 customer or willing to switch carriers, I think this is very unfair and Apple HK should have been managed the situation better. Although, this sort of insiders privilege is a common occurrence in Hong Kong, Apple HK should have imposed a maximum purchase quantity so that as many individuals can share the Apple experience and privilege of owning an iPhone 3G on July 11th.

With the announcement of the iPhone 3G by Apple on Monday (Tuesday HK time), Apple apparently change its business model with the carriers around the world. I say apparent because Apple has been some what vague about the details. AT&T has said that customers will be able to upgrade their existing Apple iPhone to the new Apple iPhone 3G without incurring any penalties (fees) for breaking their existing contracts, but they will have to start a new 2-years contract.

AT&T reports that the new Apple iPhone 3G is only available at Apple Store and AT&T outlets. Most importantly, they also state that these new iPhones will have to be activated on the spot on the AT&T network with a sign 2-years contract.

Apple's mobile carrier partner in United Kingdom, O2 said that they will be giving away the iPhone 3G on their high-end tariff plans, as described in their iPhone 3G Service Information.

O2 iPhone 3G Tariff Plans

As of this writing there are still no information from Hong Kong's "3" on tariff plans available for the Apple iPhone 3G. I suppose it will be something similar to what AT&T and O2 had announced.

I will be checking often to see if I can share this information here before July 11th.

Posted
AuthorVinko
CategoriesObservation

Apple iPhone 3GAn hour ago Apple's co-founder, CEO, Steve Jobs, announced the highly anticipated Apple iPhone 3G during the keynote speech at the WWDC 2008 in San Francisco. It will be available July 11, 2008 in 70 countries around the world. The announcement had some surprises; confirmation of built-in GPS. All in all were information that many of the rumor sites had already published: 3G radio, longer battery life, multiple colours (Black and White) and lower price. What was missing, that I had hoped for was video conferencing or Mobile iChat. Well there is just over a month before the actual release date, may be there is another higher version at the USD399.00 price point: more storage 32GB and video conferencing to be announced before the date.

Yes, Apple lower the price of the 8GB version to USD199.00 and the 16GB version to USD299.00. Making one to speculate there may be yet another model at the original USD399.00 price. I think I may hold out for that.

The most interesting is that it showed up on Apple HK's Store, but when I try to follow the "Find a store" link within the page, it gave me a "Page Not Found" error. I guess Apple forgot to put up a "Coming Soon" page for this. As Hutchison Telecom had already announced last week that it signed an agreement with Apple to sell the iPhone 3G through is "3" mobile brand. I just hope that it is not the only carrier that will carry the iPhone 3G in Hong Kong.

During the keynote, Steve Jobs failed to offer any details of Apple's business arrangements with these mobile carriers in the 70 countries. It is already know from the various mobile carrier press releases in the past several weeks, there are more than one carrier in a most of these 70 countries that will be selling the iPhone 3G.

The Apple Stock had a roller coaster ride during the 2 hours of the keynote, taking a dive of almost USD4.00 during the 3rd party application demos; which most have seen during the announcement of the iPhone SDK in January, then rising to a high of USD184+ when the 3G iPhone was ("confirmed") announced by Steve Jobs. It then drop a USD6.00 dollars when everyone realize there's no "Just One More Thing" announcement.

I think both the market and myself was expecting Steve Jobs (Apple) to detail their future business arrangements with the mobile carriers in these 70 countries. Being a shareholder myself (full disclosure), hopefully Apple will release more details as we get closer to the actual release date of July 11th.

The one other surprise and rumor confirmation was the announcement of MobileMe, which is the next generation of .Mac for Macintosh computers, Windows computers and iPhones. To put it simply, it is a Web 2.0 refresh of (the over due revamp) .Mac service. Although, given its compatibility with iPhones (equipped with 2.0 firmware), I may again have a use for this service. Given I can install version 2.0 of the iPhone firmware on my current hacked iPhone 2G.

[Update: June 10, 2008] Thank to the reader, AC, I just checked Apple's "Find a Store" link and it is now pointing to a page where it lists "3" as the mobile carrier to purchase the iPhone.

Apple Apple has composed a new page which list all the countries where the iPhone will be available after July 11, 2008.