Before I begin I want to review what happened last night (HK time). Apple's CEO, Steve Jobs held a press conference about the iPhone 4 antenna issue at Cupertino, California.

He claims that the iPhone 4 antenna issue is common to all modern day mobile phones and showed videos of the fact.

Having said that Apple will give out free cases to all iPhone 4 owners. For any users who had purchased Apple Bumpers Apple will refund these users. But Apple is not able to make enough Bumpers so they will source other cases, and make all these cases available for iPhone 4 customers to apply for on starting next week. Apple will evaluate the situation on September 30th and assess if this program needs to be extended.

During the press conference Jobs also confirmed that the iPhone 4 second phrase launch is on schedule and will happen on July 30, 2010. Many of you already know about this from my previous report, but now we have an exact date. One thing changed in the iPhone 4 second phrase launch is the omission of South Korea from the list of original 18 countries:

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • Hong Kong
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Luxembourg
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • New Zealand
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland

I still recommend you wait for the general availability of the iPhone 4 in late August and purchase from Apple store online or from one of its authorized resellers in Hong Kong. The only differences for purchasing from non-mobile carriers are, you will have to wait about a month more to get your iPhone 4, and most importantly you do not have to commit to a 2 year contract.

If you choose my recommended method of purchasing your iPhone 4, you will need to know that none of the mobile carriers: Smartone-Vodafone (SMV), 3 HK and PCCW, that offer micro-SIM cards are giving them out to customers who do not own an iPhone 4. So there is no way for you to get a micro-SIM before the massive influx of customers demanding them, nor to get these micro-SIM ahead of the delivery of your iPhone 4.

I think these decisions of the mobile carriers are wrong, but I think it is due to the limited quantities the carriers have in their inventory at the moment. Hopefully these practices will change later when supplies become more prevalent.

Another reason to wait before you buy an iPhone 4, is due to Apple setting a deadline for iPhone 4 customers to receive free Bumpers. I speculate that the September 30, 2010 deadline may be the date they gave themselves to come out with a design modification to the iPhone 4.

In either case Hong Kong is still the best place to purchase an iPhone 4. This is because Hong Kong is the least expensive place in the world to purchase any Apple products, as proven again by the list prices of the official HK iPad. It is expected that the iPhone 4 (non-subsidized) prices from Apple store online and its authorized resellers will also be around those non-subsidized prices from UK, France and Canada; the three other locations also selling SIM-unlocked iPhone 4.