updated 04:00 pm EDT, Thu September 25, 2008
Unlocked Hong Kong iPhone
The iPhone 3G is now on sale directly from Apple in the city of Hong Kong, despite no prior announcements, listings reveal. An 8GB phone is selling for $5,400 HK ($692), while a 16GB model costs $6,200 HK ($794). Notably, iPhones in the region can be "activated with any wireless carrier," according to Apple, and require only that a carrier's SIM card be installed prior to sync with iTunes 8.
In the vast majority of countries, Apple partners with carriers whose SIM cards are strictly locked down, preventing use of an iPhone on any network other than the one it was originally bought for. iPhones are already known to be on sale in Hong Kong through 3 HK, owned by Hutchinson.
Hong Kong's iPhones may prove to be unique to China, as the South China Morning Post claims that a stripped-down iPhone without 3G or Wi-Fi is being prepared for the rest of the country. This would allegedly reflect the Chinese government's favor of a local 3G standard, TD-SCDMA, instead of common protocols like HSPA.