Factory Unlocked Iphones from Hong Kong

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Lindat, Jul 17, 2009.

  1. Lindat macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2009
    #1
    I have a friend visiting Hong Kong shortly and I am considering asking him to bring me back a couple of 32gb unlocked iphones - one for myself and one to sell on. Does anyone know the best place to buy them in Hong Kong? Also, is it true that my UK sim card has to be inserted within 30 days or else my friend's credit card would be charged a whack more assuming that the unit has been purchased to take outside of the country? If I do go ahead and do this, is there any other downside I should be aware of? I presume that once my UK sim has been activated, I am eligible for all updates etc. from Apple? It is so infuriating that Apple will not sell unlocked iphones in UK. I am not normally the type of person who would ever consider purchasing such an expensive item from the other side of the world, which really does make me wonder just how many other people will go to the trouble of picking one up from Italy, Greece or Hong Kong for example? It just seems too good an opportunity for me to miss right now, especially as there is no sales tax there. But I would really appreciate advice from more experienced forum members on any pitalls I should be aware of. Thanks.
     
  2. Compile 'em all macrumors 601

    Compile 'em all

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2005
    #2
    The only downside is that if it gets borked you need to send it back to hong kong to be fixed because the warranty is not worldwide. But I guess if you take it to Apple in the UK they might fix it for you.

    I have one from italy and honestly couldn't careless for the warranty :D. Having the iPhone factory-unlocked and activated is great and far outweighs anything else.

    Go for it I say!
     
  3. althon64fx macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2009
    #3
    You can buy one from the online store in HK, some premium resellers and Fortress (a chain of electronic appliances store in HK) listed in this link:
    http://www.apple.com/hk/en/iphone/buy/
    3HK stores require signing a contract therefore u can skip that

    You should be able to activate once u inserted your sim card and connected to iTunes first time ( It will just pop " iPhone is activated" and asks u for restore/setup new phone straight away).

    One thing worth noticing is warranty will only elgible in Hong Kong (No worldwide warranty on iPhones)

    Hope this helps
     
  4. maxchains155 macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2009
    #4
    You must join the plans from 3 if you are buying from Fortress.
    The only way you can buy an iPhone 3GS without contracts in Hong Kong is to buy through the Online Store.
     
  5. Lindat thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2009
    #5
    Online Hong Kong Store

    Does that Hong Kong store really ship to the UK? I wouldn't have thought that these would be allowed to ship outside of the country? I shall certainly check out that website, thanks.

    Can you just clarify what you wrote re. 3HK stores? Are you saying that if my friend goes in to a HK store to buy me two 32gb iphones, unlocked, that he will need to sign something, and therefore be unable to buy them for me? Maybe I misread that bit. I don't want to ask me friend if its going to be nothing but trouble.
     
  6. SFStateStudent macrumors 604

    SFStateStudent

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    Location:
    San Francisco California, USA
    #6
    Sounds like you should be able to buy them ONLINE in Hong Kong.....:cool::cool::cool:
     
  7. Benny- macrumors regular

    Benny-

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2009
    Location:
    Berlin
    #7
    How much do they cost in HK? Play.com sell both the 3G and 3GS unlocked at £589 for a 16GB 3G to £899 to a 32gb 3GS.
    They are expensive but if you need the device unlocked and don't mind paying the premium then they are a good trusted seller in the UK with free postage.
     
  8. Lindat thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2009
    #8
    Hk Iphones

    Well, according to the conversion tool I used, just under £500! So, huuuuuge difference and that is why I am willing to take a gamble.
     
  9. SFStateStudent macrumors 604

    SFStateStudent

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    Location:
    San Francisco California, USA
    #9
    +1 ^^^ Keep us posted OP; very interesting thread.....:cool::cool::cool:
     
  10. watergun macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2007
    #10
    Unfortunately, no local retailer has them in stock yet. The only choice is Apple online store and the shipping time currently is 2 weeks. Even with 3 HK, you have to register online first before you can go to pick it up. The new iPhone sure is in high demand right now.
     
  11. likegadgets macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Location:
    US
    #11
    The 3G was being sold last month at the Hong Kong Airport DG Lifestyle store (authorized Apple dealer) without any commitment at the same price as the HKG online Apple Store. They had plenty in stock.

    The 3GS had not been introduced, but the DG store always seems to get the latest Apple stuff fairly quick. You can always call them and ask if they have them. List of stores with phone numbers here: http://www.apple.com/hk/en/buy/reseller.html
     
  12. Lindat thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2009
    #12
    IPhones from Hong Kong

    Thanks for that info 'Likegadgets!' I might well ask my friend to also check that store at the airport.
    Isn't it amazing the lengths we will all go to to pick up an unlocked phone? Why don't Apple just make it easier for us?
    If they were unlocked the world over at a fair price, they'd sell millions more!
     
  13. Sedulous macrumors 68000

    Sedulous

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2002
    #13
    I bought a 3G unlocked phone online directly from Apple Hong Kong. You must buy it in Hong Kong (Apple will not ship it to another country). There's no contract and therefore no need to worry about any other strings. You can have it serviced outside of Hong Kong (I bought the unlocked 3G for my father, who brought it in to an Apple Store [US] for help without problems).
     
  14. eddieaus macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2009
    #14
    it's sold out everywhere in Hong Kong, Apple online store won't ship until mid August if you order it now.
     
  15. dave006 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    #15
    Sorry but there is no international warranty on the iPhone 3G / 3GS. The Apple warranty is based on the part number and the warranty is only valid in the country where the part number is authorized for sale.

    So if you want warranty service, you would have to return it to Hong Kong. Not a good deal in my view. :(

    Dave
     
  16. Rayfire macrumors 68020

    Rayfire

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2008
    Location:
    PNW
    #16
    Odd, what kind of warranty service did you actually have Apple to look at for your father's unlocked iPhone bought from Hong Kong if the posted below says otherwise?

     
  17. Sedulous macrumors 68000

    Sedulous

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2002
    #17
    Standard Apple warranty. I wasn't with him at the Apple Store (I was in the UK at the time). However, the "genius" at the Apple Store didn't give him any problems. Even if they did, I've had Apple UK REPLACE a defective Macbook purchased in the US. In fact, the country of purchase has never come up as a reason to deny a warranty repair. If you get Apple Care (I did not), it specifically covers repairs any where in the world. So if you are concerned with international warranty issues, then add Apple Care.
     
  18. dave006 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    #18
    Sorry but an iPhone is not a Macbook.

    Here is the basic Q&A that spells out the Apple Facts:

    Can I get my iPhone serviced outside the country of purchase? No, service for eligible repairs is only available in the country where your iPhone was originally purchased.

    Source: http://www.apple.com/support/iphone/service/faq/#repair3

    Also, iPhone Applecare Protection Plan (APP) is only available in some regions / countries. For example here is the list for EMEA Countries:

    This Plan is offered and valid only in Austria, France (excluding Corsica, overseas departments and territories), Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain (including Balearic Islands but excluding Canary Islands, Ceuta, Melilla), Switzerland and the United Kingdom.​
    For example in Hong Kong, if you purchase APP for the iPhone the following terms will apply: This plan is offered and valid only in Hong Kong. The laws of the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong govern this Plan.

    For example in Australia, if you purchase APP for the iPhone the following terms will apply: This plan is offered and valid only in Australia. The laws of New South Wales govern this Plan.

    I think you get the point. :eek:

    Dave
     
  19. Sedulous macrumors 68000

    Sedulous

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2002
    #19
    Either way, I've had a US Macbook replaced in the UK and a HK iPhone serviced in the US. Whether the policy states otherwise, this has been my experience. My best guess is that they understand that people move around and sometimes it is not a reasonable expectation that you should always be in the country of original purchase (i.e. I'm from the US but attend school in the UK). Therefore it would seem unlikely that Apple would turn down service on something should the situation warrant it.
     
  20. mongrel73 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    #20
    Possibly, but to buy one you have to have a Hong Kong address. The idea is that they don't want people in other countries (e.g. you) to be able to have one. So if your friend is just visiting HK and doesn't have a permanent address, you won't be able to do it through him, but maybe he/you can persuade someone who does live there to do it for you.

    What I want to know is, if I buy one in Hong Kong, will I be able to use it on Vodafone when I get back to UK? At the moment, iPhone is locked to O2 in the UK, but where I live, only Vodafone gets reception, so I can't switch. I'm in HK and I have a friend living here who's willing to buy one on my behalf, but I don't want to get back and find I've just wasted £500.
     
  21. watergun macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2007
    #21
    Very likely so. I am based in HK but I travel a lot in the regions and so far iPhone 3GS can work with all different carriers. Plus, the below statement taken straight from Apple Online Store.

     
  22. dave006 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    #22
    Please make sure that you understand that the message you quoted is from the Australian Apple.com Online store.

    Yes a HK Unlocked iPhone will work with any valid GSM SIM, so that means that it will work with an O2 SIM in the UK.

    Also, you will not have warranty support outside of HK on a HK version of the iPhone. The iPhones country / region is determined by the Apple part number.

    So again, use caution when purchasing an iPhone anywhere, that you make sure that you understand what you are purchasing and where you will be able to receive warranty support.

    Dave
     
  23. watergun macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2007
    #23
    ROFL. I dont think the quote is exclusive to Australian, mate :D

    Check the link here and you find the statement too :D:D I won't post a screen dump myself

    HK Apple Store
     
  24. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #24
    Indeed, the exact same message is also present on the NZ site. It's certainly not exclusive to Australia.

    You shouldn't have any issues with a factory-unlocked phone as long as you're using a GSM or WCDMA operator that uses the same frequencies.
     
  25. partydorm macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 29, 2009
    #25
    i bought an unlocked 32GB iPhone 3GS in HK directly from apple.com HK last week, and i had to paid a price of $6,288(USD$806). steve, you just broke a promise of bringing us cheap iPhones on earth. :mad:
     

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