iphone 3G in Hong Kong really network unlocked?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by msantoso, Jul 21, 2008.

  1. msantoso macrumors member

    Apr 22, 2008
    read somewhere in tuaw that iphone 3G in Hong Kong, Italy and one more country available totally network unlocked, but will a firmware upgrade lock it? anyone using it yet?

    maybe later might be possible to create ipsw dump file from this unlocked phone for use w/ locked phone?

    i really like some apps like the remote app, facebook, bloomberg, just purchased enigmo yesterday, boxoffice w/ location support, ebay, and the coming wordpress app is going to make this phone even better. oh and vnc is now available too.
  2. ubersalad macrumors 6502a

    Feb 26, 2008
    Apple has a list of countries that are not required to have locked phones.
  3. adamerr macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2008
    source/ link to list?
  4. ubersalad macrumors 6502a

    Feb 26, 2008
  5. coolb0yalex macrumors member

    Jul 3, 2008
    i'm incredibly upset apple won't unlock US iPhones. I mean, cmon. we need to travel!
  6. sye46 macrumors member

    Jul 21, 2008
    what does this have to do with Apple? it has everything to do with AT&T.
  7. myrsky macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2007
  8. watergun macrumors regular

    Oct 19, 2007
    Here is a screenshot from my iPhone on HK Smartone-Vodafone network, instead of 3HK which is the only authorized HK operator currently. I have managed to update from 345 to 347 firmware without any problems lock-wise. I can still use Smartone sim card.

    I personally never tried using sim card from other countries but there are many people from China and Macau buying iPhones 3G from HK. I think this indicates that HK iPhones 3G is really unlocked.

    Attached Files:

  9. msantoso thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 22, 2008
    i saw in apple document (given in this thread) that in HK there's 2 providers selling iphone 3g, that is 3 and Vodafone.

    when you upgrade from 345 to 347, does it need activation? or it's activated? how do you do the upgrade? direct from iTunes Update button?

    some HK site says that it still needs to subscribe to 2 years contract to buy the unlocked phone
  10. ubersalad macrumors 6502a

    Feb 26, 2008
    There was a thread somewhere that these phones are locked by country. So you can't actually use sim cards from other countries. How? I don't know.
  11. msantoso thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 22, 2008
    the statement below is taken from iphone.three.com.hk FAQ Section

  12. i0dium macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2008
    Has anyone been able to confirm this? Are Hong Kong iPhones country locked or not?
  13. watergun macrumors regular

    Oct 19, 2007
    Altho I've never used any other countries' simcards, I did See some iPhone users in Macau and China so...
  14. kamiboy macrumors 6502

    May 18, 2007
    The strange thing about Apples official list is that it list the belgium Mobistar iPhone as operator locked while people have confirmed that it indeed is not and works on networks outside of the country.


    Also, I think some form of hardware difference makes the unlocked iPhones unlocked. How else would they know if they should be unlocked when they are firmware restored?
  15. kanon14 macrumors regular


    Jan 28, 2008
    Hong Kong
    The iPhone 3G in Hong Kong should be unlocked. It works with 2 different carriers' sim cards I tried. I'll be visiting Canada next week so I'll definitely test out Rogers/Fido sim card too. I'll let you know by then
  16. zainjetha macrumors 6502a

    Aug 11, 2007
    hardware differences? i think this is highly unlikely? maybe by serial number or IMEI.. or so..
  17. kamiboy macrumors 6502

    May 18, 2007
    That is what I mean, I think the hardware difference is the part number. Each country has its own group of part numbers. You can look them up here.


    But the list either has some confirmed errors or Apple is just straight face lying about some of the facts.

    I think maybe iTunes looks at your iPhones, part number, IMEI, whatever unique hardware unchangeable marker of an unactivated iPhone hooked up to it and then maybe takes the correct action, such as unlocking and activating the so called unlocked ones.
  18. mkoesel macrumors 6502

    Mar 31, 2005
    This makes much sense. I agree with your conclusion.

    I had been wondering about this myself. It seems like a reasonable approach to unlocking a US (or other locked) iPhone would be to find a way to cease control of the communications between the iPhone and iTunes and fake the part number/IMEI/whatever. I have no idea what that would entail, but it would give you the huge advantage of not having to jailbreak the phone and not having some hacked software or hacked SIM piggyback. In effect it would be a completely legit iPhone that iTunes thought was from a different country.
  19. kamiboy macrumors 6502

    May 18, 2007
    Yes, ever since I found out about legit unlocked iPhone back at the 1st gen iPhone I thought that it would be just a matter of time before the so called hackers would be able to copy the legit unlock process and would put an end to all the ugly software modification hacks. But here we are months later and nothing, some people just don't care about jail breaking their iPhone and all they want is a simple unlock and activation without any ugly hacks, but the hacker community has ignored that.
  20. ubersalad macrumors 6502a

    Feb 26, 2008
    I am sure if unlocking the phone is as easy as a text message from your carrier, these groups won't bother with releasing their own custom firmware.
  21. zainjetha macrumors 6502a

    Aug 11, 2007
    Yeah I wish my iPhone didnt have to be jailbroken to be unlocked.. It's actually crazy...
  22. kamiboy macrumors 6502

    May 18, 2007
    To hell with the hackers soon i'll be getting a legit unlocked 3G and will never look back.
  23. cruxed macrumors regular


    Aug 28, 2005
    Hong Kong
    hey kanon, let us know if the SIM card from another country works for you :)
  24. scottdk macrumors newbie

    Jan 28, 2009
    Uny update

    I'm going to get an unlocked iPhone 3G from HK. so 2 Questions.
    1. did your HK phone work in Canada with a Canadian SIM?
    2. when it's "Activated", it's not then locked to that Network is it? You can freely switch Networks SIM cards?
    3. Is activation required again when you switch carrier's SIM cards?

    OK 3, make that 3 questions...

    I like to get prepaid Sim cards when I travel. And reactivation might not be possible in remote areas of Laos, for example. (Tango Lao had free international SMS messaging and very cheap international calls when I was there 2 years ago. All for just a $5 prepaid sim, including $5 worth of calls - almost an hour of international calls. Amazing deal)

  25. isianto macrumors regular

    Feb 12, 2007
    1. I think so
    2. yes, I use Indonesian sim card for the iphone that I got from hongkong
    3. The activation is only plugging in to the itunes (at least for me when I put Indonesian sim card)
    and for sure I can upgrade the firmware and still use the Indonesian sim card withouth unlocking it

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