Hong Kong gets unlocked iPhone; Russian sales begin Oct 3

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Apple this week began selling unlocked iPhones through its online store in Hong Kong, allowing customers to active the handsets at home. Separately, the company's phase 3 iPhone launch will continue on October 3rd, when major Russian retailers begin offering the device.



Hong Kong



Earlier this week, Apple updated its Hong Kong website with a huge graphic directing customers to its online store where they can purchase unlocked iPhones for use on any network available in the region.



"iPhone 3G purchased at the Apple Online Store can be activated with any wireless carrier," the company said. "Simply insert the SIM from your current phone into iPhone 3G and connect to iTunes 8 to complete activation."



An unlocked 8GB model is priced at HK $5,400 (roughly US$700) and an unlocked 16GB sells for HK$ 6,200 (roughly US$800).



The offerings are an alternative to those offered since July 11th by Hutchison Telecom's "Three," where subscribers can purchase the 8GB model for about $377 ($2938 HKD) or the 16GB model for around $479 ($3738 HKD).



Although the iPhones sold by Three are also SIM unlocked, customers must agree to a 24-month contract with monthly fees starting at $24 ($188 HKD) per month.



Hong Kong is amongst the most densely populated areas in the world, with a population of approximately 6.9 million.



Russia



Meanwhile, Reuters has gathered some information on the Russian iPhone launch, reporting that sales will begin October 3rd. This suggests that Apple's phase 3 iPhone launch, which began today in a handful of countries, will be paced over the course of several weeks.



"All retailers will begin sales of iPhone in Russia at the same time, during the night between Oct. 2 and Oct. 3," Nadezhda Senyuk, a PR director at retail chain Tekhnosila, told the news agency.



Rival chain Eldorado and M.video said it too would be in on the action, estimating that it will sell 15,000 of the 150,000 units expected to be sold in the region through the end of the year. It will market the 8GB model for 22,999 roubles ($923.6) and the 16GB for 26,999 roubles ($1,084) without a contract.



That's said to be the same pricing that will be offered through Russia's 'big three' carriers -- MTS, Vimpelcom, and MegaFon -- each of which inked distribution deals with Apple earlier this year.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 32
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,550member
    $1000.- for a phone that you have to pay high monthly fees to use. The average Russian monthly income is about $550. Crazyness!
  • Reply 2 of 32
    Wow, unlocked version is so expensive. Actually if you pay to your carrier its just as expensive except that you dont "feel" it
  • Reply 3 of 32
    This is awesome for China :-) The price is not out of line with top level Nokia phones and you can bet that millions of those will be finding their way into Shanghai, Beijing, etc.



    Good job Steve! Screw the Mainland and their pesky "requests" (as reported, anyway) - Last year my Chinese friends were flying to the US for business and bringing back 10 iPhones each. Now they'll be taking the train to HK!
  • Reply 4 of 32
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by paxman View Post


    $1000.- for a phone that you have to pay high monthly fees to use. The average Russian monthly income is about $550. Crazyness!



    Aren't there a lot of high-rollers too though? I thought that Russia was buying up most of the Ferraris these days.
  • Reply 5 of 32
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    Aren't there a lot of high-rollers too though? I thought that Russia was buying up most of the Ferraris these days.



    Russian gangsters love sports cars, fancy wheels and gold. The iPhone should fit right in with their culture of conspicuous consumption.
  • Reply 6 of 32
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,550member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    Aren't there a lot of high-rollers too though? I thought that Russia was buying up most of the Ferraris these days.



    I am sure there are. Gangsters and not gangsters. (Much like everywhere else!) But for the 'average' Russian person the idea of buying an iPhone must just be a wild dream. The idea of anybody spending $100 000 + on a car must seem unreal. It even does to me. Much as I love a nice set of wheels I can't help but wonder if it is morally justifiable. I don't hold grudges at all but, you know...
  • Reply 7 of 32
    I remember the first unlocked iPhones last year in France. They were only unlocked within France, so only French SIM cards worked with it. What is the deal with this new wave of unlocked iPhone 3Gs? Are they fully unlocked this time?
  • Reply 8 of 32
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    Russian gangsters love sports cars, fancy wheels and gold. The iPhone should fit right in with their culture of conspicuous consumption.



    Sorry, it doesn't come in gold.... only in black or white!
  • Reply 9 of 32
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    Sorry, it doesn't come in gold.... only in black or white!



    But it is expensive! Bazing!
  • Reply 10 of 32
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    But it is expensive! Bazing!



    Can someone please explain to me (and I'm not being funny, just naive) why someone would pay for an unlocked phone? I don't understand.



  • Reply 11 of 32
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jowie74 View Post


    Can someone please explain to me (and I'm not being funny, just naive) why someone would pay for an unlocked phone? I don't understand.







    You mean pay extra for unlocked, or why they would want unlocked at all?
  • Reply 12 of 32
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    You mean pay extra for unlocked, or why they would want unlocked at all?



    The latter really - what can you do with an unlocked phone which makes it worth all that extra money...
  • Reply 13 of 32
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jowie74 View Post


    The latter really - what can you do with an unlocked phone which makes it worth all that extra money...



    Use it with a different carrier should the need arise. Go to a different country, use a local SIM and get local rates rather than the international rate of your regular carrier. I don't know how many people need this, but there are at least a few.
  • Reply 14 of 32
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    Use it with a different carrier should the need arise. Go to a different country, use a local SIM and get local rates rather than the international rate of your regular carrier. I don't know how many people need this, but there are at least a few.



    Good god, at that price you'd have to be spending a mint on calls for it to work out cheaper, surely??
  • Reply 15 of 32
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,550member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jowie74 View Post


    Can someone please explain to me (and I'm not being funny, just naive) why someone would pay for an unlocked phone? I don't understand.







    I guess if you REALLY REALLY REALLY hate the iPhone carrier you can use someone else. Added to that is the option of not being tied down to a multi year contract. A lot of people REAL REALLY REALLY hate that. I have not done the math but someone here probably has and figured out how long it would take to earn back the money by going with a different carrier.



    There is also the option of buying an unlocked phone and taking it somewhere the iPhone does not exist. Like... um... I don't know anymore. Surely there is someplace it doesn't exist.
  • Reply 16 of 32
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by paxman View Post


    I guess if you REALLY REALLY REALLY hate the iPhone carrier you can use someone else. Added to that is the option of not being tied down to a multi year contract. A lot of people REAL REALLY REALLY hate that. I have not done the math but someone here probably has and figured out how long it would take to earn back the money by going with a different carrier.



    This is what I was thinking... You'd have to hate the carrier so much, you are willing to spend around four times the price and hundreds of dollars just to spite them. Not to mention the unlimited data contract.



    Quote:

    There is also the option of buying an unlocked phone and taking it somewhere the iPhone does not exist. Like... um... I don't know anymore. Surely there is someplace it doesn't exist.



    That was my other thought. Where on Earth is there a problem getting an iPhone now?
  • Reply 17 of 32
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jowie74 View Post


    Good god, at that price you'd have to be spending a mint on calls for it to work out cheaper, surely??



    True, but it has happened. Some people have gotten hit with multi-thousand dollar debts to AT&T just for bringing their phone with them to Canada or Europe while on vacation or business trips. They do offer an international calling plan, but that becomes part of the contract and you have to pay it every month whether or not you go to a different country.
  • Reply 18 of 32
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jowie74 View Post


    Can someone please explain to me (and I'm not being funny, just naive) why someone would pay for an unlocked phone? I don't understand.







    It's simple.

    I'm a perfect example. I'm half Swedish half Norwegian. I live in Norway, but call between the countries a lot. Naturally I'm selecting Tele2 that has the same pricing between the two countries. The official iPhone carrier can't compete with this, but I still want the iPhone. So my only choice at the time was to jailbreak it.



    Different carriers have different pricing, there are family bonuses, no charge within their network, student prices, business models etc. Of course one wanna select its own carrier. Competition between carriers here in Europe at least is very hot. A lot of carriers, and they compete like crazy.
  • Reply 19 of 32
    samabsamab Posts: 1,953member
    The reason why Norway has some of the worst iphone plans in the world --- it's because Norway has 2 national mobile carriers.



    There is basically no competition in Norway.
  • Reply 20 of 32
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Pachomius View Post


    This is awesome for China :-) The price is not out of line with top level Nokia phones and you can bet that millions of those will be finding their way into Shanghai, Beijing, etc.



    Good job Steve! Screw the Mainland and their pesky "requests" (as reported, anyway) - Last year my Chinese friends were flying to the US for business and bringing back 10 iPhones each. Now they'll be taking the train to HK!



    yes this has to be all about China .. and China Mobile specifically.



    if the reports are true then China Mobile are playing hardball with apple, even trying to force apple to ship iPhones with 3G and wifi disabled (which apple should rightfully refuse to do).



    we know that hundreds of thousands of unlocked/jailbroken iPhones have already found their way to China for $700 - $1,000 each so we know there is huge demand at these prices.



    this is a brilliant business move by apple as Chinese mainland folk can now very easily get an unlocked iPhone so easily with HK so close.



    With such huge marketshare and probably the biggest mobile service provider in the world China Mobile had powerful bargaining chips. This really turns the tables in apples favour as china mobile stands to lose lots of contracts if they dont soon come to agreement with apple.
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