If you are in US, India, UK and other countries, when you buy an iPhone, Apple ties up the iPhone 3G or iPhone 3GS you are buying to a local telecom provider. But when you buy iPhone 3G through the Hong Kong Online Apple Store, you can officially and legally get a Factory unlocked iphone which you can use with any operator. Yeah, right! “ANY” operator.
iPhone 3G & iPhone 3GS purchased at the Apple Online Store can be activated with any wireless carrier. Simply insert the SIM from your current phone into iPhone 3G or iPhone 3GS and connect to iTunes 8.2 to complete activation.
Because they’ve been unlocked at the factory, these iPhones can always be updated and they’re covered under standard Apple warranties.
This is because, in countries like Hong Kong, New Zealand and Australia, it is illegal for Cell phone companies to mandate their customers to have a contract with any ONE service provider. So, if you ever touch down at Hong Kong airport or Australia or New Zealand for a holiday or business trip, don’t forget to grab a Factory unlocked iPhone 3GS from the local Apple Online Store.
The prices are not bad either. A 16GB legally unlocked iPhone 3GS will cost you around HK$ 5,388 i.e USD 695 (or 487 Euro), while a 32GB version would cost HK$ 6,288 i.e USD 812 (or 567 Euro).
Beside HK, I found that iPhone 3GS sold in NZ and Australia are also pretty cheap.
iPhone 3GS 16 GB:
New Zealand 1,150.00 NZD = 552.033 EUR = 788.202 USD
Australia 879.00 AUD, 491.287 EUR, 684.991 USD
iPhone 3GS 32 GB:
New Zealand 1,349.00 NZD, 920.172 USD, 647.422 EUR
Australia 1,040.00 AUD, 810.469 USD, 581.121 EUR