Read that? Buy an iPhone direct at Apple store in HK, and you can simply put in any SIM card of the provider of your choice, like NORMAL phones. Emphasize the word any. I guess they have to do that so people will actually want to buy it. Unlocked phones are the norm in Asia, unlike the backward USA. So, Apple, when are you going to do that here?
Category Archives: 3g
Apple HK selling unlocked iPhone 3G
iPhone is out in Singapore
The key point, an FAQ at Singtel’s website:
“Will my iPhone work with a StarHub or M1 SIM?
It may work but you may not enjoy the same iPhone experience as SingTel only supports iPhone 3G devices that are connected to SingTel’s network”
So, iPhone 3G in Singapore is probably unlocked out of the box. More proof that cellular business in the US is ancient and backward with all the locking crap.
Unlocked iPhone 3G
According to Apple, there are 2 countries that officially sell the iPhone 3G unlocked. Italy and Hong Kong. The question is of course, how to obtain them. Some online cellphone import resellers are selling the iPhone 3G for $1500. Yup, $1500 for the 8GB version. Isn’t that insane? Apple really have to think about this. Does Apple really want some independent reseller profiting thousands of dollars selling the iPhone 3G? Apple was not happy with the unlocking of the first iPhone, yet still sell the iPhone 3G locked in most countries. At least if you have a friend in Hong Kong, you can be rich.
Streaming video is up at apple.com.
OK, here’s my take on the WWDC 08 keynote.
1. iPhone 2.0 firmware.
OK, just bring it out. It’s not coming out till July. My Palm Tungsten E is dying (battery & touch screen screwing up), and with the 2.0 firmware, I can easily use my iPod Touch as a replacement, since 1 app, the only app that I use on my Palm will be available for iPhone (epocrates).
The apps look amazing. You don’t see app development for Windows Mobile nor Symbian being marketed this way and hyped so much. Games are great, and hopefully we’ll see more fresh gaming idea, just like what Nintendo DS brought to the market.
Why apps are so great on the iPhone?
First, high res screen. Other phones from other manufactures usually use (very) low res screen, limiting the image quality and overall experience of the GUI, especially internet browsing. PMPs have high res screen already (Cowon A2/A3), and Apple has the unique position having the experience from iPods.
Second, processor speed. Other manufactures usually cut short in the processor used on their phones, usually using whatever cheapest processor they could find, resulting in slow UI response (like many Windows Mobile devices) to the point that it hampers the regular usage of the device. Even Nokia smartphones suffer from slow response and thus poor experience, even though Symbian has many apps.
The ugly side of this, $10 charge for iPod Touch users. WTF? We already had to pay for the previous firmware upgrade, now we have to pay more? In comparison, Sony adds new features in firmware upgrades for the PSP and PS3 multiple times, for free! MS adds new functionalities to the older Zune for free. Of course, I will bite and pay for this to have epocrates for my Touch. T_T
2. Mobile ME.
I thought the rumor was a joke. The name just doesn’t seem “cool.” It reminds me of Windows ME. What is it? It’s .Mac rebranded, refreshed, and redesigned to work across Mac, iPhones/Touch, and Windows. Windows? Well, most of it will be web based, and there’s support for outlook. So, it’s still $100 per year. It has more uniform interface with Mac OS’ own mail.app and iCal. 10GB storage is upgraded to 20GB. Sounds great? Well, consider that Microsoft offer Live Skydrive for free, and it has 5GB shareable storage space, so if all you want is online storage, nothing beats free. Plus Microsoft will have Live Mesh, which will be Mac compatible too. The upside of .Mac is syncing, and with outlook support, it might entice some people. I already like .Mac’s syncing across my iMac and Macbook, but the cost is just too hard to swallow. IMO Apple needs to offer at least a free Mobile ME with maybe only ~2GB storage space, something like that. When Live Mesh goes final, Apple needs to up the ante.
3. iPhone 3G
Finally, long awaited, the newer Jesus Phone. 3G support so people outside the US can think that iPhone is up-to-par with the various 3G phones already on the market. July 11th is the date.
When Jobs started announcing the features of iPhone 3G, it’s hilarious that the crowd are getting crazy over things like “flushed headphone jack.” LOL. GPS, I never use GPS before, so I don’t know if it matters. Battery life seems to be greatly improved (presumably with better power management).
70 countries. Singapore & Hong Kong, yay. Japan, wow. Ooops, not Indonesia, the place that usually gets the latest cellphones, but rampant with hackers and pirates. Are you afraid Apple? Wonder why.
Apple priced the 8GB iPhone 3G at $199. Plus, Jobs said Apple will set the price not to exceed $199 US in all those countries. WOW! This is BIG! Other manufactures usually have variable open prices outside the US (eg. Nokia latest model sometimes is sold at thousands of dollars at launch, then dropping down in price through time, and the cycle repeats). Now, there’s gotta be a catch for this price. Although we will see what will happen in those countries, Apple is still going to lock the iPhone 3G with AT&T in the US. WRONG MOVE!
I guess Apple has not been to SE Asia. Most phones sold there are unlocked, even phones sold under a contract. People in Asia like to switch phones & providers, especially if they’re traveling. IMO if Apple wants to be successful in Asia, without giving money away to hackers/unlockers, Apple needs to sell the iPhone 3G unlocked. So back to Indonesia, this is a place where they have the latest models from Nokia, etc, being sold, even before other countries like Singapore. The pirates will simply buy/smuggle the iPhone 3G from Singapore/Hong Kong, and unlock it. Nobody would bother buying the phone locked from the cell service provider.
Apple better be selling the iPhone 3G unlocked in Asia, and if they did, expect a flood of Americans/ebayers importing the phone. Moral of the story, just sell the phone unlocked, anywhere, period. Ditch AT&T. Apple has the upper hand anyway, AT&T is getting more business thanks to the iPhone, even from people that don’t like AT&T.
Not unlocked, I’m not buying. Even worse, the rumor is that the iPhone 3G will have to be activated in store, in contrast of the first iPhone where users can activate it at home. Plus, it will have worse and more expensive data plans from AT&T. Yup, US cell providers can only go backwards, charging more for less service. Another reason for Apple to sell the iPhone unlocked if they really want to change the way the cellphone business is done. I guess the $10 upgrade fee for my Touch doesn’t sound too bad.
That’s it. No Fusion, no new Macs, no tablet. But hey, Steve casually mentioned OS X 10.6 called Snow Leopard. But of course they don’t want it to steal the thunder from the iPhone 3G. 10.6 already? And I just upgraded to Leopard… T_T
C’mon Apple, why is it so hard not selling the iPhone unlocked? Even if Apple sold the iPhone 3G unlocked for $100 more ($299 for 8GB), I’ll buy it right away. If Apple want to lock me to AT&T, then they are no better than those freebies locked phones. Asians want unlocked phones (if not, they’ll hack it anyway). Business users want unlocked phones (more economical when traveling by using local GSM providers and not giving AT&T $$$ for roaming charges). I want it unlocked. Apple, you’ve just missed plenty of customers.
3G iPod nano Product RED
Well, I’m going to give my previous nano to one of my relatives. She’s happy with her 30GB iPod + winamp, but want something smaller for on-the-go. 😀 Time for a new toy for me while waiting for the Touch.
There are quite a bit of reviews out there already, so I’m just going to be brief.
-Hold slider is too small, and at the bottom to boot! Docking the nano will prevent access to that slider
-I still don’t understand the point of the headphone jack being at the bottom.
-Cover flow is flawed! It listed the albums by artists, and it doesn’t recognize compilation albums. So I have repetitive listings on my albums in cover flaw (as you can see in the video). Hopefully Apple is going to fix this. Fixed in firmware 1.02.
-Click wheel touch area is kinda narrow. I have big fingers, so sometime I miss a “sweep” when scrolling on the click wheel. I guess this is the reason why I felt the menu UI to be “laggier.”
-Chrome back full of smudges! 😦 I wish Apple used the whole aluminum design like the 2G.
-Small screen is not really meaningful for movie playback
-As usual, minimal packaging. Only comes with earbud, USB cable, quick start guide, dock adapter, and stickers.
-When the screen dims during playback, instead of showing the “Now Playing” screen, it goes into a “screensaver” mode, showing only the time, battery status, and a play icon. I can’t find any option to turn this off.
What I like:
-Larger screen than previous nano: Album art and photos are more meaningful now. Plus the higher res screen allow better font sizes.
-Video playback is great for video podcasts
-Now you can access shuffle option directly on the “Now Playing” screen. On previous iPods, you are forced to go to the setting menu.
-Menu UI is not as laggy as I though (see big finger comment above)
Not a must buy for previous nano owners unless you need video playback. I rank gapless playback and unicode feature higher than anything, so to me the 3G nano is an obvious choice. For my use, I rate it 92%.
The competitors: The Creative ZEN is definitely the main competitor, having larger screen, drag-n-drop, compatible with iTMS DRM free AAC, and divx support. Problem is video support is limited to 320×240 (so regardless of divx support, most videos will have to be transcoded anyway), no gapless, and no iTunes like experience.
I wish Apple would release a flash version of the iPod classic. Now I just have to wait for the Touch. 🙂