Unlocked iPhone 3G available in Hong Kong

Apple is putting on sale unlocked iPhone 3G in Hong Kong, allowing people to use it with any mobile phone carrier, an Associated Press report said.

The move seems to depart from its previous strategy of introducing the popular device capable of 3G, through specific service providers in 22 nations, the Associated Press report added.

On its Hong Kong web site, the Cupertino, Calif.-based company is advertising direct sales of iPhone 3G, saying people can 'buy directly from Apple' and choose their own carrier.

'Phone 3G purchased at the Apple Online Store can be activated with any wireless carrier,' it said on the site.

Offering free shipping, the 8-gigabyte phone goes for HK$5,400 (€481, US$695) while the 16-gigabyte version costs HK$6,200 (€52.5, US$798).

Since the global rollout in July, Hong Kong buyers could only purchase the multimedia phone from Hutchison Telecommunications International with a two-year mobile contract, even though the device was widely available on the black market.

Legal purchase of an iPhone usually locks a buyer into a service provider partnered with Apple, such as Softbank in Japan.

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