Apple has started selling the unlocked version of its iPhone 3G in Hong Kong, which allows buyers to use it with any mobile phone carrier.
A major departure from its earlier strategy of selling the phone through specific service providers, the company has advertised the direct sales of iPhone 3G on its website. The website statement said: "Phone 3G purchased at the Apple Online Store can be activated with any wireless carrier."
Since its global release in July, Hong Kong buyers have been able to buy the iPhone 3G only through Hutchison Telecoms with a two-year mobile contract. The company's move seems aimed at recovering lost business due to less choice of carriers in its locked version of the iPhone 3G, and higher cost of the handset.
The 8 GB version of the iPhone 3G in Hong Kong costs $695, while the 16 GB version costs $798. In the US, the company sold the 8 GB and 16 GB versions for $199 and $299, respectively.
The company reported a 31% increase in net income to $1,07bn for the third quarter 2008, on revenue up 38% to $7,46bn, due to strong Mac PC and iPhone sales. iPhone shipments nearly tripled to 0,72 million during the quarter.