Apple now selling iPhone 3G unlocked in Hong Kong

If you can't get your goods into China via the front door, there's always the back. Apple is now selling its iPhone 3G unlocked via its on-line Apple Store in Hong Kong. The 8GB model sells for HK$5,500 (about US$694) or HK$6,200 (about $797) for the 16 gigger. Already available since July 11th with a local Hutchison Telecommunications contract, this is the first time that Apple has sold its device unlocked in Hong Kong:

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

Unfortunately for the 1 billion mainland Chinese, the terms and conditions limit sales to those in Hong Kong only -- not that the gray market cares about T&Cs. It'll be interesting to see if Apple extends the unlocking more broadly (presumably as exclusivity deals expire) or if this is strictly a local phenomena, perhaps in direct response to having its WiFi and the imperialistic 3G gutted from handsets sold under Apple's rumored China Mobile deal.

[Via PC World, thanks Twins N]