Friday, June 26, 2009

iPhone in Cambodia: 8GB for USD599

I went to check out this special offer by iOne in Siem Reap. There are banner ads advertising this deal. The iPhone was going for USD650 previously, it says.

The phones come from Singapore so they are "officially unlocked". What this means is you can pick your network and get full use of the handset and all its official functions no matter which carrier you choose. Contrast this with iPhones bought in the US where you can only use one carrier, AT&T, or in the UK, where you have to use the carrier O2. (The apple store in Hong Kong sells officially unlocked phones for USD579, just USD20 less.)

It seems there is one caveat with the unlocked phones. After inserting your SIM card, and connecting to a 3G network, you need to connect to iTunes to complete activation. But at least one person is having problems with his iPhone in Cambodia. Pisethdara Keo on Twitter: "Buying iPhone in Cambodia is crazy!!! you'll never be able to access itune store or even get free application!!!! 7:09 PM Jun 18th from TwitterFon"

I drool over my friends' iPhones. It is so great to be connected all the time. I remember checking out digital cameras in Singapore and my friend promptly started Googling the models I was interested in, to read reviews. As you can imagine, it was most helpful in helping me make my choice.

Anyway, as with a previous post on cameras and printers, the cost of the gadget is one thing, and subscription or other on-going costs, another. In Singapore, you can even get free phones as telcos try to get you to sign on to a contract, from which they extract more money than they could with a one-off sale. Anyway, phones, like printers and PCs, are commodities, and prices just go one way.

So, what are the additional costs to owning an iPhone in Cambodia? 3G has been available in Cambodia since 2008 despite Prime Minister Hun Sen's ban of the technology in 2006, because his wife received porn on her 3G mobile phone. Hahaha!

Borin chose Cellcard over Cube (or QB). I was told by the staff at iOne that I would have to pay USD30 (or was it USD35?) a month for 1.5GB data download. That killed it for me. Not much point in having the phone if I can't surf much. 1.5GB is nothing and I am on a budget.

The alternative if I really wanted a mobile Internet device is the iPhone touch, which you can surf with wherever there is wi-fi. Not much point in that for me. I'd rather get a netbook.

Update 30.06.2009: 3G S is available in Cambodia, more than 10 days before Singapore, Malaysia etc!


Chanroeun said...

You should buy the latest Iphone 3G S. It is available in the US, Australia and other countries but I am not sure in Cambodia.

Iphone is great but its trading way is quite tricky.

Diana Saw said...

The iPhone 3G S is currently not available in Cambodia but will be launched in Singapore next month (July 2009).

Not sure when the 3G S will be in Cambodia, but no doubt this is why the older generation iPhones are on sale now...

Khmer said...

iPhone 3GS arrived Cambodia:

16GB/32GB 1100$US/1270$US.

Pi said...

For phone activation is OK. What I had mentioned was about to create iTune account which is not available for Cambodia.

Khmer said...

It's possible to create iTunes accounts in Cambodia, try to search in apple forums. I'm successful to do so!


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