While it may be a pipe dream for Americans and Europeans, an Apple factory unlocked iPhone 3G has now officially gone on sale in Hong Kong.
Available on the Apple Store HK site, the company explains to potential customers: "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."
The saving grace for we jealous types however is the normally rock bottom prices we see in Hong Kong aren't fully in evidence here with Apple charging HK$ 5,400 (£376) and HK$ 6,200 (£432) respectively. This would seem to work out pretty well compared to the £349.99 (8GB) and £399.99 (16GB) for locked PAYG prices demanded by O2 in the UK, but then again these deals include a deal-saving 12 months of free unlimited browsing and WiFi (£10pm after that).
It is also worth noting that a service like Visual Voicemail won't be supported on other networks (we'll survive), while the same remains true of our O2 PAYG options.
Interestingly the detailed T&Cs limit these unlocked iPhones to Hong Kong only, excluding the rest of China but I suspect a rampant grey market trade will develop in no time... the wondrous spread of capitalism!