Taiwanese iPhone 3G buyers who picked the handset up this weekend after it’s Saturday launch will seemingly be able to use any SIM card in the handset. Contrary to initial reports from official carrier Chunghwa Telecom (CHT) that the Apple smartphone would be SIM-locked to its network, as is the case in other countries, users have found that there’s currently no limitation in place.
It’s possible that this is an error in the CHT iPhone 3G’s firmware, which will be corrected with future firmware updates. Until then, though, the only missing functionality is CHT’s network-specific web services, which cannot be accessed with another carrier’s SIM.
CHT is currently selling contract-free 8GB iPhone 3G handsets for NT$26,600 (US$800), while the 16GB version costs NT$29,900 ($901). Buying it with a two-year contract reduces that, but the CHT require a refundable deposit of up to NT$24,000. Still, the contract-free prices are still less than you’d pay AT&T over the two-year lifespan of your locked iPhone 3G.