In Tsim Sha Shui, just over the Star Ferry from Hong Kong Island, I came across this new vending machine in the subway station of all places. It’s selling SIM cards for mobile phones, both the GSM and the CDMA variety (for those visiting China and wishing to have CDMA). Cards cost, mostly $98HK which is about $13 USA.
Almost all Hong Kong phones are sold “unlocked” meaning you can switch SIM cards at will. I was able to unlock my USA T-Mobile phone before I left, and now have SIM cards for the US, UK, Germany and Hong Kong. I think there is a market for a SIM card holder as they are always bouncing around in my wallet.
Will we ever get to this point in the USA where a phone is as easy a pack of gum? I hope so, but as long as the big carriers “lock” mobile phones most Americans won’t know that getting a cellphone can be this easy.