If you need your iPhone as much as I do in Hong Kong, and don’t wish to pay a lot of money for mobile broadband services for the surfing of websites (hopefully mine to get directions :)) and updating your ever lovely status in Facebook, then you will need to buy a prepaid mobile broadband card in Hong Kong. It is cheap and worth every cent. And I suggest to do so in the airport. Why so ? I found the service to be so good and once you are done, almost immediately you have internet (and SMS and phone calls) access at the airport to start your pleasant stay in HK (usually the first thing is to do a CHECK IN at your Facebook or FourSquare, right.. followed by a photo of the Airport Express train..haha).
There is no need to wait till you get to town. Not much savings and besides, due to language reasons, it is also good to get at the airport rather than downtown… I recommended the 1010 store as I have personally used it…. The service at 1010 store was good.. they removed my original nano SIM card and replaced it with their 1010 nano SIM card, activate the 1010 prepaid card for me and then nicely put back my original SIM card back to the 1010 SIM card holder with a sticky tape to make sure I don’t lose it.. wow… Hong Kong Service Culture ROCKS ! :)
There are 2 disadvantages. Firstly, you don’t have your own phone number back in Singapore to use in Hong Kong. You will be using the phone number of the prepaid card… If you die die die must have your own number, then use services like Singtel Bridge Dataroam (depending on package, it can cost SGD 20 per day !)… the other is that you must take a slight detour when you arrived as the shops are not at the arrival hall.
When you arrived at the airport, you are at the arrival hall (of course….). However, the stores selling the prepaid phone cards are at the departure hall (does not make sense to me even… why at the departure hall and not arrival hall.. probably to cater to Hong Kong people leaving the country so they have packages for them too). Anyway, after you collected your bags and cleared customs and got out of the custom gate, take the escalator or lift and get yourself UP to the arrival floor. In the middle of the arrival hall, nearest to the gates where tourists will leave the country (i.e show the passport to the police guarding the gates), there will be TWO stores selling prepaid card. I used the 1010 store but you can always use the other one (3 Hong Kong.. which is equally good according to netizens)…
The 1010 store at Hong Kong Airport Terminal 1
Departures Check-in Hall, Level 7
07:00 – 23:00
Notice the opening hours ? It opens at 7am. Early and nice except for me, I arrived at 5 am one time ! :) See photos of the shop CLOSED :)
Oh.. it cost me HKD 100 only for the iPhone 5 SIM card with enough for the 5 days I was there, surfing every day, checking status and uploading photos to Facebook etc…. I did used up the overseas SMS due to the need to contact a colleague back home… :)
Different types available:
The only I got:
Hong Kong number and a sweet thoughtful gesture of fixing the original Singtel SIM card to the holder to avoid losing it..
[Update at at September 2014] : In this trip to HK, I got both iPhone 4 and iPhone 5S SIM Cards at the 7 eleven shop at the arrival hall…. however, you will need to put the SIM Card in yourself (easy part) and activate it yourself (the harder part).