Using the iPhone in Bangkok

The iPhone 4 has been released with great fanfare in Bangkok. Despite being available for some time on the grey market thousands of people lined up for hours to purchase the new phone from Apple.

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The blog Using an iPhone in Thailand has an excellent post on the prices and different data packages that are available from the three main carriers. Prices for iPhone 4 and Packages.

In this post I want to issue a warning for the few people who might still be using the original iPhone, also known as the 2G model. In Thailand your data is calculated per minute and not by the bandwidth as is common in the West. Therefore as long as your phone is connected to the internet you could be charged for usage.

Many owners of the 2G iPhone have reported that their phones seem to use an unusually large amount of data minutes, even when they are not using the phone. I myself experienced this back in April and over the next few months the amount of data minutes that my carrier claimed I was using went from no way, ridiculous and impossible!

As you can seen in the video my minutes kept climbing every month until I switched to the unlimited package and then strangely they seemed to normalize. Why this happened is still a mystery to me but everyone who uses the original 2G iPhone should pay very close attention to how often their phone is connecting online. ridiculous

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  • Apple is brilliant at creating products that everybody wants to have, even though equally good or even better products are available from other companies at cheaper prices. But then, you can’t show off your (admittedly really more stylish looking) iPhone 🙂

    • Apple is good at creating game changing products that everyone wants to copy after its released. This creates the feature war that you are referring to. Think of mp3 players before the iPod or smart phones before the iPhone.

      Apple’s strength isn’t that they create the most feature packed product, it’s the fact that they have the guts to create a new product in an untested market. Very few companies are willing to do that today in any industry.

  • That happens on any iPhone if you have Push Notifications turned on; your phone stays connected to the internet to check for Push Notifications.

    If you are careful and turn off all Push Notifications, you will not have this problem.

    • I had push turned off and all mail set to manual check and yet, everyone now and then for some reason my phone would download my email.

      I first noticed this in Canada when the 3.0 iOS was released but it wasn’t a big deal because I was still well under my data package bandwidth limit.

      The problem is here in Thailand they charge by the minute so my phone was racking up huge data minutes even though I had turned everything off.

      • What’s also strange is that Push Notification doesn’t even work on my phone. I’ve read that to get it to work you first needed to activate the phone with the original AT&T sim card and then after you could unlock it. But I bought this phone in Bangkok so I just unlocked it right away and Push has never worked on it.

  • jamiemilk

    …. “Imposssssible”…. i was dying at that. So true.

  • Thanks for the video and heads up.

    You are talking about the very first iPhone that came out, right?

    I’ve got the iPhone 4 and still have my old one, which I believe was the second generation that came out 2 years ago, the original 3G.

    I got screwed by my phone company in Japan last time I took it to Thailand with outrageous roaming charges even though I never used it.

    I was planning on bringing my old iPhone to Thailand this year and getting it unlocked at MBK and putting a Thai SIM card in. This can be done right?
    Or is it impooosssssible?

    • Yeah mine is the orignal 2G iPhone. Many shops in MBK can unlock the phone for you. There are also people advertising the service on Craigslist. Be aware though that if they brick your phone chances are they won’t do anything about it. “oh well mai pen rai, here’s your brick back”

      • Thanks for that.
        It’s an old phone so I guess I can run the risk of bricking it. I just think it would be nice to have a local number. Unless of course I could unlock my iPhone 4…….

        • Where did you buy your iPhone 4? You can always pick up a cheap phone at MBK. If you’re only here for a short time that might be a good option.

  • I got it in Japan, and would you believe it, Japanese iPhone 4s are the only ones in the world that are locked!! Stupid Softbank.

    • You live in Japan? Cool, I’ll be there in December. I believe the US ones are locked to AT&T as well. That’s one thing that is nice about buying the phone in Bangkok is they are sold factory unlocked.

  • Shaqlain George

    iPhone 4 in Bangkok nice phone. I have to this phone. I already use. How many problems use face ! please send me details here.

  • Kate

    Is Thailand the only country who charges per minute? Thanks for the warning! 🙂

  • dave

    i bought an iphone 4s copy from Thailand and it worked great until i got to Manchester and now all it says is invalid sim , is there any way i can unlock this phone to work in the UK ?

  • Why is the iPhone so popular in Thailand?
    I use the new Samsung Galaxy S III and my wife use the iPhone…but she agrees with me that my Galaxy is way better 😉