Technology is one of my guilty pleasures. When the iPad 3G came out, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. There’s a lot of debate about how useful the iPad really is (just a giant iPod ,right?), but I’ve found that it’s a perfect travel companion. Light to carry, battery that lasts an entire day, and with 3G, you’re always connected.
A while ago, I asked “Will my smartphone stay smart in Vietnam?” Naturally, this time around I asked myself, “can I use my iPad in Vietnam?” The answer, in short, is yes, with a little bit of work.
PS. I don’t own an iPhone, but for those of you that do, this guide will work just as well!
Step 1: Unlock your iPad or iPhone
Every iPad or iPhone is paired with AT&T (in the US). If you want to use any other carrier, you will have to unlock your iPad. The term for that in the tech world is “jailbreaking” your phone. If you have an iPad or an iPhone that runs OS 3.2 and below, the easiest thing to do is use a free software called Spirit. It’s really as simple as a few clicks.
If you using an iPhone 4, you have to do a little bit of computer work using a software called “redsn0w beta.” There are a few more steps, but it’s not hard. Jump over to the Lifehacker article for instructions.
Step 2: Get a SIM card in Vietnam and make it “micro”
Getting a SIM card in Vietnam is a little more cumbersome now, since individuals are required to register their card in Vietnam. However, it’s done all the time and shouldn’t be much trouble aside from some extra paperwork.
Now, the tricky part is marking your SIM card fit into your iPad or iPhone. Apple devices use a small SIM slot, called micro-sim. However, the folks over at Engadget figured out a way to make your regular card work with just a knife and scissor.
If you made it after your SIM card surgery, all the hard parts are over!
Step 3: Internet on your iPad and iPhone!
As our previous article discussed, Vietnam is rolling out 3G. I asked one of our writers who spent 2 years in Vietnam, Phong Quan, about home much data on my mobile device would cost. According to Phong, most people use prepaid cards in value from 10K VND to 500K VND. Rates are usually about 1-2K per minute and data usage rounds in about that price, too.
Just like that, you can enjoy the iPad’s goodness when you travel to Vietnam. I do have to make a disclaimer that you should be careful when trying any of the techniques mentioned above and check with your product warranties.
Until next time, techies!
Update: One of our readers pointed out that the jailbreak for iOS4 is only for 3GS phones and below. To jailbreak your iPhone 4, follow these guys: the infamous Dev-Team.