Can I purchase a local cell phone that is like the equivalent of an American "Blackberry" or "Palm Pilot"?
I really like the features of my blackberry phone/organizer such as its calendar/organizer, internet, GPS, etc…
Or should I purchase one stateside before I come. (I am told that if it is "unlocked' then it might work)
Please help! Thanks!
I do think blackberry works in China, I have many friends using it.
Blackberry works in China, but only as a bundle package. It's pretty easy to get a SIM card that has internet service, but GPS is tougher. If you want to use the specific blackberry service, you might want to wait until you get here.
Palms and other smartphones are for sale, unlocked in Kunming.
My Verizon Blackberry 8830 (Its a CDMA and GSM phone) worked everywhere in China. I was actually able to surf the web while in the back seat of a moving car driving though the hills of western Yunnan. However, the Verizon international service is expensive. Your choice will depend on how important you western phone is to your communication vs the economics of buying a China Mobile plan with which both local and long distance calls are very cheap.
Sort of on this subject, I have a dead Windows Mobile "Smartphone" that needs reviving. It's from the U.S., but it's manufactured by HTC in Taiwan, and the same phone is sold under a different brand (Dopod) in China. Any ideas on where I can go to try to get this repaired?
How much for a china mobile phone and plan? The cheap stuff please.
I bought the cheapest new cell phone I could find in Kunming in one day last summer for about 400 yuan (~US$50). You can get cheaper ones second-hand, but I've heard that many of those are stolen and resold phones.
There are a variety of China Mobile cell phone plans, which different based on a set monthly fee (usually 5-50 yuan) and then different fees per minute of usage (For example, my plan costs 0.18 yuan/minute to call and is free to receive calls when I'm in Kunming. Outside of Kunming, it costs me 0.6 yuan to make a call and 0.4 yuan to receive one. Other plans have higher per-minute charges but then don't jump if you leave Kunming city). You can start and stop the plans at any time -- no long-term contract necessary. You buy 100Y top-up cards all over the city at street vendors, and you can bargain for those down to 70-90 yuan).