For many of those users, there is the fear that once Apple ties up with a Chinese carrier and starts offering the iPhone3G in China, their first-generation iPhone will become an iBrick because it will not be recognized by the Chinese carrier and/or Apple, and there will be no upgrade path. (Apple and Steve Jobs are kind of famous for not particularly caring about background compatibility and upgrade paths. If you’re screwed, you’re screwed.)
Fortunately, Matt Cutts of Google has posted an article on his blog called “5 Steps to Upgrade From a Hacked iPhone To and iPhone3G”. The article is written for an American audience, but there is no reason why it could not apply to an iPhone user in China (or anywhere else).
The good news is that your first-generation iPhone will not become an iBrick, and you can likely sell it on Taobao. The bad news is in step two: there’s no way you can avoid spending money on another cool device from Apple.
UPDATE:One week after its release, the iPhone3G has been pwned (that’s geekspeak for cracked). So do you want to go legit or are you hardcore for open? It’s your call.