Hong Kong Tech Phooey

a tech junkie from Hong Kong

How to Tackle iPad’s Cannot Connect to App Store Problem

This is the number one problem that bothers a lot of people especially those who have their iPad outside of US.

So far, what I found out is that for those outside of US –

  1. You need a US iTunes account, you can open one with iTunes Gift Card (that is if you can get hold of some either on eBay or other auction sites). For those in Hong Kong, please refer to my earlier post, My iPad is in DA House.
  2. Have your iTunes on you PC or Mac powered up and logged into that US iTunes account.  Then link up your iPad to your PC or Mac.  Now you should be up and running.

Someone asked me whether I need VPN on and the answer is no.

HOWEVER, there is another glitch to this “Cannot Connect to App Store” problem.  OK, this is the scenario, at least for me.

I opened up a US iTunes account with the iTunes Gift Card I got from Mactivity here in Hong Kong.  I can buy basically anything from the US iTunes Store as long as I have enough money credited to that account via the Gift Cards.

But since I can access the iPad apps from my Hong Kong iTunes Store, I tend to buy the apps there as I do not have to use my US account credit balance (because I got the Gift Card for a premium added, a US$15 card cost me HK$180 here).

OK, here comes the fun part, going back to the top of the post, say you successfully logged into the App Store on your iPad and you see two updates available for your iPad apps.  Like me. the two apps probably purchased from another iTunes Store, in my case, from the Hong Kong Store. Now if you try to install the update, it will boot you back out as (1) you are currently logged into the App Store with a US account, and (2) you will have problems re-entering the App Store on your iPad.  In order to get back in, go the the iPad settings, under “Sign Out” under the “Store” tab, and re-sign in again with your US account details. You should be able to log back in again.

I know all this sounds too troublesome but that’s how Apple works, at least for now.  Hope this helps.

April 26, 2010 - Posted by | Apple, iPad, Tips and Tricks | , , ,


  1. hiya
    i took your advice and went to Mactivity and bought a few of the itunes gift cards and i have to say thanks to you i can now watch some of my fav tv shows and download some good software as well. my friend is in New York this week and looks like he may pick up the new 3G ipad for me – so i’ll let you know how that fairs as well.
    (i also told him to get me the itunes US$100 gift card)
    thanks again!

    Comment by Varsha | April 29, 2010 | Reply

    • The new 3G iPad runs on the MicroSIM card, not compatible with the SIM we use here in HK. Will check and see how the locals tackle this.

      Comment by hongkongphooey | April 29, 2010 | Reply

      • I asked one of the techie guys and he said basically cut the sim card u hv n it will fit

        Comment by Varsha | April 30, 2010

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