iPhone Monthly Plans in Canada with Rogers & Fido

I’ve received a few emails asking about what plans can be used with an unlocked iPhone in Canada. I know there are some experts out there, but there are also some beginners just new to this “unlocking” stuff. So I’m going to try to explain everything in detail, so excuse me if you already know some of this information.

Here are some general questions I’ve been asked in reader emails about using unlocked iPhones in Canada:

  • What cellphone plans can be used with an unlocked iPhone in Canada?
    • Only plans with Rogers and Fido can be used with the iPhone. The iPhone uses GSM band technology, whereas Telus and Bell use CDMA.
    • If you’re an existing Rogers or Fido customer, the switch is very simple. You pop out the SIM card from your Rogers/Fido cellphone and insert it into your “unlocked” iPhone. Then, have some fun with your new iPhone! It’s that easy!
      • I am currently with Fido on a Pay As You Go plan. I have tried inserting a friend’s Rogers SIM and it has worked flawlessly.
  • Do I need a monthly data plan for my iPhone to work properly?
    • NO. You do not need a data plan to use your iPhone in Canada! Some people have read on the internet that you must subscribe to a data plan for your iPhone to work. This is false.
    • You can subscribe to a data plan if you want–but beware as Canada has some of the world’s most expensive data plans! It’s not worth it to be honest (unless you have a company supplied phone and they are paying for it!). You might as well be using the WiFi feature for your internet needs. It works perfectly.

Here are a couple other questions I was asked…I’ll answer them here to clarify some more issues.

  • Will I still be able to use my unlocked iPhone in Canada once (and IF) Rogers starts selling the iPhone?
    • YES. By swapping the SIM card from your old Rogers/Fido phone into your “unlocked” iPhone in Canada, everything remains the same! Nothing will change. Just think of upgrading to a new car–your license plate stays the same, but the car is NEW!
  • If I have an “unlocked” iPhone, will it become automatically updated once I plug in the phone to iTunes?
    • NO. In iTunes, you have two options for your iPhone. A) Update: this updates your iPhone’s firmware; b) Restore: this performs a hard “reset” and brings your iPhone back to its original factory state. BOTH of these options need to be initiated by the user. They are not automatic! So don’t worry! iTunes is not like Windows Update…where it updates automatically for you in the background.

I hope some of this information is helping shed some light on what it takes to buy an iPhone in the United States and bring it back to Canada to unlock. If you have any comments or questions, feel free to leave a comment and I will be sure to respond!

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