With the big announcement the other day by Rogers that they will be releasing the iPhone in Canada later this year, there are many questions that remain unanswered. When will the iPhone be released? What about pricing and data plans?
The latest press articles announce that the Rogers iPhone will be geared towards the high end consumer in Canada. Analysts have stated that the iPhone in Canada will be marketed towards the “high end, style conscious consumer” that doesn’t mind paying $100/month for both voice and data plans, according to Carmi Levi of Toronto’s AR Communications.
What about Apple’s response to the recent Canadian hoopla? Here is what they had to say:
“We’re excited to be working with Rogers to bring the iPhone to Canada later this year, and we can’t wait to get this revolutionary phone in the hands of even more people around the world,” Apple spokeswoman Jennifer Bowcock said from Cupertino, Calif.
The Rogers iPhone Release Date in Canada: Summer/Fall of 2008?
The speculation is that Rogers will release the iPhone this summer when Apple announced their second generation 3G iPhone. We all know that Rogers has signed a non-disclosure agreement so they have kept their mouths shut on the issue. I really wonder how Rogers is going to market the iPhone. You would think they would be peppering both TV, radio, and newspaper ads by now if there was going to be a summer release.
My feeling is that they are still working out the fine details and we will most likely see the iPhone being released by Rogers in the fall in time for the Christmas bonanza. Either way, expect to pay a premium for the iPhone, which will be subsidized by a 3 year contract. Knowing Rogers, I bet they might fabricate a “new” 5 year agreement. Could you imagine being tied down for FIVE years? Three years is bad enough, but just imagine five–this is just pure speculation of course!
Pricing of the Rogers iPhone in Canada
The original 8GB iPhone in the US was launched at a price of $599, then dropped to $399 a couple months later. We could see some similar pricing here in Canada, but like I mentioned above get ready to commit for three long years to get the biggest subsidy. I can see something along the lines of $399 for a 16GB iPhone on a 3 year contract.
Even though the iPhone hoopla has died down a bit, the majority of Canadians (minus the unlocked crowd plus their friends and family) have never experienced an iPhone, yet seen one in person. The moment it is released in stores and once more people start acquiring them (not just the unlocked crowd) the Rogers iPhone torrent will only grow bigger. Keeping this in mind Rogers, as the only GSM carrier in Canada will take this fact into consideration when it is determining pricing.
Pricing of Data Plans with the Rogers iPhone
This is probably one of the most important issues with consumers–iPhone data plan rates. What’s the point of having a full HTML capable iPhone, if data plan pricing is just horrendously expensive? We know that Rob Bruce, president of Rogers’ wireless division, claimed in February “We’re not fans of unlimited plans”.
However, other analysts feel that Rogers might drift away from their stance and offer “virtually unlimited” data plans for $35/month, with 100 to 200MB per month. Combining this with a voice plan that offers reasonable daytime minutes (250-500) and unlimited evening and weekends, you’re most likely looking upwards of $80-100/month to use the almighty iPhone in Canada. We will just have to wait for Rogers to announce their pricing. One thing is certain: either way their rates will shock Canadians nonetheless, for better or for worse!
Let the Waiting Game Begin (or continue; wait a minute, it never stopped!)
Once again, customers that have been waiting for the iPhone to be released in Canada will have to continue waiting–yet again. Given the “abilities” of the online “iPhone community”, I would not be surprised that owning an unlocked unit from the USA will be the same as getting one from Rogers, minus the possible Rogers branding (can you imagine the Rogers jingle and start up screen on your iPhone–yikes! *shudder*)
Let’s take this question out to you guys and girls: when do you predict the iPhone will be released “officially”? What about pricing and data plan rates? Let’s hear it all in the comments!