It’s now February 4th, 2008 and the iPhone has been out in the US for more than seven months already.
Here in Canada, there is no mention of it yet. Not even rumours that it could be coming any time soon. I believe it will be a very long time before Canadians could buy an iPhone legitimately and use it in Canada.
This is due to the nature of the Rogers company in Canada.
For those outside of Canada, Rogers is one of the telecom giants in this country. It is a cable and cellular provider and it is the only cellular provider in Canada using the GSM system. So that makes it the only company that can have the iPhone on its network.
And for those fortunate enough to never have had to deal with Rogers, Rogers is one of the worst companies here in this country. When they were my cable providers, they had the worst service, worst customer service and they jacked up their prices regularly. It’s hard to believe, but when I was with them, they jacked up the price of the good channels package by $1 every four months. The package was basically any channel other than the local ones and it started at $8.95. Four years later the price for the package had reached $21.
I had vowed to never deal with them and I changed from their cable service to Bell’s satellite service, which while isn’t the greatest, is still better than Rogers. However, Rogers went and bought my cellular provider Fido, the only other cellular provider here with GSM. So now, I’m back with Rogers involuntarily. Bell’s cellular service sucks, so it’s not even a choice.
So now with Rogers the only cellular provider able to carry the iPhone, the chances of the iPhone coming to Canada, on any reasonable terms, are almost slim to none. Rogers doesn’t have any incentive to give Apple any good deal and doesn’t have any incentive to give its own customers a reasonable deal on its data plans.
Why would it want to? Nobody else can have the iPhone currently and Apple can’t offer the iPhone advantage to anybody else in the country at this time. So Rogers can take their sweet time to get the deal that serves them best.
However, if Rogers stay stubborn, they may lose big time.
I heard whispers that Telus (the third cellular provider in the country) is in the early stages of switching from CDMA to GSM; mostly to get the iPhone.
Let’s hope that this rumour is true and that it happens fast enough to get the second generation iPhone. It would be sweet. It would allow me to get an iPhone (without having to buy one and crack it) and move away from Rogers at the same time.