no iPhones for you rogers

July 8, 2008 ·

a techcrunch article came across my twitter feed today with breaking news that apple is pulling the new 3g iPhones from their canadian stores because of rogers' (the sole canadian carrier) outlandish data plans. good on you apple.

not only is apple the leading innovator in technology but now has assumed the role of policeman, fighting against inaccessible wireless bytes. someone has to do it, especially here in canada where our data packages are worse than 3rd world countries. i knew it was bad, but that's appalling.

to give my own perspective and why i care so much is i'm paying $11/month for 2 lousy megabytes of data transfer with rogers. this effectively leaves me with little to do outside of the few sites that have a mobile version that is low bandwidth intensive. and god forbid i go over my measly amount for the wrath of incremental bandwidth will leave my bank account in a sorry state.

there's a few good stories coming out of this whole situation.

1) that companies listen to consumers and take impactful action in response. apple listened to all the people who petitioned for lower wireless rates to make buying an iphone actually be worthwhile for the functionality your purchasing and not have to sell your first born to do so.

2) this should cause wireless rates, especially data ones, to go down significantly. rogers lost a huge opportunity to build a lot of goodwill and cache in the market by being the sole iPhone carrier. so one of to possible scenarios will hopefully happen: rogers will have to lower their rates to get the iPhone back which will cause the other carriers to lower their rates to compete or one of the other carriers gets the iPhone and the rates they will charge to accommodate apple will result in industry-wide rate decreases.

3) deregulation? will this spur the crtc to eliminate the current 3 company oligarchy and open up the industry for the sake of competition and fair prices for consumers? let's hope so.

i'm still dumbfounded by how profoundly rogers bungled this launch. the opportunity they lost was tremendous. someone is surely going to get fired for this. someone should anyway. while they've suffered a pr nightmare and the brand has some serious repair work to do, if they can reconcile with apple, there won't be much in the way financial repercussions. why? because apple devotees will take their product wherever they can get it, however soon they can get it so they will still flock to rogers. if they ever do get to launch it. maybe the only outcome is their exclusivity won't be a long, but they'll still have lots of iPhoners locked in by then.

as readers of this blog (are there any?) know, i'm no apple fan boy. i do respect the company for what they have carved out as product makers, innovators and marketers, but i'm not going to line up for their wares. probably won't ever buy any of them (i do own an ipod but it was a gift). that they have the power and clout to affect major industry players in other countries is impressive though.

update - july 9th, 2008
rogers succumbs to customer pressure and lowers their data rates. but in a half-assed way. it's only a promotion offered to those who sign up before august 31st. this gets you 6 gigs a month for $30 where before $30 got you only 300 megs.

i still call bullshit because it doesn't solve the problem apple was really trying to get at, that of standard rates being astronomical. it's a band-aid solution so rogers can save face. what about those who buy an iPhone after that date? they get royally screwed.




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