Update: According to Smithereens, the Apple is apparently pissed at Rogers for coming out with such high data rates. As a result, it’s reducing the number of iPhones coming into Canada, and sending some of them to Europe. For more, check out Tony Hung and the Boy Genius Report.
As well, Michael Geist has a column in the Toronto Star looking at the “three locks” on the iPhone in Canada: the three-year contract, the inability to unlock the iPhone from Rogers, and the proposed Bill C-61 (aka Canada’s DMCA), which could make it illegal to unlock anything that is locked by the service provider/producer maker.
Now back to our regular programming….
I could be wrong but…it’s hard not to get the distinct feeling the iPhone is going to be a dud in Canada.
With Rogers’ decision to take a conservative approach to pricing and its failure to offer an unlimited data plan, the hype surrounding the iPhone’s much-anticipated launch north of the border is quickly evaporating.
It’s like looking forward to a great party, only to realize the host has bought a few buckets of KFC and a case of Labatt Blue, and wants to play the best of the Bread and the Carpenters.
Case in point is an Apple aficionado who told me yesterday he had been stoked about getting an iPhone before seeing the cost of Rogers’ packages. Instead, he’s going to hang on to his iPod Touch.
I’ve been bullish on the Touch vs. the iPhone, and it’s something that could really resonate with Canadians because the Touch will give consumers the iPhone experience (minus the phone) without the $3600 whack to the wallet over the three-year contract required by Rogers.
Despite all the negative publicity being heaped upon Rogers, there is little doubt Apple and Rogers stores will be busy on July 11. P.T. Barnum said “There’s a sucker born every minute”, and there are always people more than willing to pay a premium to be among the first to have something to show off. (Note: Engadget reports that there’s already a line-up outside the Apple store in New York even though the new iPhone won’t be available for a week. Craziness!)
But once the initial euphoria evaporates, the iPhone could be a major disappointment UNLESS a miracle happens and Rogers decide to “adjust” its prices.
In the meantime, Rogers’ rivals are looking to capitalize on Rogers’ stumbles. Bell, for example, has is offering the Samsung Instinct for $14.95/month with a $10/month unlimited data plan.
Now, whether or not anyone really wants an Instinct (Gizmodo describes it as “a decent iPhone competitor) is left to be seen but if Bell can offer a low-cost unlimited data plan, why can’t Rogers be a little less ARPU hungry?
One more thought: I’m surprised by how ineffectively Rogers has handled the uproar over its iPhone packages. A Rogers spokesperson has been talking to the media but she comes across as defensive. It’s like Rogers has adopted Muhammad Ali’s rope-a-dope technique by letting consumers bash away until they get tired.
As well: The Washington Post’s Rob Pegoraro has a review on the Samsung Instinct. His take:
“Like many phones, the Instinct looks much better than it works…..A phone like the Instinct can be a fair compromise for people looking to use a smartphone for entertainment, not productivity. It provides some of the things you might have hoped to get in an iPhone and does so with more flair than a BlackBerry, Palm or Windows Mobile phone. That’s no ringing endorsement, but it is what can pass for progress in the wireless market.”
Image credit: The iPhone Blog