The long-awaited launch of Apple’s iPhone in Canada is less than 2 weeks away. I will have myself an iPhone shortly thereafter. I’ve been waiting for such a device for a long time. I remember, in fact, conceptually talking about the iPhone with my friend Davin a few years ago, back when the iPod had recently come out. I said something to the effect of, “I’m waiting until they come out with an iPod with a built-in phone, or a browser, or at least a way to check emails…”
Well, I didn’t wait that long for an iPod – got one of those last year – but I had a feeling something like the iPhone was on the horizon for a few years. My premonition might have had something to do with my trip to Miami in 2003 where I hung out with a friend from Toronto, who, at the time, was working for a little known tech company called Research In Motion, and she was carrying around a prototype device called a “Blackberry”. Turns out, I was one of the first few hundred people to ever use one of these things. But I digress…
So the iPhone is coming to Canada soon, and just last week Rogers Communications revealed the plans and fees for operating one of these devices on their wireless network. In Canada, the iPhone is exclusive to Rogers and Fido (owned by Rogers). First things first: the iPhone will cost $199 for the 8gb model, and is only available on a 3-year term. Meaning we can’t have one unless we’re locked in for 36 months.
The basic iphone voice and data combo package is $60, which includes 150 mins of phone time and up to 400mb of data. Their top plan offers up to 2gb of data for something like $115 per month, not including system access, tax, etc, meaning we’re probably looking at $135-140 per month for the primo package. Rogers does not appear to be offering an unlimited data plan, which would protect people like me from surfing their nuts off while on a trip or something, and subsequently receiving a $5,000 bill the mail.
Rumor has it, a single page load on a site such as Facebook can be upwards of 1.2mb, meaning 333 page loads on the cheap package per month. Sound like a lot? So does 1200 km in a rental car, but only when you have to pay 10 cents per additional kilometer do you quickly realize how fast you go through what you’re given, and how dearly you wish you’d purchased more.
Without an unlimited package, and with monthly rates relatively high compared to other network-exclusive countries such as the US (AT&T offers a $99 unlimited everything plan), I feel like we’re getting the short end of the stick. We’ve already had to wait this long for the iPhone to come to Canada, and now we’re getting screwed by our own provider.
There’s an online petition to sign to send your message to Rogers and Apple. I encourage you to sign it, and see if we can’t make an impact before we (or at least I) lock into a 3-year plan at a hefty rate.