If Canada’s Rogers wants Apple’s iPhone, they’ll face pressure to stop fleecing customers

“The iPhone will hit Europe this week, and at prices that are likely to put pressure on Rogers Communications Inc. to cut its cellphone rates if it wants to be the carrier that eventually brings the popular device to Canada,” Catherine McLean reports for The Globe and Mail Update.

“European carriers will offer service plans that start at the equivalent of $70 a month. A rough calculation based on Rogers’ current fees for its existing cellphone services indicates that similar features are more than double the price here, based on the cheapest plan. With some other data plans for Rogers’ cellphones, customers could rack up bills of hundreds, or conceivably thousands, of dollars,” McLean reports.

“Apple wants to see the iPhone reach millions of consumers, and high rates in Canada could interfere with that goal,” McLean reports.

“Wireless carriers in the United States, Britain and Germany had to adjust their packages of services to get the opportunity to sell the coveted iPhone. So the phone’s arrival in Canada may not be entirely up to Apple. Rogers may have to make concessions, either by slashing data prices or finally embracing the idea of WiFi for cellphones,” McLean reports.

“There’s a reason carriers are willing to make such adjustments. The iPhone is the most talked-about cellphone in history, creating instant buzz around a carrier’s brand. Time magazine just crowned the iPhone the year’s best invention,” McLean reports.

“With companies that introduce the iPhone, the biggest change is the way services are bundled. At AT&T and O2, voice minutes and data services are packaged together for one flat price, instead of forcing users to cobble together different plans. T-Mobile combines a plan with cellular data and WiFi hot spots for the first time. And the rates for these plans are very appealing,” McLean reports.

Full article here.

Leave it to Apple to cure the insanity of Canada’s outrageous mobile phone rates.

36 Comments

  1. I was told by someone at Rogers that they are not as BIG as Europe so the cost of reducing their ‘fleecing’ is not worth having the iPhone…they would lose money.
    The problem is that I do not think there is an alternative carrier in Canada so they seem to be in the drivers seat.

    In other words the only iPhone in Canada will be an American bought-unlocked one….sigh! The only advantage is that it will be cheaper for us not that the Canadian dollar has zoomed by the sinking US dollar.

  2. I have an iphone and work in Toronto and it is set up with Rogers I decide to access the internet through the phone not Wi-Fi I went to one page google.ca and exited and that was it. Then I received a bill for 37$ for going to one page….I called them and they fixed it but I decided not to use the internet through my phone….lesion learned

    Lov hating on Rogers

  3. Rogers is pretty tight with RIMM and has made a boat load of money on blackberry stuff. If they are the roadblock to Canada, why change? They keep outrageous fees and still sell phones. As much as I would love an iPhone, Canada’s corruption starts at Rogers and Bell.
    They operate similarly to the mafia..actually, they make the mafia look nice. You will buy it from us, you will lock in long term, we will fleece you monthly for pizzo/airtime, if the piece of crap phone we sold you breaks before your contract expires you must buy one at full price and live out your contract, and you can’t change mafia networks without throwing away the one you have. Pricing will be 6-10 times more than just south of the border, because it costs more to service Canada than Vermont,Illinois or Washington. Don’t expect Rogers to give up squat to get the phone. Apple doesn’t get to choose a provider in Canada so they may just forego Canada.

  4. Apple will sell the iPhone in Canada just as soon as it sets up its own network.
    Why bother dealing with companies that think they have a monopoly? All Apple needs is a network in around ten cities and they would have about 90% of the population covered.
    I know it’s not their business model, but for Canada, it would probably work.

  5. @ Macromancer, Mauritius Kestrel, AJ:

    There are currently four satellite phone companies operating, with Iridium the most successful. Iridium currently has over 200,000 subscribers, mostly industrial and military. Their subscriber base in Louisiana went up 500% during Katrina.

    When Iridium went bankrupt in 2000, private investors bought its assets, which cost Motorola $5 billion, for $25 million. Iridium has 66 active satellites in low earth orbit, plus 9 spare satellites to replace ones that fail. They have been profitable for the past seven quarters, are planning an IPO, and will start replacing their existing satellites in 2013.

  6. “All Apple needs is a network in around ten cities and they would have about 90% of the population covered.”

    Actually, the top 10 cities in Canada only comprise about 50% of the population, so you’d need a bit more than that, but the basic idea would hold. Hardest would be the prairie provinces where population is most dispersed, as opposed to places like BC or Ontario where most of the province lives in a few metropolitan areas (Vancouver, Victoria, Toronto, Ottawa, etc.)

  7. Easy fix, make a CDMA version and put it on Bell’s network. And Apple is robbing us too. The Canadian dollar is at $1.08 us and the cheapest imac is still $100 more in Canada. It should be the same price or actually less.

  8. i love that MDN keeps hammering this story.

    Canadians have been getting the shaft on pricing for so long that we have started to think we deserve it. Now, with a surging currency (relative to the US) we can finally call shenanigans on certain companies using currency discrepancies to justify gouging.

    Fuck off Rogers.

  9. A lot of people here don’t really take into account the differences between the US and Canadian markets. 32 million people spread over a huge geographic area vs. the US with 300 million people in a slightly smaller geographic area. The cost of building a network that will deliver cell access just about anywhere you are in Canada is proportionally that much higher.
    In Europe, I believe the cost of cell access is actually less expensive than the US. It’s about the only consumer product where the Europeans have a price advantage. Then again, you’ve got 350 million people in a space the size of Ontario.
    Doesn’t mean Rogers or Telus can’t or shouldn’t lower their rates however comparing Canada to the US is like apples and oranges.

  10. Even Apple Canada need to learn how to lower its prices to stop fleecing Canadian customers. They just “automatically” renewed my .Mac Famlily Pack account and I’ve been robbed.

    The US price for .Mac is $99.00 while the Canadian price is $109.00. The family pack is US$179.00 compared to CDN$199.00. Factor in the current exhange rate and the price is even higher.

    C’mon Apple, fix this problem and give me a refund for the gouging!

    I don’t even want to talk about the pricing problem with Apple’s hardware… do yourself a favor — save literally hundreds of dollars and drive over the line to buy in the US.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.