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Apple sanctioning Rogers, diverting iPhones away?

updated 10:50 pm EDT, Sun July 6, 2008

Apple sanctioning Rogers?

With the backlash rising against Canada's exclusive iPhone carrier, Rogers may be facing sanctions by Apple for its exorbitant rate plans. An unconfirmed report indicates that Apple, unhappy with the pricing plans offered by the carrier and perhaps the negative attention, has diverted a large percentage of iPhone 3G shipments -- destined for Canada -- to Europe. Since the initial announcement of Roger's rate plans, over 43,000 users have signed the virtual petition at RuinediPhone.com and even the main stream media is bolstering the negative attention with headlines such as "Solution to high iPhone prices is not to buy one."

The editorial, which was published in the Vancouver Sun last Friday, touts other competitive devices (such as the Samsung Instinct, which is offered by Bell Canada with an $10 unlimited data plan) and concludes that consumers should consider alternatives to fight the "monopoly position for a premium product." (Other main stream publications have run similar editorials.)

"If you don't like the price of an iPhone, don't buy it. One side-effect of the year-long wait for iPhones in Canada is that other gadgets, such as the much-talked about Samsung Instinct, are providing new competition," the publication writes. "If Rogers finds it has priced itself out of the market, it won't take a petition to ring in lower prices."

Smithereens, a blog by Daniel Smith, says that it has confirmed several portions of the report, while other details remain unconfirmed. Citing senior Rogers representatives, Smith says Apple is diverting iPhone 3G shipments to European markets, but can only say that the numbers of iPhone 3G reaching Rogers stores will be 'significantly reduced.'"

In addition, Smith has confirmed that a number of retail partners which had hired additional staff at the request of Rogers, have let some go, which is also thought to be in anticipation of the reports of Apple's sanctions.

Smith also said that stores have been told to "exercise caution" not to over-promise delivery of the new devices. Though unconfirmed, early reports indicated each Rogers retail outlet was to receive as few as 10-20 units, "ostensibly due to Apple's displeasure over Rogers' high data and voice rates."

Rogers wireless rates historically have been "astronomically high," according to its consumers, but the latest iPhone rates plans have drawn significant attention from consumers, the media, and now Apple. Rogers, which initially defended its rate plans to Electronista, is now working to further "tweak" some of its rate plans and potentially add an unlimited data plan -- following earlier attempts to counter criticism by offering separate voice and data plans and allowing users to select features a-la-carte rather than part of initially announced iPhone plans or pre-bundled value packs.

"Customers are not restricted just to the 4 iphone bundles that were announced & are able to select from most of our other voice & data plans," Bruce M. Mann, Vice President Investor Relations at Rogers Communications Inc. said. "We do not have an unlimited data plan, although we are looking at potentially tweaking some of the data plan bucket sizes." [article updated]




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. JohnnyFive

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +6

    well good riddance!

    time to get that pr machine going rogers. you can't get away from this one.

  1. longzero

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +7

    Unlimited

    If Rogers includes an unlimited plan, it better not be only in the most expensive plan.

  1. EmmEff

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +8

    Serves you right, Rogers!

    Good on Apple! Rogers has already done everything it can to kill the iPhone experience in Canada, so they might as well not have the phone at all. I was going to switch to Rogers but not any more.

  1. slawo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +7

    Not just the pricing

    The aeonic length of the contracts is the main reason I will not buy the device and will never sign a contract with them. It's no more a "I will sign if", they disgusted me for good. I'm not saying I will never sign a contract or I will never buy an iPhone, I will probably when I get back to a country where telcos have first world mentality.For the time being I will switch from the fido pay as you go to virgin

  1. smithereensblog

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +7

    From the horse's mouth

    Great story. I always love MacNN's very journalistic style. Unique and interesting to read.One thing I will point out, however, is that since I originally published the article on Smithereens Saturday, a few things have been clarified and confirmed. For one, we know that units definitely were diverted to Europe (though we don't know exactly how many) and we know that some part time staff were let go by dealership affiliates because of this. What we still don't know, and the reason why my post is still clearly labeled as a "plausible rumour", is -why- this has all happened. In your post, you quote me as saying that it is "due to Apple's displeasure", leaving out the operative word "Ostensibly" (Don't worry, I used to do that all the time back in j-school too ;)) Point is, this motive hasn't been confirmed and is still only speculation. There is a Rogers Press Conference scheduled for tomorrow, so I guess we will know more soon enough.Oh and hey, a link back to the original article would be nice somewhere up there, to, eh? Jus' saying ;)Daniel SmithSmithereens BlogProductivity, Persuasion and Prose:http://smithereensblog.blogspot.com

  1. smithereensblog

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    D'oh

    Ok so I just noticed the blatant link right there in the paragraph. Yeah, apparently I'm blind. Whoops. Sorry about that, carry on. Nothing to see here!

  1. imagine engine

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    Rogers vs competitors

    It's not so much that I'm upset that other countries that are licensed to sell the iPhone are offering unlimited data but that Rogers is completely ignoring their major competitors here in Canada. Telus a Nationwide carrier for over a week has advertised for smartphones unlimited data for $30.00. Why is it taking Rogers so long to make a decision to do the same. Do they realize by holding off they will only upset their customers to the point of porting to the competition with out any hope of them returning? It's almost as if they are trying to ride the gravy train as long as they can no matter how much damage it does to the company image or their stock value. Also the bad press is not just in the Canadian news but has drawn attention in several major news sites around the world.

  1. LithiumPowered

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    being rogered since 2002

    This is an interesting development.... I have been following iPhones arrival in Canada since the 1st gen iPhone was announced at MacWorld in 2007, and this past week has been the most interesting.... A great show of resistance to the tyranny of Rogers, I hope everyone can hold off on buying the phone until we get our UNLIMITED DATA, SHORTER TERM CONTRACT and/or FREE IPHONE (a guy can dream can't he?)
    I am eager to see what the clowns at Mt. Pleasant and Bloor in Toronto will say at the press conference

  1. cdiggy

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    crazy

    It's amazing just how OUT OF TOUCH Rogers truly is. Like, it takes sanctions by Apple to slap these guys some frikkin sensibility? Unreal! Tomorrow's press conference will be "make or break" for Rogers. Have they learned their lesson? Or will they continue to ignore the writing on the wall? Anything less than a 2year contract/unlimited data/300 minutes for $60 and they're done! nite nite

  1. Salty

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    E-mailed Rogers

    I emailed Rogers customer service dept and actually got a real reply from a person. I think it was largely a copy-paste job, but they pointed out that they offer no soft cap, which I said well that's hardly a feature! They commented about how yes france had 500 megs and then capped bandwidth but this way if a Rogers user needs more they can just keep going, and I said you know I'd rather know my traffic was going to be shaped slower after a certain point than know that I'm just going to give you a ton more money than I had planned on next month.

    If I read their press thing the other day correctly it was 50 cents a meg over for the next 60 megs after (read that 30 dollars, double the cost of the basic data only plan) and then after that it dropped to three cents a meg. Honestly if it weren't for those 50 cent megs, I wouldn't complain that much, 3 cents a meg wouldn't be so bad, but the fact is the primary audience of the iPhone includes a lot of teens. Teens WILL NOT keep track of their cell usage, parents are going to be getting 200 dollar iPhone bills, and it's gonna be screwed up for all involved. I used to work for Rogers and I've already told them I'd love a 16 gig version and wouldn't even mind doubling the price of my plan to get it at around 60 dollars, but not for only 300 megs! If I'm gonna be paying for basically another internet connection like I use at home, I might as well get unlimited bandwidth.

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