updated 10:15 am EDT, Wed April 14, 2010
Rogers may break traditional model for iPad
Canadian carrier Rogers and O2 UK today dropped quick notes that they will have plans available for the 3G-capable iPad in time for its delayed launch in late May. The providers didn't say what these would entail but implied they would be distinct from the usual data-only plans; for Rogers, these start at $30 a month for 500MB and peak at a maximum 5GB for $65.
The iPad's 3G data plans in the US are a likely indicator of how international carriers may serve the Apple tablet. While it's considered unlikely that Rogers will offer a true unlimited plan, AT&T's offer of unlimited access for $30 is half of what it would normally charge for a large amount of bandwidth on a non-phone device. Rogers and O2 may have to follow a similar path to avoid unfavorable comparisons to the iPad's American carrier.
If so, this would most likely involve the option of adding or canceling 3G on the spot without a contract or having to speak to Rogers or O2 directly.
Canadian carriers have historically followed their US parallels into offering different devices and services, and recently this has included shadowing the move towards 3G-capable netbooks and other non-phone hardware. Most local developments have been relatively limited, however, and the iPad is likely to be the biggest data-only device in the country when released.
British carriers have been more conservative still and have usually clung to either phones or 3G modems.
Bell and Telus haven't said if they can or will follow suit in Canada, but Orange and Vodafone have tentatively signaled plans for both mainland Europe and the UK.