iPhone 3G coming to Canada?

The Toronto Star is now reporting that the 3G iPhone will be not only coming out this summer, but that Rogers will carry it. My favourite parts of the article had nothing to do with the iPhone per se, but rather with data pricing in Canada:

“It has been widely speculated that the stumbling block was Rogers’ wireless data plans, which typically cost more than those offered by carriers in Europe and the United States – a disparity that critics blame on a lack of Canadian wireless competition.

As well, most of Rogers’ wireless data plans have usage caps, with users charged by the megabyte if they go over their allotment.

“We’re not fans of unlimited plans,” Rob Bruce, president of Rogers’ wireless division, told analysts during a February conference call.”

I’m not one to tell a business that they shouldn’t take whatever they can get. If they’re in a position to charge that, and get it, then they should: It’s what the market will bear. If I don’t like it, my choice as a consumer should be to go elsewhere.

My lack of consumer choice in this matter, and this is the big one, these sky-high prices are actually hurting the wireless telcos! Why, do you ask? Well, first, they’re not going to own this game forever, and people in Canada have long memories. Second, and more importantly, wireless data represents some of the biggest opportunities for innovation since Web 1.0, and these guys are the gate-keepers. I think that rather than squeezing the network for cash, they need to get as many people ON the network. It’s only through tremendous girth that they will have value to big-boy wireless app (and I don’t mean game) developers.

This means that it’s also hurting Canada. Why? Not because we’re funneling huge sums of cash to Rogers, rather, because a cottage industry of innovation around wireless application development SHOULD be happening here, in the great white northern home of RIM. Such an industry could pay off BIG for wireless providers – Consider, they control the network, they could demand a cut of all mobile commerce transactions for eBay sales – Snipe from your Samsung!

Instead, we’re stuck with companies that would rather gouge us than encourage a fledgling industry that could help them make a lot of money in the future.

Link to Toronto Star Article

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