Friday, June 27th, 2008

Canadian iPhone data plan is terrible


Rogers has announced their data plans for the iPhone. It’s all there in their chart…no unlimited plan, 2 gigs of data for $115, and a lot of even worse plans with less data. I didn’t have time to write about this wrinkle when it came out, but others have covered it in my stead quite nicely. They’ve mounted a pretty weak defense for this push for the status quo, and given they announced the plans today it’s pretty sad that they’re already on the defensive. All I can say is there is NO way I’ll be getting a new iPhone with these rates in place. I’ll stick with my first gen iPhone, which has served me well using only wifi for my data.

Warren Frey is a journalist, freelance writer, podcaster, video producer, and all-around media consultant currently based in Vancouver, Canada. His written work has appeared in such publications as Metro Vancouver, the Westender, Mac | Life and the Japan Times.

9 Responses to “ Canadian iPhone data plan is terrible ”

Chris Burgess says:

That site has the right idea, maybe.

cam c. says:

I was ready to get a 16GB… I figured even if the unlimited plan was $100 I’d do it, but now I just don’t know. Maybe if they offered 4GB for the price of the 1GB plan I’d consider it.

This really sucks; I know so many people, myself included, who were hyped about this phone, and now we’re all backing off. It’s not even a money issue — we can afford it — it’s just the feeling that Rogers is telling us that we’re suckers and will sign up for a shitty rate plan and 3 year contract because we can’t resist this phone.

Still, I almost feel sorry for them; they might be underestimating the negative press the target demographic of this phone is capable of generating…

Warren says:

Yep, I can’t count the number of people who went out of their way to get the first gen iPhone and would have been perfectly happy to drop it for a new one…all it would take is unlimited data for a reasonable price. When even Apple zealots are saying “hey, maybe not…”, Rogers has really dropped the ball.

Jean-Paul Samson says:

Did you guys honestly believe Rogers was going to offer unlimited data plans? Really? Heck, I’m with Bell, and on my three year contract they are still charging $30/MB for 1x data. Suffice it to say, 2 1/2 years into my contract, I’ve sent maybe two or three e-mails and that’s it. The Rogers plan looks like a dream in comparison.

Which makes it sound like I’m backing Rogers on this one. Well, I’m not. I’m a light cell phone user, partly because of the cost of the talk plans and per-minute charges penalizing you for exceeding your plan. Rogers has taken this same thinking and applied it to data. They are selling the iPhone as a moderate-use Internet device, but as we know, iPhone is Internet crack and is really a heavy-use Internet device.

While I think the $75 (300 minutes, 750GB data, +$6.95 access fee) would be a workable plan for me, I’m still not buying in because:
1. I refuse to be locked into another 3-year contract, to incur huge penalties if, at some point, my situation changes and I no longer wish to subscribe to a talk+data plan. (Do I have to relinquish my iPhone if I prematurely terminate my contract, too?)
2. Lots of web sites are heavy on advertising and, even worse, multi-media advertising. Are we really expected to pay through the nose for the 3G data consumed by these adverts? It reminds me of the days of fax machines, where junk mailers would send you ads at your expense for paper and toner.

Rogers has tried to make the plans more palatable by bundling HotSpot wi-fi access, which basically amounts to free Internet at Second Cup coffee shops. And what’s with not including caller id by default. Doesn’t everyone with a cell phone have caller id? A decade ago, caller id was included in all plans; time to put it back in and stop charging $5+ a month for the luxury.

One thing I found interesting were the penalties for exceeding your monthly data allocation: $30 for the first 60MB over (ouch) and then $30/GB thereafter. Part of the reason for this is to ensure that there is no cost benefit in abusing the various monthly pricing-plan tiers. But it also demonstrates at least how cheaply they could be offering data and still be making a healthy profit: $30/GB.

So yes, at this point, the iPod Touch looks to be the more attractive device, despite it being a stripped-down iPhone (no GPS, no telephone hardware, inferior LCD). No iPhone for me!

jabberwocky says:

Well what with my current plan with rogers up the butt, I wouldn’t be paying all that much more than what I’m paying now if I just stick with the basic plan.

Caller ID don;t really care all that much about it.

There being no GPS in the iPodTouch actually makes it more attractive a device for me than the iPhone.

Chris Burgess says:

Courtesy Jean-Paul, this article indicates data plan-less plans will be available:

Jean-Paul Samson says:

It has been suggested that the writer confused the value-priced extras bundles introduced with the iPhone as voice-only plans. As we all are well aware, you can’t get a voice-only plan for $15 period.

But oddly, a voice-only plan for a Rogers iPhone actually makes the deal seem more attractive to me!

Jen says:

I think I’ll have to agree with you on this one. I’m sticking with the plan I currently have. These prices and features just do not cut it.

Jen Thomas
Glyphius Software

Jordan says:

FWIW, I left a link to my Rogers complaint in my siggy above.

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