Rogers Saves iPhone Launch with $30 for 6 GB Data Plan

“Unlimited plans could end up costing customers more for what they don’t use” — Rogers marketing doublespeak

A ladyfriend got annoyed with me this week for talking about the iPhone too much, so to save her the irritation, I’ll write about it here.

Only two days left until the July 11 launch day, and the last couple weeks have been a roller coaster of iPhone news. First, Rogers announces a set of disappointing iPhone plans with 3 year contracts and data limits of 400 MB to 2 GB. This leads to a huge backlash, with 50,000+ signature petitions and negative mainstream press. Bell uses the opportunity to announce the Samsung Instinct, a Windows Mobile device that looks enough like the iPhone to impress ladies in a dimly-lit bar. In an unusual display of competition between Canadian Telcos, Bell offers “unlimited data” for the Instinct.

This Monday, Rogers’ bad press reaches a fever pitch when Ottawa blogger/marketer Daniel Smith posts a rumour from “a Rogers inside source” claiming that Apple was diverting Canada iPhone shipments to Europe as punishment for their expensive plans. Despite the unlikely nature of such corporate behaviour, this story is picked up by mainstream media.

Today the dust settles, and a beacon of rationality emerges: Rogers will offer a
“special, limited time only” data plan of 6 GB for $30 on top of any existing voice plan. While not an “unlimited” offering, and still requiring a 3 year contract, it’s generous enough for even heavy users. With two days to go, Rogers saves the iPhone launch from their own overpriced plans.

If you’re the type who wants to line up and be among the first, there will be launch events happening at the following Rogers Plus locations, 8am local time:

  • Toronto: 112-10 Dundas Street East
  • Montreal: 1015 rue St. Catherine Ouest
  • Ottawa: 690 Bank Street
  • Halifax: Unit 265, 7001 Mumford Road
  • Calgary: 5244 Falsbridge Gate, NE
  • Vancouver: 2097 West Broadway

Note that these are only launch event sites. iPhones should be available at any Rogers store across Canada, though availability might be sketchy at first. Despite all the bad press, I anticipate that there will still be huge demand for it. Rogers still has a long way to go to earn the respect of customers, but this 11th hour data plan offers what gadget-fiends have wanted all along: the capacity to use the iPhone to it’s full potential without breaking the bank.