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iPhone…you are dead to me

When Steve Jobs first announced the 2nd generation iPhone, and Rogers then announced that it would be coming to Canada, I wanted to buy one.  As a matter of fact, if it had been available that day, I would likely have forgone the P.O. process and rushed right out to buy one.

However, lucklily I live in Canada, and in Canada we don’t get electronics day and date with those citizens who live two hours to my South, no we have to wait months, sometimes years (the original iPhone has still not made it to the frozen tundras of my home and native land).

In this case however that’s a good thing.  It’s a little more than a month later, and the bloom is definately off that rose for me.

First off, I kind of hate my iPod, I have a grudging respect for what it can do, but I hate the fetishism of it.  I hate its interface.  I hate iTunes.  I hate DRM’ed music.  I hate the fact that if I want to free it I have to burn it to a CD.  I hate the fact that the music is at 192kbs.  I hate the fact that SOME music is DRM free, but not all of it.  I the fact that I downloaded a movie from the just-released-in-Canada iTunes movie store a couple of weeks ago, and when it wouldn’t play properly on my Media Center (you know, the P4 with 1gb of RAM and a 128meg video card which apparently isn’t fast enough to play a full screen quicktime movie), and I then tried to play it on my laptop, I was told that I couldn’t play it on that device because I had tried to play it on another device…EVEN THOUGH I HAD ANOTHER 23.5 HOURS LEFT TO PLAY IT IN!!!).  Even all of that isn’t the reason I’m not getting an iPhone.

This is.  I’ll let you digest that.

Let me boil it down though:

“Right now Rogers thinks that the iPhone is such a compelling device that people will essentially pay anything to get one,” said PC Magazine’s Sascha Segan.

“They they’ll sign away their lives for three years, they’ll pay higher data rates than are charged on other devices because the iPhone is so incredibly sexy and so incredibly desired.”

The iPhone allows users to play music, watch movies, surf the Internet and manage personal information such as e-mails. Rogers has listed plans starting at $60 to $115 a month, requiring a three-year contract.

Right now I pay about $60.00 a month for my phone, with a normal data plan I can expect to pay more than $100.00.  Even then I’ll probably have to cripple many of the cool features of the iPhone.

For the same price I could buy an HTC Touch with one of the good Bell data plans that costs about $10/month.  The touch isn’t the phone I want, but I’m not going to be held hostage because the iPhone is purdy.

By Brian Garside

Brian is a digital experience expert, and part time internet superhero. He focuses on digital first design, digital strategies, content management, website usability, and user experience. He was part of the team behind BalanceDo, the co-founder of All New Comics, and the chief strategist at NorthIQ.

5 replies on “iPhone…you are dead to me”

Rogers amidst al the negative press, has started to back pedal. You can now get the iPhone and just use your existing plan. You also don’t have to subscribe to their set iPhone data packages. Which for those of us in the wash of free WiFi access all day long, is good news.

A lot is being made about the capped data not being enough, and while I agree, if you never have access to WiFi networks, its really hard to tell how much data on average I would use on the 3G network, as I have a laptop at home, and at work for a serious chunk of the day that I will use for my regular data/web needs. But I spend 80% of my day covered in WiFi networks I manage, so that’s free data on the iPhone. I don’t think people get the concept that once the iPhone is in the range of recognized, or open WiFi it switches to that automatically saving you your data.

That said, Bell/Telus were absolutely savvy when they announced the ‘unlimited’ data packages with the HTC Touch and Samsung Instinct. The only foul there is that their unlimited package is only for web surfing, email and attachments. You have to pay extra for the video and audio. Still add all that in and you have a package that give you everything, unlimited, for the cheaper than the cheapest of the iPhone plans Rogers has set up. That and the Samsung phone does not have WiFi like the iPhone so you are committed 100% to using their CDMA as the data conduit. I don’t think the HTC has WiFi does it? BUT, Bell/Telus were very very smart, and if nothing else are going to send Rogers back to the drawing board once again.

My guess is, now that Rogers has hired a PR firm to help with the damage control, coupled with the emails that I have gotten from Rogers marketing people, stating that none of their plans are finalized as of yet and to check the web site after July 11th for the final plans & options, that possibly more is going to change. And possibly thanks to Bell/Telus we’ll see unlimited data offered.

Bottom line is you are right, time is here to say, wait, see what happens, for Rogers couldn’t have bungled this any more. Its be interesting to say the least, as someone who works in the marketing sphere to see how poorly Rogers has handled this.

But I will get an iPhone because yah I am Apple fanboy or whatever it is… But also because I want to put one device in my pocket, as opposed to my phone, camera, and iPod. And cause that one device will do more than the 3 or 4, I have on me now. But I am certainly wait till long after July 11th, to see how much more capitulation happens.

Don; I’m neither raging or frustrated, just kind of apathetic. Like I said, if I could buy it on day one, I would have, but here I am a month later…and amazingly I’m surviving well without an iPhone.

John; Yeah, I know that you can use WiFi and all that jazz, but there are going to be a good amount of times where I’m not near WiFi (like when I’m in Toronto in August) where having a nice fat fast wireless link would be awesome. I’m worried that just the polling of the iPhone to and fro work would be crazy.

Besides, we’re the exception with our five minute commutes. Most major urban centers have commutes measured in hours, not minutes.

There’s a new Globe and Mail article out today, and it kind of echoes my sentiments.

“Don’t buy the iPhone. Do what you, as sensible Canadians, will do when confronted by prices you can’t stand: Leave the iPhone on the shelf.

No message gets through to corporations as quickly and efficiently as a crash in sales.”

Interesting that while Rogers is getting raked over the coals about the iPhone, Telus and Bell announced that they were going to charge on all incoming text messages. Perhaps they thought no one would notice while Rogers was getting flayed to the bone…that they could pull an even WORSE move by charging for something that the end user has no control over.

At least with a voice plan, you can simply choose not to answer. By charging on incoming text messages…nope, no such luck.

However, Telus and Bell seem to have underestimated the effect of this move — as the media has suddenly forgotten about the iPhone and its ludicrous $2600 plan, and moved onto these guys.

Who is to blame for all of this? CRTC? Why isn’t there more competition?

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