Has Rogers upset Apple?


Iphonebombicon It’s 4 days before the much anticipated launch of the iPhone in Canada. But could there be trouble brewing between Apple and their chosen carrier, Rogers?

We’re not really in the habit of repeating rumours over here at Sync, but some rumours are just too hot to ignore.

Two days ago, a blogger named Daniel Smith, who writes a blog called Smithereens, posted an item about a possible falling-out between Apple and Rogers. Based on accounts of events that Smith has gleaned from someone he claims is an insider at Rogers, he has constructed the possibility that Rogers will not be receiving the number of iPhone units they expected for the initial launch on July 11th. Supposedly, the majority of iPhones once destined for Canada are now enroute to Europe.

Further citing the layoffs of temporary employees at certain Rogers retails locations as evidence of an unexpected slap on the hands, Smith conjectures that Apple is reacting to both the iPhone data plans that Rogers announced as well as the ensuing backlash by iPhone fans via a heavily supported online petition.

If the rumour is true it would certainly be bad news for Rogers, as it faces intense competition in the smartphone arena from both Bell’s imminent launch of the Samsung Instinct and Telus’s offering of the HTC Touch Diamond. While neither of these phones have the intense aura that surrounds Apple’s iPhone, they do come with unlimited data options, which will likely play a role in consumers’ decision-making.

Disclosure: Sympatico / MSN is a partnership between Microsoft and Bell Canada.

Update July 8, 3:50pm: It looks like there may be a good deal of truth to this rumour. Last night, Apple announced that they will not be selling the iPhone in their retail stores in Canada. The CBC reports that Apple retail staff in Canada are very disappointed with the Rogers data plans and are keeping logs of all customer complaints they receive.

Update July 9, 11:00am: Apparently Rogers is responding to the petition. Engadget reports that they have added a $30/month/6GB option to their voice plans, giving users more bandwidth flexibility, but stopping short of an unlimited plan.

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50 comments

  1. sam brownlee

    We all know cell phone plans are a repoff but I can't believe nobody is talking about the other issue here – the outrageous price Apple is charging for the Iphone and the fact that they've made an "exclusive" deal with Rogers. So much for their historical griping about Microsoft. There are other phones out tehre now with as many or more fraetures..I say boycott Rogers AND boycott Apple!

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  2. Timmeh

    This would not suprise me one bit. I heard the reason iphone was launched in the states only at first was because apple was not happy with rates rogers was charging for data. Rogers did try to bring in the first generation of iphone but apple turned them down. Hard to believe it but the rates have improved since the original relase date of the iphone and yet still they are a joke compared to american rates. Rogers keeps talking about all these great things phones can do now a days but it costs a small fortune to use any of them! The other day my wife sent me a 12 second video message of her and my kids being goofy. We do not have a data plan so rogers charged us the quality price of 5 cents per kb. The video message was 77kb.Thats an almost $4.00 charge for 12 seconds of video. Imagine the bill a person could ring up at those rates.

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  3. Useless_inpho!!

    Like that wasnt expected, Rogers has been fleecing its customers for years and they expected to fleece users again if they wanted an iphone w/o any kinda backlash, serves them right!! Not only that but they have the worst coverage in northern ontario. would've been great if iphone was available with telus then i might have considered getting one, but seeing as Apple made the mistake of going with Rogers then thanks but no thanks apple, I'll pass on the iphone and get something else with Telus!

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  4. Ron Burr

    Who cares about the i-phone or the Blackberry for that matter….they're just another way for phone service providers to screw you out of more money with exorbident service fees….I'm de-activating my Blackberry tomorrow and going back to a plain cellphone…

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  5. Kelly

    Apple actually doesn't have an exclusive deal with Rogers like they do with AT&T in the States. They're just stuck with Rogers/Fido since they're the only GSM carrier in Canada. The lack of competition in Canada's cell phone market is just ridiculous thanks to government intervention. With no competition from another GSM carrier, it's no wonder Rogers is screwing us so badly with their data plans. At this point, I think the only hope of more reasonable rates is if Apple steps in and makes Rogers offer better plans to be able to carry the iPhone.

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  6. Bertus TenBrinke

    If Rogers had come out with a comparable plan to what is available in the U.S. for a comparable price, they would have had a surefire hit on their hands. Instead, they have alienated customers before the phone is even released. Have you looked at their charges if you go over on data? 50 cents a MB for the first 60 MB before dropping to 3 cents. The want to gouge you for thirty extra bucks before they'll give you a break.

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  7. Scandalous

    I think Rogers is attempting to squeeze as much money out of its subscribers as it can to offset the subsidy they apply to every iPhone. This is why they demand a three year contract. Come on, very few people keep any cellphone for three years! The next version will come out in a year or so and the first wave of users will not be upgrading. This is what upsets Apple the more… not the monthly plan. Apple wants the iPhone to remain ahead of the pack and 36 months is not the right timing for their next update.

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  8. mike rees

    i hope whatever way apple decide's to go, that it isn't with rogers. I'm sure it's no secret to anyone that roger's is aggressively trying to monopolize the personal entertainment sector in general. From dictating the amount of gig's we download, slowing server's at inconvienient time's, to shafting us with the type of service we recieve in comparison to our american, european, and asian counterpart's. Quite honestlty, until canadian's in general start demanding to be treated with the same quality of living, we will be hushed and force fed the same mediocre verbal slop that we as canadian's, have been trying to swallow since the world, got rid of that useless cord.

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  9. Apple Fan

    I contacted Rogers today and was given a bunch of unsatisfactory responses to my inquiries on this subject. As a Rogers customer for more than a decade I can't BELIEVE they expect me to sign a 3-year contract just to get a phone that CAN'T BE USED ON ANY OTHER CANADIAN SERVICE ANYWAY!

    After that disappointing experience I contacted Apple directly and told them that as much as I love their product and have been coveting the iPhone since it was first unveiled I sadly will not be purchasing one specifically because Rogers requires I sign a three-year contract for a service that is inferior to that being offered in virtually every country the phone has been released in. They said they had been getting a lot of these calls and were logging each and every one of them.

    Phone Apple Canada, tell them how unhappy you are with the situation, and phone Rogers as well. Let them know directly how disgusted you are with their greed.

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  10. Jonathan

    Roger's stinks. The sale of FIDO to Rogers should NEVER have been allowed. Until that time cell phone rates in Canada were going down, and since then they have been going up and up and up.

    Our government's stink, they cave to corporate demands without any thought to the consumer. Telus should never have been alowed to buy Clearnet way back when either. It's a disgrace, and a slap in the face to every consumer.

    Down with Rogers.

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  11. Made my day

    I worked for rogers, I know for a proven fact, your private information is not safe with rogers, it is leaked out to the public, and rogers doesn't care, they got you where they want you, and TOO Bad. – That is why I Quit. Believe me, Rogers IS NOT a company anyone wants to deal with, and anyone who has anything with Rogers, switch to another provider for all your needs, telephone, cell phone, cable etc, before your life is destroyed. Rogers will not back any product they sell – they tell you it is the manufacture's fault, and you are out of money!

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  12. Terry Edwards

    With their over-amped price tags, Apple and Rogers prove once again 'you can fool some of the people all of the time.' Perfect for the wannabeemer set…

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  13. Iphone SchmIphone

    Anyone that purchases an Iphone from Apple is lucky to get a 14 day replacement warranty, from a dealer, zilch.
    It will usually start breaking down in about two months and Apple will send out "refurbished units" that are likely in worse shape then your original.
    But a piece of gum from Walmart, get a better warranty.

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  14. Pik

    Who cares!!! Rogeres sucks balls anyway, as does Apple…a scuffle 'tween two groups of greedy manipulators. F-em.

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  15. Gills

    Um, the Rogers iPhones will have already been boxed and shipped with Canadian bilingual documentation by this point, so Apple would have had to have made this decision a really long time ago.

    I'm not concerned either way; I've played with the iPhone (emphasis on 'played') and it's more of a toy than the business device that my Blackberry is. It's no fun typing on a touchscreen; I'll keep my tactile keyboard thanks!

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  16. Joey

    I cannot believe the fools that write petitions to get better rates for a totally unnecessary piece of technology. As a consumer, the best tactic is not to by such an item and the prices will naturally come down over time.

    Don't forget, unlike fuel or food, you probably can survive a few months while others are getting screwed over an unecessary piece of hardware.

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  17. Mahendra

    Just like Joey said, if people are really that upset with Iphone rates… simply do not buy one. Let other people get screwed and wait it out. It is not a necessity in life to be able to do a google search at every moment of every day.

    But if you really and truly want to get an Iphone, just give it some time, and an unlocked version will be sold by many, and you could access all of the Iphone's multimedia features through Wifi. Sure, you won't be able to use it "everywhere" but there are tons of Wifi networks around.

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  18. Lui

    what a bunch of cry babies… as the saying goes, if you want to play, you gotta pay… most of the comments i read are summed up as "i want the TOP of the line CELL phone w/UNLIMITED data plan for cheap/free" 1st off, if you're a "business" person then either you or your company writes off the cell phone/plan as an expense, so no big loss, if you're not then too bad, buy your UNNECESSARY piece of hardware and STFU… and how about we start a petition on gas prices, or taxes or something MORE important than your toys.

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  19. Trevor Knight

    Rogers as a bit of the "We can do what we want" attitude the last little while. Guess what Ladies (meaning Rogers), you not as big and tough as you though you where. Nice to see them get knocked down a notch or two…

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  20. chesco

    THIS IS SIMPLY A MARKETING PLOY TO MAKE THE PUBLIC 'THINK' THERE IS A LOW SUPPLY OF PRODUCT, THEREFORE CREATING A FRENZY OF WOULD BE CUSTOMERS TO BUY DURING THE DAY OF LAUNCH.

    THIS MKTING STRAT. HAS BEEN DONE BY: JAY-Z (SO CALLED GOING INTO RETIREMENT INORDER TO INCREASE SALES OF CONCERT TICKETS AND CD'S, AND NOW APPLE WITH THEIR IPHONES AND MANY OTHER STUNTS THAT I CANNOT RECALL BY FAMOUS PPL AND COMPANYS)

    SHAME ON YOU ROGERS!

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  21. Peter

    Looks good on the bastards,Rogers is a greedy company and they're trying too gouge the public…WE'RE ON TOO YOU!! My contract is up in Nov,i'm going back to Telus!!

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  22. taysmom

    I have been with roers for years after major struggles with telus and having to pay out a contract cause i was posted else where other then a telus network. Yes i do a three year contract but I can take my rogers phone to any province in canada and change my number for free. With telus you cant do that

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  23. Tyler Holowaty

    Rogers is the most predatory company I have ever encountered. I can't wait until my contract is up. Almost everyone I know feels the same way about Rogers wireless. This article gave me a warm fuzzy feeling. Rogers better change the way they do business immediately.

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  24. junkie

    First off: I am a huge Apple fane…that said, what a lot of people are not mentioning is that the Roger's ploy to get the most money out if you is because Apple does not intend to stay with Roger's as a carrier. The bigger picture for Apple includes opening up their own carrier company. There is a big sale of air space happening shortly in Canada and the U.S. and Apple wants to "cut out the middle man". That is much more their style. Companies like Google are also bidding on the airspace so before you know it, Roger's, Bell, & Telus will be competing with the likes of Google, and Apple, and every other juggernaut whos' interested in cellular. I am from Toronto but have lived all over Canada and have been living in Asia for a while now and the cellular business here is so much better. ALL incoming calls are free even if you are out of minutes, the rates are incredibly low, and you never need to call their customer service because there are never any outages or issues with your bill. Anyway, we can gripe all we want, but no petition will change the fact that CEO's have agendas we will NEVER be privy to.

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  25. Matt

    It's not suprising that Rogers has messed up once again.

    Their digital cable is of such poor quality because the network is oversaturated.

    Their cell phone service, with the release of the iPhone and other 3G phones is going to cripple their cellular network (as heard from someone who works at RIM and was in a confrence with a guy who has been working on cell technology for over 30 years)

    All I care about is Rogers changing their rates for Blackberries, which they are aparently supposed to do when the iPhone is launched

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  26. Dave

    The cell phone market is being opened up in the summer so thats why cell phone prices are on their way down now. If your unhappy with the market wait it out for a bit and see what develops in the new months.

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  27. Dilip Samuels

    The Canadians are paying 10 x more …blame the Canadian govt for allowing Canadian Telcos to screw Canadians

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  28. tintin

    well one things for sure, i'll be bidding online to get the iphone instead of giving rogers 3 more years of my life with a data plan that's over $100

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  29. Ashley

    I personally would love to get an iPhone, but as mentioned, the data plans are WAY too much for me…especially since I'm a student. But in reading the news on ctv.ca I found and article that says Bell and Telus are going to start charging for incoming text messages! That's insane! You can't control you're incoming texts. Thank goodness I don't do business with these companies, nor Rogers. I'll be sticking to MTS here in Manitoba. Their student deal is looking quite appealing right about now.

    Here's the article link if you're curious.
    http://winnipeg.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20080708/OTT_TEXT_080708/20080708/?hub=WinnipegHome

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  30. le

    what the big deal with Rogers have the iphone ,I use the I iphone in canada over a year now ,and in asia region most everybody have it,it not speacial anymore

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  31. Devin

    Well done Apple!!! Rogers is everything you are not. I am sure contracts are signed but do not encourage the type of consumer gouging that Rogers and other Canadian cell companies deal in every day!
    Where the heck is the CRTC?? Asleep at the wheel again…ie "System Access Fees" how many millions consumers paid for no reason!

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  32. Terri

    This is what happens when u get greedy……Just think of all the money u could have made MR. Rogers. If only u had made this fun gadget affordable for everyone.

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  33. Larry Taylor

    I will never buy or own an IPhone and I will boycott as many Apple products as possible including my plan to upgrade mt Ipod for as long as Apple is partnered in Canada with Rogers. I am sick of Canadians being ripped off by cell phone mobility Corporations. We are charged way more than most other countries and 2-3 times as much as the US users even though are dollor is pretty much on par with the US greenback. Infact we are overchared for everything compared to US consumers.

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  34. Wayne

    Rogers is arrogant company who thinks they have the monopoply in the cellular/electronic market in Canada. It is great to see consumers fighting back for cheaper rates/better deals.
    Hopefully, Canada will have more competitors to chose from in the future.

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  35. Ally

    I once had 3 Rogers phones. Then 5 Clearnet, now 10 Telus.
    With the news Rogers is gouging again, I guess I will never have an Apple phone!

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  36. M B

    Fido (Rogers) is a royal rip off. Not only are they charging outrageous prices on their plans, trying to lock in people to a 3 year plan (so that they cannot switch when the impending competition does come), but they are also forcing people to switch from their cheaper plans! I was told that even without a data plan that I would have to abandon my flat fee grandfathered plan in order to use the I-phone. I say boycott Rogers and Fido and get as many of your friends, family, etc to sign the petition against this gouging. Buying into these overpriced plans sets a dangerous precedent!

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  37. motionlotion1

    i'm glad apple is pissed..i hope this will teach rogers a lesson.their prices are soooo outrageous and their customers service are terrible.i went to five rogers store and only had 1 so so service out of the four.i will not renew my contract.i work hard for my money and i want good service.will i buy an i phone.probably not!!not because of apple but because of rogers..

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  38. Bill

    Rogers sucks, I prefer Bell Mobility, there data is faster and they don't screw you on the plans. Besides the new Samsung Instinct Is Sweeeet!

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  39. Andrew M.

    Can people stop posting about this? It's been known from the very start that Apple Canada will not have iPhones in their stores. When you click "Where to buy" on the website, all it says is Rogers and Fido. It has said this since the Apple Canada website added the iPhone 3G section. http://www.apple.com/ca/iphone/buy/

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  40. Simon Cohen

    @ Andrew:
    you're right, but it's not unusual for Apple to change these kinds of messages once a product is launched. It's also worth noting that Canada is the only country in which the iPhone will *not* be sold through Apple's retail outlets. That was not expected.

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  41. Andrew M.

    Also see here, posted June 27th. http://todmaffin.com/iphonerumours

    Guy contacted a Rogers rep and got answers on all the topics mentioned in his post, including whether the phones will be sold at Apple's stores.

    "Will I be able to buy the iPhone at Apple Stores?
    No. They will be sold at Rogers/Fido stores only."

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  42. Sabe De

    Rogers has been ripping off customers for years, and its data plans are highway robbery. I wouldn't be surprised if they tried to charge extra for someone to use the WIFI browser! Good for Apple to listening to the consumer for once. Rogers would definitely F— things up for Apple, and will do so by turning off consumers who have no choice but to go to them for the iPhone. I absolutely hate dealing with Rogers for anything!

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  43. ron

    anything that has to do with rogers i stay away from
    like cable, cell phones, anything
    2 many bad dealing with this company
    no thanks

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  44. Sean

    I have been a Rogers customer for 10 years now and I think it's time to part ways. I was only willing to stay because I thought the iphone was coming, and there plans suck ass. I think I will try Bell Mobility.

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  45. Tyrone

    So many people I know have plans to purchase this phone. Even those who have never really owned a cell-phone are tapping their toes waiting for this product. I'm not sure about myself but if it turns out to be as good as everyone says it is… who knows… i might become a follower.

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  46. Glen Carter

    In typical Roger's fashion, we again miss out on another technology.
    Given their corporate and customer service arrogance it would not surprise me if customers begin "en masse" to end their relationship with Roger's as I have done after since the days of McClean Hunter Cable.

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