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.