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Rogers Announces iPhone Launch Details

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Apple iPhone 3G

Rogers announced more details on the iPhone launch taking place this .

Details include a limited time offer of 6GB data for $30 and select rogers Plus stores opening at 8am on Friday.

Here's an excerpt of the news release:

Calling all iPhone 3G fans!

Select Rogers Plus stores to open early coast-to-coast on July 11
Launch promotions to include limited time 6GB data offer

TORONTO, July 9 /CNW/ – In anticipation of iPhone 3G launch on July 11, Rogers Wireless today announced plans to open the doors of select Rogers Plus retail stores across Canada in advance of regular hours. Starting at 8:00 am July 11, Canadians will be able to purchase the new iPhone 3G at special launch day events to be held at six Rogers Plus stores across the country. Be among the first in Canada to get the next generation iPhone 3G and have the choice of a 6GB data plan through a limited time promotional price offer.

"As Canada's leading wireless carrier, Rogers is excited to bring iPhone 3G to Canadians even sooner, allowing our customers to be amongst the first in the world to experience this amazing mobile innovation," says John Boynton, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Rogers Wireless. "To celebrate its launch on Canada's fastest wireless network, we're rolling out the red carpet with special events at six Rogers Plus stores and a limited time price promotional data offer from coast-to-coast."

iPhone 3G combines all the revolutionary features of iPhone with 3G networking that is twice as fast(*) as the first generation iPhone, built-in GPS for expanded location based mobile services, and iPhone 2.0 software which includes support for Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync and runs the hundreds of third party applications already built with the recently released iPhone SDK.

Rogers Launch Promotions

The following Rogers Plus stores in these cities will open their doors at 8:00 a.m. (all times local) on Friday, July 11 for advance purchases of the Apple iPhone 3G:

  • 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

Customers attending launch day events at these Rogers Plus stores will be treated to a free early bird breakfast and have a chance to win Rogers Wireless prizes.

Effective July 11, and as a limited time promotional offer for customers who activate by August 31 on a three year contract, a data-only offering of 6GB of data for $30 per month is being made available that can be added to any in-market voice plan. For example, with 6GB of data, iPhone 3G users can visit 35,952 web pages, or send and receive 157,286 emails, or watch 6,292 minutes of YouTube videos each and every month.(xx)

New Canadian iPhone 3G customers will also have the choice to select from Rogers Wireless' existing voice and smartphone data plans and/or additional features to best suit their needs, or from Rogers Wireless' value bundled plans specifically for iPhone 3G. Existing Rogers Wireless customers can keep their current voice service plan and select a separate data plan to meet their needs or choose from other plans after checking their individual upgrade eligibility.

Starting July 11, iPhone 3G will be available at participating locations across Canada, including select Rogers Plus, Rogers Video, and Rogers Wireless retail locations and at the following specially selected authorized Rogers Wireless dealers: WirelessWave, TBooth and Wireless etc. iPhone 3G can also be purchased online at www.rogers.com and through Rogers' customer service at 1-888-764-3771. For a complete store listing, visit http://your.rogers.com/mq/mqlocator.asp. Due to anticipated high demand, there is a maximum purchase of two iPhone 3G per customer.

(*) Based on 3G and EDGE testing. Actual speeds may vary due to a variety of factors.
(xx) Based on live trials of iPhone 3G on Rogers HSPA network, July 2008

[…]

For further information, contact: Liz Hamilton, Rogers Wireless, elizabeth.hamilton@rci.rogers.com, (416) 935-8710; Paul Keable, MS&L PR, paul.keable@mslpr.ca, (416) 847-1307

So it's nice to see that Rogers has had some good sense knocked into them and is now offering a reasonable data plan, for a reasonable price. I expect this will create a much higher demand for the iPhone now, much longer line-ups, etc., and I'm sure so does Rogers…

Of course, voicemail and call display, etc. are still extra add-ons.

Here's an excerpt from The Globe And Mail ():

Rogers caves to consumer complaints

By Matt Hartley

Bowing to public pressure, Rogers Wireless Inc. has opted to slash its data fees as the launch of the iPhone draws near.

Customers who purchase an iPhone and sign up for a three year contract any time between July 11, when the device goes on sale, and the end of August will be eligible for a $30-per-month data plan giving them access to 6-Gigabytes of data. Rogers previously had charged $100 for a 6-GB plan.

A Rogers spokeswoman said the decision to offer the new plan was based on "customer feedback.

The special plan is available not just to iPhone customers, but any Rogers customer with a 3G next-generation smart phone.

"We listened to our customers, everybody from those who are very tech savvy to those who just knew they wanted this device and were really enthusiastic and didn't know how they were going to use the data but knew it was a data device," Rogers spokeswoman Liz Hamilton said.

"So this will give them a great opportunity."

[…]

Rogers has faced intensifying criticism for its iPhone pricing plans over the past few weeks. More than 50,000 potential customers have signed an online petition at ruinediphone.com protesting Rogers voice and data plans as well as the company's decision to force all iPhone buyers to sign three year contracts.

Other international carriers, such as AT&T Inc. in the U.S., have opted to offer the iPhone for sale without a contract, albeit at a significantly higher price.

You can find more info on Rogers and the iPhone on my blog: Rogers Announces iPhone Plans or by searching for "iPhone" in the search bar in the header.

Update –

Excerpts from The Toronto Star (Wednesday, July 9, 2008):

Rogers caves on iPhone pricing

by Chris Sorensen

John Boynton, the senior vice-president and chief marketing officer of Rogers Wireless, said in an interview the promotional offer is in response to customer concerns.

"We’re responding to our customers that gave us a lot of feedback," he said, adding that rumors about a spat with Apple over pricing or a limited supply of iPhones were false.

He said Rogers is expecting record sales following the iPhone’s launch on Friday at six Rogers stores across the country, including a Rogers store on Dundas St. in Toronto.

"This will be the best-selling phone in Canadian history."

Boynton said existing price plans for the iPhone will go back into effect Sept. 1.

"What we’re trying to do is satisfy a very small group of people, the early adopters," he said. "When those customers are done, we’re back to our basic user."

Update –

I just got off the phone with Rogers Customer Service – Hardware Upgrades (*611). The girl I spoke with (Courtney) was really good about finding the right information to give me, (which is not common with Rogers).

In terms of an upgrade, I just "upgraded" my phone last year in July 2007, but was told a couple weeks ago by Rogers that I would be eligible for a partial upgrade credit as of July 5th. It turns out that the upgrade credit amounts are determined by the amount of revenue you have accumulated, which in my case is "very high," as per Courtney. It turns out that the 8GB iPhone will cost me $324 minus a $50 mail-in rebate (since my revenue is so high) and the 16GB iPhone will cost me $424 minus the $50 mail-in-rebate. So in the end, it's an extra $75 for either phone, provided I re-sign a 3 year contract of course…

I also asked about whether visual voicemail is included with all iPhones and/or the $30 – 6GB data add-on and all she could find out is that the price currently listed in their systems for "visual voicemail" is $0. She said it seems visual voicemail is included with all iPhones, but it's still unclear.

It's also unclear still whether unlimited access to Rogers/Fido Hotspots is included with the $30 – 6GB data plan or not…