US & UK Get iPhone Fever, Canada Sceptical

Dennis Faas's picture

The new 3G iPhone is set for a roaring start in the United States and Britain, but Canadian consumers appear sceptical after the recent announcement of a phone plan they deem unfair.

The device launches on Friday at 8am in AT&T stores (unlike the original phone which was held back till 6pm on its launch last year). The time switch is because the new phone must be activated in-store rather than at home.

As this process could take up to 20 minutes per customer, long lines should inevitably build up. Thus, AT&T wants to spread sales across the day; a new policy is designed to make it harder for people to buy phones solely to unlock and sell abroad. This time you won't be able to walk away with your phone until you've signed up to a two-year service contract with penalties for early cancellation. (Source:

Across the Atlantic, phone company O2 has had to stop taking pre-orders. The plan had been for existing customers to buy online, receive the phone by courier on Friday, and activate it through iTunes. The website for this offer couldn't cope with the traffic so, rather than risk new customers appearing to have the advantage, O2 pulled pre-ordering completely. (Source:

The picture isn't so rosy in Canada, where potential customers are still railing at the service plan offered by carrier Rogers. Canadian iPhone users will pay more and get less than their US counterparts, partly because Rogers is the only Canadian network capable of carrying smartphone data. Indeed, their failure to agree terms with Apple meant Canada missed out on the original iPhone altogether.

Some reports suggest that the Canadian response has been so negative Apple has taken a large portion of the stock intended for sale in Canada and shifted it to Europe. Of course, there's a good chance this means they'll be able to claim sell-outs in Canadian stores and make the iPhone appear an in-demand product. (Source:

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