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June 25, 2009

iPhone 3GS with Rogers?

Like many technical people, I am intrigued by new technology. The iPhone is obviously one of the more popular and in-demand devices on the market right now. While there are other devices that some say are better - The Palm Pre, Android based phones and Blackberry - I have no interest in debating that here.

I live in the Toronto area and have been considering buying an iPhone 3GS. Being the type of person I am, I have also been researching it's features, capabilities and matching against my needs (ok, mostly wants). On that criteria alone, I'm almost sold. I want an iPhone.

The next thing to research is, of course, cost. Or so I thought. To most folks, cost is simply "how much do I have to pay?". Well that's simple to figure out. Ask. Then decide if you can afford it. Instead, I am looking at value, and not simple for the iPhone, but in comparison between other wireless providers.

Here's where it gets fun.

Given the new method of doing business between wireless providers and device manufacturers, each region typically has one official provider of the device. For Canada, it's Rogers Wireless. In the US I believe it's only AT&T (please comment if I'm mistaken). I haven't looked into the UK and European markets yet, and I know nothing about the Asian markets let alone the rest of the world.

This results immediately in one thing: a monopoly. And with a monopoly comes price gouging, one-sided contracts and nickel & diming. On top of that, I believe we in Canada are receiving an extra dose of love from Rogers sticking it to us in the a**. As I type this, I don't know... I only think this to be true. Below you will find a chart made up of what I think to be the package I would want from Rogers, compared to other wireless carriers. Where possible I will link directly to the source. Any notes will follow the table.

So... here goes some comparison shopping, in real time no less.
(Excuse my crappy HTML skills)

Provider Base Plan Term Extras Total Cost

  • $35 Unlimited Messaging

  • $30 6 GB Data Service Plan

  • 200 + 50 Bonus Weekday Minutes

  • Unlimited Evenings
    and Weekends from 9pm

  • 3Yrs
    $20 Visual Voicemail
    Value Pack
  • Visual Voice Mail

  • Call Display

  • WhoCalled™

  • Unlimited Text Messages

  • CAN$335*
    + $127/mo (1)
    AT&T Wireless

  • $39.99 Nation 450
    w/Rollover® Minutes

  • $30 Unlimited Data

  • 2Yrs
  • $15 Text Messaging 1500
  • US$335*
    + $84.99/mo
    Table Cell 18Mo
  • 600 minutes

  • 500 texts

  • Unlimited data
  • £275
    + £35/mo (2)
    (Hong Kong) Not yet available...

    * One-time activation fees are included in the iPhone cost

    (1) In Canada, all cell phones have a $.50 911 fee, and $6.95 "System Access Fee" on top of the selected rate plan. Included here in Total Cost. Sales taxes (GST & PST) have not been included.

    (2)The O2 website does not allow access to the store from non-UK based IP addresses. Pricing and plan obtained here. Please comment if you can provide more accurate info.

    Without calculating exact numbers, Rogers is the most expensive per month and has the longest term. In the world of technology, 3 years is a loooong time to wait until you can upgrade your device. Honestly, I don't think I've ever had a cell phone for more than 2 years.

    I invite comments, corrections, bitching and flaming. Bring it on.


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