Rogers has unveiled its pricing structure for the iPhone 3G in Canada, and it can be summarized in one syllable. Unfortunately, this is a family-oriented website, so I’ll have to use a different syllable:
First off: there’s absolutely no unlimited data plan. Rogers may claim they have tried to make the plans slightly less ridiculous, but they failed bigtime – it’s business as usual, continuing the time-honoured tradition of having Canadians pay through the nose for meager amounts of mobile data. The cost of data plans range from $60 for 400MB of data transfer to $115 for 2GB of data transfer. This stands in stark contrast to the simple, affordable AT&T iPhone plans in the US, which feature unlimited data, Visual Voicemail, 200 SMS text messages, roll-over minutes and unlimited mobile-to-mobile calling for every plan – and the cheapest plan is $59.99.
The differences are staggering. The cheapest Rogers plan only include 75 text messages, versus 200 for the AT&T plan. To match the capabilities of the AT&T plan, you’d have to spring for the $100 a month plan with Rogers. For $60 with Rogers, you get 150 minutes of talk time, versus the 450 minutes you get with AT&T for $59.99. That’s right – 3 times the talk time, and it’s 1 cent cheaper.
But wait! There’s less!
Rogers “Value Packs” are required for things like Caller Display, additional text messages, and Call Forwarding (which appears to be billed on a per minute basis, which strikes me is really odd). All of these “Value Packs” are noted with “Wireless Essentials Included” – really? I have no idea what that means, but if they’re included, why the hell are they an extra charge on top of the main plans?
By all appearances, the Rogers iPhone 3G plans are optimized for complexity and designed to milk the consumer dry. Way to go Rogers, you’ve exceeded my expectations, but not in a good way.