Did we nail it or what? Today Rogers announced the creation of chatr, the low-cost wireless brand we exclusively told you about last week. Created to serve what Rogers calls a “niche” market that is not currently served by its flagship and value brands Rogers Wireless and Fido, chatr will offer no contract voice and text plans as well as unlimited talk and text plans. Data is not a part of chatr’s game plan. According to Rogers, the big draw of chatr is not only its great plans, but that for the first time it gives urbanites who simply want to make calls and send texts affordable service from a “network they can trust.” We were pretty curious about the timing of this launch, what with WIND Mobile now being half a year old and Mobilicity having only been on the scene for six weeks, so we asked Rogers about it. Surprisingly, they were adamant that they could not care less what their competitors are doing or where it is they are operating. They were quick to point out that chatr has been one year in the making and that it actually designed to mimic business model that allowed MetroPCS to go from a small time carrier to the 5th largest in the United States. Sadly this was about as much extra information as we could squeeze out of Rogers. As much as they want to get chatr up and running today, they’ve still got a few more things to do behind the scenes before it launches by the end of summer. This means that they can’t get into specifics about when the network will launch. But as we have said before, thanks to our connects we know that Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto, and Ottawa are a lock. Anyone planning to wait with baited breath?
We assure you that we’re not trying to stir up rumors with this one, but we’re starting to get the feeling that the Canadian launch of the iPhone 4 might have been pushed back. While checking out Apple’s Canadian website earlier on in the day, we couldn’t help but notice that “Coming in July” had been replaced with “Coming Soon.” There’s no way that Apple would change that unless something was up, and when you take into consideration the insane amount of pre-orders Apple received in the US alone, one’s mind does start to put one and two together. Keep in mind that Canada wasn’t deemed worthy to share a June 24th launch with the US, UK, Germany, France, and Japan. If you were Apple and your product was selling faster than you could make it, would you piss off everyone who put in a pre-order to sell a few units in a market that hasn’t been told a specific release date or been given the opportunity to buy the thing, or would you do your best to fulfill every outstanding order? It’s also interesting to note that the exact same thing happened to the iPad, and we all know how that turned out.
We’ve reached out to Apple Canada for comment. More →
We interrupt our regular programming to bring you this late breaking bulleting: Fido will be launching the LG Gossip on June 1st. One of those quick messaging devices the kids are always going on about, the Gossip will retail for $90 off-contract/pre-paidand $0 on a 2-year deal. It’s definitely not an expensive phone, and for that reason the noteable specs are as follows: full-QWERTY keypad, 2.0 megapixel camera, Bluetooth 2.1, FM radio, 3.5mm headphone jack and quad-band EDGE. Sure, the lack of 3G kind of really sucks, but let’s be honest here… Anyone that has a desire to browse the web on a 2.4″ QVGA display needs to have their head checked. Fast. Hit up the jump for proof of pricing.
Thanks, anonymous! More →
With the iPad’s Canadian launch delayed until the end of May, we thought we’d give those with glowing hearts who made the trek into the home of the brave a hand in getting their new gadget up and running on one of Canada’s four HSPA+ carriers. A lot of people have written in and put in requests for help — and with the dollar basically on par we’re sure that we’re going to get even more before the official Canadian launch — so we thought we’d do our part and help out our early adopting friends in the Great White North. Getting the iPad Wi-Fi + 3G up and running in Canada is as easy 1, 2, 3. As always, the nitty gritty is after the jump.
It looks like Fido’s corporate security team isn’t having its best month because someone aptly nicknamed “FidoMarketing” has leaked the details of its Q2 handset and price plans. There’s not a heck of a lot of exciting things here, although the BlackBerry Pearl 9100 is listed and is apparently coming very soon:
- BlackBerry Pearl 9100 – May 4th
- LG GW300 – April 13th
- Nokia 3710 – May 18th
- Nokia X3 – May 18th
- Novatel Wireless MC988DF – May (singled out for being 28.8Mbps, a sign of things to come to Fido/Rogers no doubt)
- Sony Ericsson Aspen – June
In terms of plans, Fido is still struggling to find its identity. It has really cheap handsets, yet the plans that go along with them are pretty mediocre for Canadian standards. FidoUNO, Fido’s UMA service, will be decommissioned as of June 1st, but a new CarryOver Minutes plan (not available to City Fido or corporate customers) will be introduced which allows one to accumulate rollover minutes over 6 moths. Data plans will also get a bit of a change with news plans with the introduction of Wireless Internet Options. Basically what it all boils down to according to the documents is this:
- $15 – Unlimited Email and IM
- $15 – 100MB/100MB BIS
- $25 – 500MB/500MB BIS
- $30 – 1GB/1GB BIS
- $40 – 2GB/2GB BIS
- $40 – 3GB
- $50 – 5GB
- $50 – 15GB [sic]
- $80 – 8GB
- $150 – 15GB
Be honest, people. What are you thinking? More →
Google finally jumped over whatever hurdles were holding it back from offering paid apps in the Canadian Android Market, as all of a sudden, they just started showing up on some Canadian devices. Sadly, however, it seems the love is not being evenly distributed as the majority of the Bell and TELUS customers we spoke to have not yet had paid apps show up on their end. Nonetheless, we have verified with customers of both Rogers and Fido that they have been able to purchase paid apps using carrier locked and unlocked devices meaning that the long overdue roll out has finally gotten underway.
Bell and TELUS: What’s the dealio?
Hear that noise? That’s Fido saying goodbye to 2006 and hello to… 2009? Fido has finally caved in and introduced a modern-ish BlackBerry with today’s release of the Curve 8520. Attractively priced at $50 with a 3-year voice and data contract, the 8520 is also available to pre-paid customers for the one-time cost of $400. Throw in a CityFido plan and data add-on and you really can’t argue against this device if you’re in the market for an affordable smartphone. You know, unless you care about 3G. More →
Canadians with a serious need for speed might want to pack their bags and move to one of Canada’s five largest cities — Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal — as today Rogers announced that its 21Mbps HSPA+ network upgrade has gone live and is ripe for the picking. Almost. No current Rogers handsets are capable of reaching such speeds, but if mobile internet is something you’re absolutely smitten with then you should definitely consider pre-ordering the new 21Mbps HSPA+ Mobile Internet Rocket Stick. It starts off at $79.99 on contract (which is $79.99 more than Rogers’ current Rocket Stick offerings), but c’mon; not owning the latest and greatest gear flies straight in the face of what we here at BGR are all about. As for the general benefits for current 3G handset owners, the upgrade also comes with an overhaul of the network’s backend, meaning more people should be able to simultaneously use data without making the network come to a screeching halt.
A day we thought would never come is upon us as the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association, whose members include all of the major Canadian telcos and their subsidiaries (including all new entrants other than DAVE Wireless), have agreed to a code of conduct that benefits not themselves but their customers. Just like in the US, Canadians will now be able to walk away from their contracts penalty free if a carrier makes material changes to the terms of the contract. If the customer doesn’t wish to leave their carrier, he or she will have the option of staying on board at a grandfathered rate. Other new rules state that charges and contracts must be more clearly explained, privacy must be more fiercely protected (remember a few years ago when hundreds of pages of Rogers subscribers’ personal information were found in a dumpster?) and customer service must, well, be of service. All in all the new rules sound amazing, but only time will tell whether or not they actually have an impact on the Canadian wireless market.
We here at BGR know how difficult it’s been for Canadians to secure an iPhone 3GS due to low levels of inventory, so we thought we’d pass along some good news for those of you who are still waiting. The discount promotions for original Rogers/Fido iPhone 3G owners as well as the 6GB/$30 data plan has been extended. The details are exactly the same as they were the first time around except now the entire deal stays alive through September 15th. For those of you who are still waiting on your iPhone 3GS, it shouldn’t be much longer now. We’ve been told that stock levels are rising and everyone should be taken care of ASAP.
Do you see anyone you know standing in that line? Today is the day to pack up your toys, gadgets and snacks, and head out to Apple/AT&T/Rogers/Fido/Carphone Warehouse or wherever else if you didn’t order your iPhone online to be shipped. After all, it’s either lines today or a test of patience down the road. Be sure you are well prepared and are up to date on pricing and details on grabbing your iPhone; we wouldn’t want to see anyone turned away after spending an entire morning or afternoon (or both) braving the elements, wherever you are. After all the pics and updates we’ve given you, everything has finally culminated to this moment. Let us know what lines in your area are like — if there even are lines in your area — and how easy or difficult it was to leave the store with your shiny, new iPhone 3G S in hand!
Over the past few weeks we at BGR have been pestering the folks at Rogers and Fido for information on their iPhone 3G S pricing and policies. Well guess what — they’ve just given us the goods. Hit the jump, because we’re pretty damn sure that you’ll like what you see.
Confirmed: Rogers/Fido iPhone 3G S retail pricing starts at $699, available for purchase at all Canadian Apple Stores
Quite a few people were outraged by the $699 and $799 no-contract prices we listed for perspective iPhone 3G S buyers on Rogers and Fido, and understandably so. Some questioned whether or not pricing would be the same directly from Apple and Rogers/Fido however, and thanks to some fine-print on Apple.ca we have been able to confirm that the 16GB iPhone 3G S will go for $699 and the 32GB model will go for $799 — identical to Best Buy Mobile’s pricing:
For non-qualified customers, including existing Rogers or Fido customers who want to upgrade from another phone or replace an iPhone3G, the pricing without a new agreement is $599(8GB), $699(16GB), or $799(32GB).
Also of note is the fact that the nine Apple Stores in Canada will themselves be selling the entire iPhone line up, something they did not do with the iPhone 3G. Hit the jump for a screenshot of Apple’s terms.