When Apple announced the upcoming iPhone 3G S earlier this month, we posted a quick little synopsis of info available to would-be 3G S owners up in Canada. Our Canadian readers thanked us, and then promptly threatened violence lest we do everything in our power to dig up contract-free pricing on Apple’s new kit. Not wanting to anger the Canadian people we got to digging and thankfully, one of our ninjas just came through with some tasty screen shots from Best Buy. According to the major retailer’s inventory system, Rogers and Fido customers are looking at no-contract pricing of $799.99 for the 32GB version and $699.99 for the 16GB version. A bargain at twice the price… Umm, or something like that. Hit the jump for screenshots of the Rogers 16GB iPhone 3G S in Best Buy’s inventory (32GB is above) along with the 16GB and 32GB models from Fido.
Okay, listen up. There’s a ton of Canadian BGR readers out there so we’re going to spend a moment letting you know what the real story is with the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3G S in the Great White North. Both Rogers and Fido will be carrying the new iPhone 3G S and just like in the US, it will be available as of June 19th — same pricing, too — the 16GB model going for $199 and the 32GB model going for $299. On the same day, the price of the iPhone 3G 8GB will drop to $99. Furthermore, the 6GB/$30 iPhone data promo will be back in full force (albeit for an unspecified limited time). iPhone users can tether as well, provided their plan offers 1GB or more of data which is fair enough because if you’re still on the 500MB plan as of today, you’re pretty much a sucker (we kid, sort of). As for MMS, a new iPhone value pack has the feature covered and will be offered when OS 3.0 launches on June 17th. This brings us to perhaps the best news — if you already have an iPhone 3G from Rogers or Fido and are not eligible for an HUP to snag an iPhone 3G S, you will be able to purchase one with no-contract pricing.
Okay, so one of our Fido ninjas hit us up with some exclusive snaps of what is reportedly the entire roadmap for the rest of 2009. We’re very far away from being able to confirm this information — it actually made us pop about 50 antacid tablets — but we’re going to do our jobs as best we can and report the goods. So here we go…
The most notable slide has to do with a 4GB iPhone 3G. While there is a huge disclaimer that the image isn’t the device itself, the slide depicts a 4GB iPhone model that will run for $99 and come with quad-band EDGE, tri-band HSDPA, a 2 megapixel shooter and, believe it or not, iChat video calling (oh hi, front-facing camera). You might recall all of that talk of a $99 iPhone at Walmart that we brought you a while ago — it looks like the timing was a bit off but it may actually happen. Moving on to the other handsets, we have the BlackBerry Curve 8320 for $50, Nokia E71 for $50 and Nokia E55 for $25, Sony Ericsson Z780i for $75 and a bunch of low-end goodness at great prices.
So, what do you think? Is this real, or is it like that total BS Rogers roadmap we saw at Christmas? Hit the jump for the rest of the slides and sound off in the comments.
Big news today for our friends up north who have been plagued with cold sweats and night tremors ever since November when SMS service was disabled in Canada. When the service was initially killed, Twitter cited billing issues as the reason. It may have taken a while to resolve those issues, but Rogers has just announced a partnership with Twitter that will revive SMS and allow users to both send and receive tweets via text. What’s more, the new deal applies to both Rogers and Fido customers. Canadians, rejoice! Shortcode 21212 has officially been revived and any and all texts exchange will be covered by your SMS plan. In other words, feature phone users no longer have to worry about how to tell all their friends about the string of minutia that combines to make up each day. Woo!
To say that a new iPhone is not on its way is like saying Glenn Beck isn’t messed in the head, and the fact that Canada’s Fido is now offering “refreshed” iPhone 3G’s to clean house is yet another piece of supporting evidence. Refreshed? Yes, refreshed. Essentially, a refreshed iPhone 3G was purchased by someone who returned it before 15 days or 30 minutes of talk time — which differs from “refurbished”, e.g. a phone that got stepped on at a kegger and had a few parts replaced by Apple. The savings on a refreshed iPhone 3G are not much to fawn over at $50, making the 8GB $149.99 and the 16GB $249.99. Warranties on refreshed units are curtailed by six months as well, but it’s not like that’s going to stop a fickle consumer from getting his/her refresh on.
Since the passing of founder and CEO Ted Rogers in early December, Rogers Communications, which owns both Rogers Wireless and Fido, the sole two GSM carriers in Canada, has been without a permanent leader until a couple days ago when the Board of Directors appointed 52-year old Nadir Mohamed as the CEO. Said Alan Horn, Chairman and interim CEO prior to the appoint of Mohamed:
Nadir was the unanimous choice of our Board of Directors to succeed Ted as RCI’s President and CEO. He is a highly regarded, principled telecom executive who has the demonstrated ability to build and lead strong teams and to consistently deliver strong results. Over the past eight years Nadir has earned the respect of our Board, our employees and the investment community. The Board believes Nadir’s skills, experience, track record and firm understanding of the industry uniquely position him to lead Rogers through the next chapter in its history. We all congratulate Nadir and look forward to working with him in his expanded leadership role.
So just what is Mohamed’s priority as he begins his time as CEO?
Looking forward, we will build upon this solid foundation by driving continuous improvements to our customer experience, by improving the efficiency of our operations through cost and capital management, and by delivering innovations and deploying leading edge technologies to meet the changing needs of our customers. With our strategy and asset base both firmly set, I look forward to working together with our Board, management and employees in leading Rogers through its next era and continuing to create significant value for our customers and shareholders.
Okay, it’s pretty much your average boilerplate statement, but seeing as Mohamed has a reputation of being quite the aggressive and cunning businessman, we actually believe that he will deliver on his word.
We said it, you doubted, we said it again and now it’s finally here – Fido has launched the BlackBerry Pearl 8100. That’s right – it’s 2009 and a wireless carrier just launched the Pearl 8100. Okay, so the 8100 is pretty much obsolete at this point and the fact that Fido has the nerve to ask for $400 month-to-month or $25 over 3-years is nothing short of absolutely insane. Hey, nothing is stopping you from bringing in something hot like a Bold or Curve 8900 instead. God knows you’ve earned it for being so patient during the long, arduous wait! Anyway, just like we said the data plans are as follows:
- $15 – Unlimited personal email and IM
- $25 – 500MB
- $30 – 1GB
- $60 – 3GB
Happy now, Canada?
We’ve just received word that Canada’s Fido Wireless has begun shipping out the first batch of Blackberry Pearl 8100 devices to its retail stores. A number of shops have already received their first packages, well ahead of the anticipated February 4th release date. The actual boxes are an oh-so-pretty baby blue color, similar to the current Bell Blackberry packaging. This is all well and good, but if you’ve been hankering for a Fido branded ‘Berry you’re still gonna have to wait. Their POS system still doesn’t contain any actual Blackberry plans, so reps won’t be able to activate the devices even if you find one friendly enough to give it a shot. Then again, the appeal of the 8100 died roughly 2 years ago, so we can’t imagine too many folks are chomping at the bit for this one. Either way, it’s good to see that the handsets are arriving, as it shows the carrier is taking steps to have more than a couple on hand when the actual launch day comes around. And you all know you’re going to BYOB (Bring Your Own Berry) anyway. Hit the jump for one more shot.
Good news for all of the Fido BlackBerry wannabes out there. As expected and just like we told you last week, Fido did indeed begin training its employees for the arrival of BlackBerry with a targeted launch date of February 4. Sadly it looks like Fido really is going to start things off with the Pearl 8100, but at least it’s going to allow people to BYOBB. Well, unofficially at least.
The 8100 will go for $400 month-to-month/off contract, $350 on a 2-year, and $25 on a 3-year with voice and data. As for the data plans to be offered, they are as follows:
- $15 – Unlimited personal email and IM
- $25 – 500MB
- $30 – 1GB
- $60 – 3GB
BES won’t be offered as Fido is now a low-cost carrier and its parent company Rogers would prefer you to get your BES on with them, but tethering is allowed at no additional cost. You know, unless you go over your data limit.
For a while we’ve been saying that Fido is going to start selling BlackBerry devices and services, and now it looks like the company is finally ready take the leap. Fido reps and CSRs have been told that BlackBerry is on its way and training will begin sometime next week. Good news, right? Maybe not at first. Quite a few Fido employees have told us that Fido is going make the Pearl 8100 its first available device. We’re hoping that this isn’t the case and Fido is full steam ahead with the 8220, but there just might be something to it. RIM declared the 8100 was at the end of its life over a year ago meaning that production has stopped and Fido should not be able to order any. However, it is possible that Fido could take on whatever 8100s its parent company Rogers hasn’t been able to sell, have the Fido logo slapped on the antenna cover, get a box printed up and call it a day. The problem with that option is that when booting up the phone a Rogers logo would appear as it’s burnt into the firmware. Sure, Fido could use the VSM tool to swap in a Fido logo but that would be so much work considering it would need to upgrade all 8100s from OS 4.2.1 to 4.5. Time will tell, but at least BlackBerry is looking closer than ever for Fido users.
Just because it’s Christmas doesn’t mean that the mobile phone industry is safe from leaks. HoFo user clearskies08 has posted pictures which are purported to be from an internal Rogers and Fido flagship presentation. They reveal all of the flagship smartphones that the two carriers plan to release in 2009. Virtually every single phone in the line-up has been written about before in one way or another so we’ll spare you their specs, but rest assured, if even one quarter of the phones in the presentation end up hitting store shelves, 2009 is looking to be a hell of a year for Rogers and its dog. Hit the jump for a complete list of handsets along with images from the presentation.
Bad news, people. Fido and Rogers are not happy campers at the moment and have there are reports that they have decided to take it out on future product offerings. Lately both companies have been struggling with internal leaks and the higher-ups are understandably paranoid. On Friday, Fido posted a memo for all employees which repudiated what was said in BGR Land about Fido aiming to launch BlackBerry products and services this month:
An internet mobile magazine is speculating that Fido is about to launch RIM BlackBerry products. Please take note that the New Fido has a great phone line up, however BlackBerry is not part of the line up at this time. We do not speculate on future products or services.
The memo is pretty strange considering that the official policy of both Rogers and Fido is not to address rumors. Accordingly, you can imagine our surprise when reports started coming in that a day after the memo supporting initial release info was circulated, Fido was informed that its hopes of launching anything BlackBerry were dead in the water – maybe. The quote above is pretty open-ended, stating “BlackBerry is not part of the line up at this time,” as opposed to, “the speculation is false.” It’s a strange twist of events considering that this happened so close to the launch time frame, but then again Rogers does have a long history of doing some pretty sketchy things (remember the saga of the E71?).
While we’re on the subject of Rogers and BlackBerry, there is one good thing to report. The powers that be apparently also killed all plans for a pink BlackBerry Bold. Perhaps that means they read our comments section too…