Apple doesn't hate Canada ... Rogers, Bell, and Telus do

Those of us who’ve paid not only close attention to the rollout of the much-anticipated Apple iPhone but also to the Canadian mobile market don’t find this surprising. But we’re in the minority. A significantly larger portion of the Canadian iPhone-hungry masses are incensed by Apple’s announcement of the iPhone’s release in the UK.

Why do you hate us Apple? Why do you not let us poor Canucks use your wonderful product?

Guess what, my fellow Hosers, it ain’t Apple. You want the culprit? Look at your cell phone for a hint.

We are captives north of the border. We are barely 35 million people, about half of which use cell phones regularly (I’ll assume more than a mere 17 million cell phones.) We have three major telecommunications companies. I say “major” as in “operate nationally”. And they’re all about raking in the dough.

Look at your cell plans. They’re pretty expensive compared to our cousins south of the border. Those of you with data devices know what I mean. What Americans pay for unlimited data on AT&T, we pay for a mere 4 MB.

Four megs. A handful of images. Maybe 20 short emails (or two of ones I write). God forbid you try to install and use Google Maps on a regular basis.

It’s highway robbery, but where else do you go? Short of moving south of the 49th, you’re stuck.

Why am I picking on the Rogers, Telus, and Bell? Because they’re the ones standing in your way to getting a properly supported iPhone in the Great White North. For the record, you can get an iPhone right now. AT&T’s biggest blunder was not forcing Apple to let them sell the iPhone only in AT&T stores, requiring activation before you walk off with it. Because you can buy the phone at any Apple Store (or online), nothing is preventing Canadians from buying the phones, taking them home, unlocking them, and using them.

Well, unless you happen to be the poor schmuck stuck on Telus, where GSM seems to be a three-letter word. Like me.

It’s because of the Big 3 that we don’t have iPhones, and will be a while before we do. Rogers rules the roost of GSM. (Bell has limited support.) So from a hardware platform, only one of the three can carry the iPhone.

Then remember that Apple is all about experience. They want to ensure that their products are more than mere devices or tools. It has to be something extraordinary. And for the iPhone, that means data. Lots of it. They negotiated the unlimited data rate with AT&T to make that experience work.

That needs to happen here, too. So long as we’re paying obscenely high fees for minuscule amounts of data, the iPhone is really only cool when you’re near an available Wi-Fi network. Or you’re stinking rich and able to afford $300+/month bills.

A note to Telus, Rogers, and Bell: DATA IS NOT JUST FOR BUSINESS. Greedy jerks…

So no iPhone. I’m sure Apple’s talked to the carriers (Rogers, in particular), but until that rate comes down, we have to suffice with hacked iPhones, or remain on our other less-cool devices.

The future is elsewhere, for now. We’ll see if things change…