Post Tagged with: "unlocking cellphones"

Canadians Face Triple Lock on Apple iPhone

Amid rumours that Apple is scaling back on its delivery of the iPhone to Rogers, my weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) focuses on the Canadian debut this week of the Apple iPhone. The arrival of a Canadian iPhone is expected to generate long lines at Rogers Wireless stores, though the pre-launch publicity has not been particularly smooth for the company.  Its announcement of iPhone service pricing set off a wave of online protest, as consumers noted the absence of an unlimited data plan, higher prices, and longer contractual commitments.  The Rogers offer is not particularly surprising.  Canada ranks toward the very bottom among developed countries for cellphone penetration as the lack of competition leaves Canadians with some of the highest prices for wireless services in the world.  Indeed, Rogers has a monopoly on the iPhone since it is the only Canadian carrier currently capable of carrying the device.

Most of the public criticism has focused on the uncompetitive data rates that render it difficult to maximize the iPhone’s potential.  Yet the bigger story is how the Canadian version of the device features a triple lock that is the result of onerous contracts, technological locks, and a legislative proposal from Industry Minister Jim Prentice that simultaneously locks consumers in, while locking the competition out.

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July 7, 2008 26 comments Columns