So Rogers Communications gave in to all of those angry Canadians. The company announced yesterday that it would alter its data pricing plans that outraged thousands of Canadian consumers so much that they signed an open letter to Apple CEO Steve Jobs asking him to use his influence and do something about Rogers' price gouging. Late last month, Rogers said that customers who purchase the 3G iPhone would have to sign a mandatory three-year contract and the company would cap data usage at 750 MB. Although both AT&T and Rogers were both offering calling, data and text messaging for $75 a month, Rogers at that price gave Canadians a third less calling time, half as many text messages, and put a 750 MB cap on 3G data usage that included with steep fees for users who go over their monthly limit.
A new plan, only in effect until Aug. 31, offers 6 GB of 3G data usage for $30 per month. According to The Wall Street Journal, Rogers said that it initially didn't have a lot of information about how customers wanted to use the new 3G iPhone. As that information became available, it became clear that customers were eager to use the device's data capabilities to the fullest potential, so it responded with yesterday's price change. Are we to believe that Rogers never knew that the 2G version of the iPhone has been a huge data driver on AT&T's U.S. network and T-Mobile's network in Europe? The marketing wizards over there only had to do a simple Google search. T-Mobile reported earlier this year that data usage is as much as 30 times higher than on other phones. And Google in February said that the iPhone was responsible for 50 times the number of mobile searches of any rival handset.
No, Rogers knew what it had: A corner on the market as the only iPhone 3G operator in Canada and the possibility of making a bundle on mobile data pricing. I'm actually surprised Rogers succumbed to the pressure because I believe Canadians would have bought the device anyway. It's that iconic. But then RCR Wireless News reports that Apple responded by pulling devices and not allowing Canadian Apple Retail stores to sell the new 3G device. What power Apple has. Of course, most would say, and I agree, that the price break until Aug. 31 isn't enough. And you have to wonder why Rogers can't offer an unlimited 3G data pricing plan. Folks wouldn't balk at paying $100 a month if they could use as much data as they want.--Lynnette