WOW! iPhone plans and prices are dropping faster than Rogers stock these days. With a 22 country launch on Friday (and a few days later in France -- vive la difference, eh?), some with multiple co-exclusive carriers, each with different tiers of service (from cheap, all-you-can-eat unlimited to tiny $$$ per byte ultra-rip-offs) it's a lot to keep track of -- but we're still going to try!
Read on for the good, the bad, and a lot of ugly!
On the Canadian front (and yes, it is a war here people!) rumors of an Apple/Rogers falling out are probably going to fall out. My guess? Nothing much there unless Rogers is fanning the scarcity flame in order to get people who might be sitting on the fence or holding it to suddenly panic and rush the line on Friday. Apple Stores in Canada, unlike the US, have only pointed to Rogers/Fido for availability, and if Apple is sending units away from Canada to Europe, it may have more to do with the power of the Euro. (Nintendo's been accused of doing that with the Wii for months to profit from the stronger currency).
2 year contracts south of south of the border in Mexico as well: MX$459/599/799 for 200/300/400 min., 100/150/200 SMS and MBs of data, with the 8GB handset going for MX$3419/2159/889 and the 16GB for MX$4689/3419/2159.
Ayaiyai! That's US$77 for a tiny 200MB!
The good news? Due to the international date line, New Zealand will be getting the iPhone first and Hawaii last. In Aukland, New Zealand, the lineup is already forming to be the first (after a certain Portuguese un-boxer) to get the blessed device.
The bad news? They'll be paying out the pouch for it. 2 year contracts for NZ$80/130/250 for 120/250/600 min., 600 SMS, and 250/500/1000MB of data and 8GB handsets for NZ$549/449/199 and 16GB for NZ$699/599/359.
Ouch! That's US$189 for 1GB of data! Once again, the closer you are to a pole, the higher your prices!
Thanks to Mário for sending this in!
Optimus (Orange) in Portugal has pre-paid, post-paid monthly, and 2-year contract prices. Contract minimum monthly usage plans are €30/45/64 which get you €0.149/0.129/0.099 per minute or SMS, 100/300/500 free in-network SMS, and MB of data, with the 8GB handset running €250/200/150 and 16GB, €350/300/250.
Meanwhile, Vodaphone is offering the Portuguese 2 year contracts as well: €29.90/44.90/64.90, with 100/230/500 min. and SMS, and a miserly 250MB of data, with an 8GB handset going for €299/219/129 and 16GB for €389/309/219.
Yikes! That's US$102 for 250MB?!
AT&T Mobility's President of Network Services has his own podcast where he goes over iPhone 3G performance. Check it out.
Apple's VP of Retail, Ron Johnson, tried to set expectations: he claims they'll be taking 30 customers at a time, be able to handle 100 customers an hour, and aim to complete activation in 10-15 min. But they won't rush you if you want to take your time (though the crowd behind you, torches and pitchforks in hand, might help keep you moving at a brisk pace!)