iPhone 3G in Canada Two Weeks Later: Bell and Telus to go iPhone Friendly GSM?!

Like much of the rest of the world, iPhones remain in short supply in Canada and with 20 more countries launching in a few weeks, its hard to imagine that changing anytime soonish. (Though if you visit Apple's newly launched, and first Canadian Flagship Store in Montreal, they'll have live music, let you play with demos, and learn tips from the Apple Specialists, b'okay?)

So what is changing then? Only the very fabric of the industry it seems. See, Canada has only one national GSM provider: Rogers (who owns the brand Fido as well). The other two national carriers, Bell and Telus, use the same technology as Verizon in the US, the incompatible CDMA... Or at least they did... Our publicly owned television network, CBC is now reporting that Bell and Telus may just be switching teams, either to Wideband CDMA or HSPA, in order to better compete in a world dominated by GSM and touting sexy handsets like the iPhone 3G.

What would this mean for Canadians? Competition (which hopefully translates into competitive pricing):

Multiple iPhone carriers would likely be music to the ears of the more than 50,000 people who signed an online petition against Rogers' rates ahead of the device's launch on July 11. Australia, with its three carriers including Telstra, has some of the lowest prices on the device in the world, according to CBCNews.ca's iPhone iNdex. Switzerland, with two iPhone carriers, also ranks well in pricing. Rogers' iPhone, meanwhile, ranks roughly in the middle of the pack in terms of monthly pricing but is the second-most expensive in the world in terms of total commitment by virtue of its mandatory three-year contract, the longest offered by any carrier in any country.

Oh my, but wouldn't that make things ever so suddenly interesting?

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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There are 2 comments. Add yours.

Ernie says:

Quote: "Australia, with its three carriers including Telstra, has some of the lowest prices on the device in the world, according to CBCNews.ca’s iPhone iNdex."
This is innacurate reporting! Forget the cost of the phone! The monthly data allowances are so bad, they make Rogers look good! The iPhone in Australia is a good deal only if you use it for voice only and keep data permanently off. Once you use data, they'll get their $$$. All three Australian telcos have draconian data limits with outrageous excess data charges, but Telstra is the worst!

LAINE says:

Bell is already announcing that they are switching to the HSPA System (bell.ca). I Heard from a friend that they will be offering the iphone in mid-november 2009