• Will Rogers land the iPhone for Canada?

    Rogers Wireless is officially keeping its mouth shut, but you can bet it will be the carrier of Apple’s new iPhone when it’s released this summer.

    A rumour on Gizmodo stated bluntly that “Rogers is actively working with Apple to launch the iPhone in Canada as soon as possible and will be the exclusive provider of the iPhone in Canada. Availability and pricing aren't set in stone, yet.”

    The rumour was based on an unprinted customer service e-mail, the poster claimed.

    Not that it would be a shocker: There are really only two wireless carriers in Canada big enough to bid on an Apple entry into the cellphone market — Bell Mobility and Rogers Wireless — but only one of them, Rogers, operates on the world-standard GSM network, which is what Apple’s iPhone will be using.

    Rogers spokeswoman Odette Coleman would neither confirm nor deny the rumour, but you can hear her rubbing her hands with glee over the prospect of nailing down the much-hyped iPhone in her e-mail to me: “Speculations aside, we have not made any announcements about iPhone. [Rogers Chief Operations Officer] Nadir Mohamed said this, though since we are a GSM carrier and the iPhone is a GSM device, we are in a very good position to bring the phone to Canada.”

    There is a crescendo of hysteria building around the iPhone’s arrival, which is atleast a few months away (for Canada). It’s driven mostly by people who have fallen in love with the sexy phone’s design but haven’t actually held it yet. Since it’s a touch-screen device, it immediately raises a few questions — how will its glass front react to being banged around in a pocket or purse? Will it suddenly start dialling when you reach for your car keys and bump it? And how will it react to sweat, ear grease and fingerprints? And how difficult would it be to operate in sub-zero winters?

    Although the faithful accept everything Apple produces as manna from heaven, it’s interesting to note that the responses on the Gizmodo website were largely negative. Many of them were complaining about Rogers as a carrier, and their suspicion that Rogers will price the phone’s service out of most people’s league.

    If that happens you can’t blame Apple, but it’s still a problem for Apple if it wants to sell a lot of these sexy iPhones, in Canada or elsewhere.
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