Few companies inspire the kind of product lust that Apple does, and it’s no secret that Mac users can be somewhat evangelical about the company from Cupertino. To many Apple fans in Canada, it’s sheer torture that TV shows and movies aren’t yet available in the Canadian iTunes Music Store, or that the iPhone is taking so damn long to cross the border.
In the United States, the iPhone has been the must-have tech trinket of 2007, and it’s bound to be a massive success here—presumably via exclusive contract with Rogers and their compatible GSM wireless network. With both Apple and Rogers notoriously tight-lipped, Canadian iPhonatics are poring over every leaked promotional campaign and poorly-‘shopped hoax ad. This morning, a website glitch from Apple itself sent hearts aflutter, only to dash them to pieces when corrected a couple of hours later.
Apple’s retail outlet in the Eaton Centre holds regular in-store workshops on its products. When November’s schedule went up, the weekend events featured seminars on “getting to know your new iPhone in a workshop that takes you through the basics,” causing a ripple in the Reality Distortion Field that was felt from Vancouver to St. John’s.
The sad truth is that the workshop doesn’t exist. Apple pulled the page, and Apple Store employees claimed that the schedule was copied and pasted from the American stores’ schedules and left accidentally unedited.
As for the imminent arrival of the iPhone, Rogers has repeatedly denied rumors of its arrival, while Apple’s official response has been, “La la la, I can’t hear you,” especially when referring to an alleged trademark dispute over the iPhone name. Most notable, however, is that Rogers Wireless will have to revise its exorbitant data rates, which are sickeningly high—not because they have to be, but because of what the industry calls “perceived value” (at current rates, an iPhone user could get slammed with a monthly bill upwards of $700). Competitors Telus and Bell Mobility recently established flat-rate (though still very expensive) unlimited data plans targeted to smartphone and PC card users, and Canada’s telcos still frustratingly see text messaging and name display as premium features.
For now, technophiles can get a taste of the iPhone by picking up the similar iPod Touch, which can also be “jailbroken” to display the full iPhone operating system features (until a subsequent software update, when Apple will undo your diabolical meddling). Still, we suspect that we’ll be among the hordes opening a vein when the iPhone drops in Toronto…and no, you can’t play with it. Get yer own.