In a recent press statement (which I had trouble tracking down), Virgin announced that they will be offering the iPhone in the “coming months” to Canadians (all indications are that it will be in February 2010). Recently here in Canada (Ryan, the author, is from Canada – ed.) we saw the addition of two more iPhone carriers in Bell and Telus but both offered very little in terms of competitive plans against the previous carrier, Rogers. As a consumer I was really hoping this increased competition would see an improvement in the available plans, but it appears that they all have a pact to not even make an effort. All of them offer almost the exact same plans, rates, and contracts with extremely little variation.
In most countries iPhone purchasers have the ability to pick up the devices for $199 on 2 year contracts, but not here in Canada. All 3 carriers offer 3 year contracts only. It also rumoured that Virgin will be offering the same forced 3 year contracts on us consumers. Now, Virgin has been establishing itself as a budget carrier with free phones, cheap plans, and generally the place to go if you are a very light phone user. So how they come at the release of the iPhone on their network should be very interesting. I believe that they have a real chance to steal a significant market share if they offer up something unique and flexible with this famous device. I’d love to see Virgin take a risk in it’s pricing structure and allow a la cart pricing plans, pay as you go data, and 2 year contracts. I’d even be willing to fork over an extra $100 at purchase to get one less year on my contract.
With this addition, we are one of the leading countries in terms of carrier choice for the iPhone, but sadly still behind on pricing and contract options. If Virgin misses this opportunity to steal a decent size of the market, I’ll be sad, because I really want to get one, but no one has provided what I’m looking for.