I’m in Toronto for the launch of the Nokia N97 in North America, a Bell exclusive. Check my Twitter account (eliasmakos) for full details.
If you believe what The Globe & Mail reported earlier this evening, the iPhone is finally headed to Canada’s other two big mobile providers. This comes after the companies worked around the clock and at great cost to launch their new iPhone-capable networks a year ahead of schedule. The urgency at which both Bell and Telus moved to make this possible offers some great insight into the state of the Canadian mobile phone industry. The most important things that this news highlights:
Well, well, well. Didn’t I say this would happen? Coupled with Verizon’s rumoured shunning of the Pre in the U.S., things aren’t looking too good for Palm. I’ll go on record again and say it’s still too expensive, and should be sold for the same price as the iPhone 3G – $99.
UPDATE: Sprint is now saying the $100 credit promo was a mistake. I call shenanigans. The Pre’s price will drop significantly. If not now, sometime soon.
Yesterday we heard the rumors that the Palm Pre would drop to $150 in the US, and today we find out that the Pre will actually go for just $99 after several credits. Sprint will credit new customers switching from another carrier $100 over three months. This indicates a few things:
When I reviewed the Palm Pre a few weeks ago, I lauded the device for so doing so much to catch up with the iPhone, but concluded that more needed to be done before it could be considered as serious competition. As we’ve seen time and time again, it simply isn’t good enough to create a product that matches Apple’s current offerings, you need to beat whatever Apple has planned for next year. (Zune, anyone?) So if and when Palm launches a new and improved Pre, here’s what I’m hoping to see.
As the trending topics on twitter and the posts on Facebook would indicate, you’ve already downloaded Facebook’s new iPhone app. If you haven’t, get a grip and do so immediately. And while you’re at it, download Yelp as well. These two apps are shining examples of why Apple will dominate the smartphone market for years to come.
Rogers today announced new SMS packs for Canadians who make the unfortunate choice of using their canuck phones abroad. The packs (not plans – you buy the texts up front and they can be used over 30 days) start at $10 for 20 messages. There’s also a $20 for 40 and $35 for 100 message pack available. Now while it’s nice that Rogers is doing something for travelers, that doesn’t change the fact that using your Canadian cell phone anywhere outside of Canada is a complete ripoff. How do you save money on your cell phone when traveling abroad?
It wasn’t too long ago that Palm was hawking smartphones saddled with Microsoft’s lackluster Windows Mobile or an out-of-date and out-of-touch Palm OS. Actually they still are, with the Centro and Treo still out there, presumably selling dozens of units annually. But let’s put the past in the past, and focus on the Pre, Palm’s sorely needed entry in a market that’s very iPhone-centric. The phone launches in Canada exclusively on Bell on August 27, but some people who pre-ordered may be getting the device early. Bells says the smartphone will remain an exclusive until at least until the beginning of 2010.