On Friday, the 3G Jesus Phone makes its debut in 22 countries across the globe, including Canada. But you can't buy one from a Canadian Apple Store.
"[The 3G iPhone] will not be sold in [Canadian] Apple retail stores, but we will have the product to demo, and all our specialists will be trained on the 3G iPhone as well," is the word from an Apple automaton at the Eaton Centre Apple Store in Toronto.
According to AppleInsider, Steve Jobs has barred 3G iPhone sales from Canada's six Apple Stores because he's "disgusted" with the service plans laid down by cell provider Rogers Wireless. Rogers' monthly service plans for the reborn Jesus Phone start at $60 Canadian a month for just 150 calling minutes, 75 outgoing text messages, and 400 megabytes of net data. And each requires a three-year commitment.
Jobs is loath to sell these plans, so he's forcing Rogers and partner Fido to sell them on their own.
Of course, the automaton tells us it just makes sense that Apple Stores aren't selling Apple's version of the Second Coming. "We never had plans to sell [the 3G iPhone]," he told us. "The idea was in the air, but we only just received an official response from [Apple's corporate offices], and that response is that the 3G iPhone will only be sold through Rogers and Fido. With only six Apple Stores in Canada, that's the best way for us to reach the entire clientèle."
Ah, but it seems Apple has already stuck it to Rogers by diverting large shipments of Canadian Jesus Phones to Europe. Word is that the Canadian comms giant will receive only 10 to 20 phones per store.
Somehow, we doubt that's gonna serve Canada's "entire clientele" for the 3G iPhone.
That said, more than fifty thousand souls have signed an online petition calling for a boycott of the Rogers service plans. Perhaps, in jacking service plan prices to ridiculously high levels, Rogers has ensured few Canucks will actually buy the 3G iPhone. Perhaps "the entire clientèle" is now quite small. ®