Only U.S. Apple retail stores getting iPhone 3G
Despite reports Apple was pulling the devices from its stores in Canada over controversial rate plans, no Apple stores outside the U.S. will be selling iPhone 3Gs on Friday.
While Rogers, Canada's largest wireless carrier, has made few friends with its iPhone 3G rate plans, it's not the only foreign carrier that will have to go it alone with iPhone sales on Friday.
The Internet was all atwitter Tuesday with reports that Apple had decided to pull iPhone 3Gs from its six Canadian retail stores for Friday's launch, apparently in protest over Rogers' decision to not offer its iPhone 3G customers an unlimited data plan. Appleinsider said that Apple made the decision in a Monday night conference call after it grew , which require three-year contracts, offer very few minutes at the introductory rates, and lack the option for unlimited data usage.
While I wouldn't be surprised if Apple isn't very happy about how things have unfolded in Canada (see this piece by Macworld's Jim Dalrymple for a look at the Canadian iPhone zeitgeist), Apple isn't selling the iPhone at any of its retail stores outside the U.S. Canada joins the U.K., Italy, Australia and Japan as countries that will have to rely on Apple's carrier partners in those regions to purchase the iPhone 3G on Friday.
Earlier in the week, independent blogger Daniel Smith reported that Apple was diverting iPhone 3G stock from Canada to Europe in response to the controversial rate plans. Smith left himself a little wiggle room with his report, but it seems safe to assume that Apple and Rogers aren't best friends at the moment.
But given the worldwide launch plans for Friday, it seems a bit of a stretch to assume that Apple has decided to blame Canada for its rate plans when Apple isn't selling iPhones in any Apple retail stores outside of the U.S.