Skip to comments.What's an iPhone worth in Canada?
Posted on 08/05/2007 4:16:06 AM PDT by xp38
The last place that Cameron Johnson expected his newly purchased iPhone to land him was in jail.
The 42-year-old Torontonian drove down to Buffalo last month on a mission to buy a couple iPhones one for himself, and the other he planned on selling on Craigslist with a substantial markup. But he forgot to declare the expensive goods to the Canada Custom officers, who caught the iPhone in Mr. Johnson's back seat at the Niagara Falls, Ont. border crossing.
"The one officer said to the other, 'Hey Ted, look! An iPhone!'" said Mr. Johnson, who manages a portfolio of online domain names. "And of course, they had to get rid of the grin and be serious with me. They said to me they had to seize [the iPhones] and I started blubbering."
It was a dark turn of events for Mr. Johnson, who wound up paying a $400 fine and an hour in a holding cell.
"I remember thinking to myself while I was in the holding tank, 'What am I doing here and why does my technolust get the best of me?'" said Mr. Johnson,
But you can hardly blame Mr. Johnson for getting caught up in the moment. After being released last June to a flurry of media attention and hype, the iPhone has emerged as the hottest consumer product to hit the market this year. And although more than a million iPhones that are estimated will be sold by the end of this quarter reside in the hands of happy Americans, some have managed to make their way north of the border.
Since the device isn't being retailed through one of the country's cellphone providers, Canadians who do own an iPhone have either hacked their way through the authorization process or pay steep international roaming fees while tethered to an AT&T contract.
Calgary resident Mike Stafford is one Canadian who is self-admittedly "paying through the nose," for his iPhone. Mr. Stafford never expected to be holding what Apple fans have dubbed the "Jesus Phone" in his hands, but after visiting San Francisco on business on the same day the device was being launched, the allure was just too strong for him to resist.
"About 11:50 p.m., we were just walking by the Apple Store and we noticed a couple security guards standing idly by out front. Just for a joke, I asked them if they're all sold out of iPhones and they said they still had some in stock," said the 32-year-old computer programmer. "A few minutes after I stepped inside, an Apple employee comes bursting in carrying the day's last shipment, so I wound up buying two of the 8 GB models."
Mr. Stafford originally wanted to turn around the units and sell them on eBay for a quick profit, but after some hemming and hawing, decided to activate one of the phones for his own use and sell the other one to a friend.
"I've got a U.S.-based phone with Verizon for business, so I thought I should be able to just switch it over [to my iPhone]. It took some working since I don't have a [U.S.] social security number, I had to give AT&T a $500 deposit. By the time I left to come home, I had a fully functional iPhone that works fine," said Mr. Stafford. "In Canada, I get shifted to the Rogers network, but the visual voicemail, Wi-fi, iPod, all that, it all works fine."
But using an iPhone isn't cheap. For his efforts, Mr. Stafford plunked down about $630 for the iPhone itself and locked into a two-year contract with AT&T that will run him at least $84 for 900 minutes of air time and unlimited data per month. Since he'll be outside of the Unites States and will be charged international roaming rates, he'll also have to pay an additional 65 cents per minute for plus another 50 cents for each text message he sends.
Mr. Stafford hasn't received his first bill yet, but expects to pay around $500, a staggering amount when you consider that a Blackberry plan with Rogers costs $95 per month for 50 MB of data transfer and 350 weekday minutes with unlimited evenings and weekends.
"I think it's worth it. It's expensive to use and I'm kinda scared to get my first bill, to tell you the truth," Mr. Stafford said. "But I don't use it a lot when I'm up here. If I friend calls me, I tell him I'll call him back on a land line. It's more or less if I'm totally mobile and I need to use it, I'll call someone for two minutes or something."
But there are ways to avoid emptying your wallet to use an iPhone, just as long as you're comfortable not using it as an actual cellphone. Since the iPhone was released, an underground movement has feverishly worked to try to unlock the device so it can be used on any cell phone network.
So far, the website http://iphone.fiveforty.net has published different ways that bypass the AT&T activation screen that gives you access to the iPhone's web browsing and iPod features, which is more than fine with Mr. Johnson.
"The fact that I manage a web company and never get to leave my computer, the Wi-Fi browser lets me manage my company, where I could never do it before [on a cellphone] It's literally changed my routine," said Mr. Johnson.
With all the attention focused on unlocking the iPhone so everyone can use it, Mr. Johnson believes it's only a matter of time until more Canadians will be risking imprisonment at the border to get an iPhone of their own.
"My feeling is that I'll be on my Fido account by September, using [the iPhone] unlocked. The Skype solution isn't there yet, but the minute it's there, people will get it," he said.
For the mac ping list.
It’s a friggin TELEPHONE!
Not really! it’s sort of poorly named. It’s primarily a portable web-surfing touch-screen computer, killer iPod, decent digital camera, PDA, that also happens to be a phone.
The part about overseas digital roaming charges is an important one. When you leave your cell plan area they can charge whatever they want, and they do. A $3000 phone bill isn’t out of the norm for someone who surfs the ‘net, sends some email over the course of a week or two. Be sure to get some kind of flat-rate plan rather than going “commando”.
Now we know — now we know why all those camps are being built under contract by the saucer aliens stored at Area 407 - iPhone Refugees! Those Apple groupies are completely bonkers, the % of neurotics must be staggering.
I was in Miami Beach last night at Lincoln Road Mall around 11pm and passed an Apple store. The place was packed and you could barely move. People were grabbing I-phones and testing them and Ipods and buying them. I am glad this is an American product.
Um, yeah, right.
So a profit-seeking smuggler gets popped at the border and now he’s a victim on a “protect the borders” site. Nice work, folks.
Well, it certainly wasn't "Apple Fans" who slapped it with that nickname... nor do I hear many calling it that. It was a Web pundit criticizing the hype that surrounded the iPhone. The only place you see that sobriquet is in articles that are slightly or more than slightly critical of the iPhone.
Use an iPhone, go to jail....
If you want on or off the Mac Ping List, Freepmail me.
No, it's a Mac computer that also makes phone calls...
Mac users are a CULT!
I proudly attend the First Church of the Open Apple Key !
It's just a nice Smart Phone.
Geeks gone wild.
SF pingy dingy!
And you want to know what is funny about your statement - the guy who the article was about never mentioned what his preferred computer platform is, only that he got wrapped up in the hype (which I happen to know many PC users did).
And to take it one stpe further - if you visit a regular Mac related thread, you will notice that the Apple fans normally stick to standard defense of their chosen platform, while it is the PC Geek Boys who come into those threads and flame away, calling names, and generally being extremely rude.
So who is the cult?
The mac users are. It’s the same cult that goes to starbucks for coffee.
Sorry bud, but this is just plain crazy. Starbucks coffee is excellent. Not for all tastes but it is really good coffee to some. If you don’t like it that is one thing but to castigate those that do is frankly massively immature and stupid.
How is it illegal to take a phone (iPhone or not) into Canada? I take one when I go and an iPod and a MacBook. Maybe taking one in for resale but for personal use?
I was hoping iPhone could fit the bill. However, the fact that it is missing iTunes means I still need to drag the laptop and look for WiFi. iTunes (and slightly more capacity) would make this work for me.
Macdonnald’s coffee beat starbucks in blind taste tests.
Canaduh has phones?... I thought they just had the telegraph...
“Macdonnalds coffee beat starbucks in blind taste tests.’
But not everybody that drinks coffee is blind.
THat’s the problem. Too may people see the brand name on the cup and fool themselves.
It is a version of OSX... If Apple installed Adobe CS on it, it would run... probably not too fast, though.
Well.... I gotta admit it. I am sitting at a table about 30 feet from Starbucks Coffee in the Sacramento Airport... but I am drinking a large diet Coke from the Burger King next door.
I am on my way to Indiana where my 90 year old aunt is dying of Acute Leukemia... not a pleasurable trip.
Nah... they wish... smoke signals and semaphores are the current "in" thing...
SF gave me one!! :) i love it!!
I just enjoy tweaking Mac users for a variety of reasons.
You go ahead and spend $5+ for a cup of coffee several times a day while I make it myself for 2 cents.
Its not illegal. He didn’t declare them. Since their value exceeds the amount you can bring back tax free, he basically is considered to have evaded taxes.
What do you mean it is missing iTunes. The iPhone includes a full function iPod.
why not just unlock it an put it a local gsm chip.
That is the beauty of GSM phones.
One chip, many phones for various occasions and needs.
“I am glad this is an American product.”
Not really -
“The iPhone and other new product releases from Apple will likewise help to strengthen Nanya PCBs performance in the second half. Shipments, including that of HDI boards, IC substrates and rigid-flex boards are all projected to grow in the meantime.”
“What do you mean it is missing iTunes. The iPhone includes a full function iPod.”
I believe he is refering to the fact that, like an ipod, you need to have a REAL internet comnnected computer to be able to purchace and load songs into it.
“What do you mean it is missing iTunes. The iPhone includes a full function iPod.”
I mean what I said iPhone is missing iTunes - as are all iPods.
“You go ahead and spend $5+ for a cup of coffee several times a day while I make it myself for 2 cents.’
I don’t but I don’t think it is a big deal (BTW, they are not five bucks). When I travel sometimes I buy one. I buy the coffee at the Pubix for home brewing. Some people are smart enough to have jobs that give them “disposable” income. Trust me it’s not a bad thing.
“I believe he is refering to the fact that, like an ipod, you need to have a REAL internet comnnected computer to be able to purchace and load songs into it.”
Geez, I wonder what is worse the FReepers that think it is horrible that people have the dough to spend $5/10 bucks a day on coffee they LIKE. Or those that do not understand the question but have an answer. Listen up dude. iPhone DOES connect to the internet. However, to access the Apple music store you need iTunes. iTunes is how I get my daily Rush 24/7 podcasts. If iPhone had iTunes I would not need to find a Wifi hotspot and drag the laptop on all trips.
Gotcha. You want something more than an iPod on your iPhone.
“Or those that do not understand the question but have an answer. Listen up dude. iPhone DOES connect to the internet. However, to access the Apple music store you need iTunes. “
Excuse me ? The iphone, supposedly an OSX internet connected computer, by design or flaw does not run the itunes application, therefore you cannot purchase and download music directly to it’s built in ipod.
In order to use this device, you MUST purchase or otherwise have access to ANOTHER, more capable internet connected computer ( Mac or Windows ) to not only allow the ipod functions to perform, but to even be able to activate it as a cellphone !
Without a better piece of equipment to hook up to ... you have an ibrick.
“Gotcha. You want something more than an iPod on your iPhone.”
Yep. If you look at one at an Apple Store with a knowledgable Apple person it is amazing technology. But for me the missing ingrediant is iTunes so I can get my Rush fix w/o locating a wifi hotspot and dragging the laptop on all trips. BUT it is amazing technology.
iIdoit...you are. IPhones are amazing for many, many people. I just lament it is not what I need at this point of its evolution. that does not make it an ibrick. I acknowledge that just because it is not for me does not mean it is useless. Grow up.
The guy’s a moron.
The one thing that bothers me about FReeping are people that think that unless you live day to day from paycheck to paycheck you are some sort of degenerate. Its crazy. This is the land of plenty for those with some brains and are willing to work. I’m not saying somepeople are down on there luck but that does not excuse blasting people with enough disposable income to blow a grand or two on an iPhone or $10 a day on Starbucks.
“iIdoit...you are.” ... LOL - Yoda speak ?
IPhones are amazing for many, many people. “ ... Firearms were amazing to many, many people who did not understand what they were.
” I just lament it is not what I need at this point of its evolution.” .....Does that translate into “ it’s not good enough for you yet “ ?
“that does not make it an ibrick.” ... Correct, not having a better internet connected computer LEAVES it an ibrick. It’s continued use, syncing and updates and the possible restore when it freeezes up REQUIRES another computer.
Nope, nothing to do with “good enough” just not the tool for my specific needs.
It connects fine for me to the internet. very fine. it just does not (for my specific need) connect to iTunes. This is about Rush 24/7 w/o a wifi which is best under iTunes. Are you Rush 24/7? Do you travel? What do you use your computer for on the road?
“it just does not (for my specific need) connect to iTunes. “ ... not really -— for ANY need it does not have the itunes application.
” This is about Rush 24/7 w/o a wifi which is best under iTunes. Are you Rush 24/7? “
... Now you got me... just WHAT is about Rush 24/7 ? The iphone has NO streaming audio capabilities, regardless of who is talking.
“Do you travel?” Ha ... check my page
“What do you use your computer for on the road?” ... If I said Cut’n’paste it would allready be beyond the iphones capability.