iPhone debuts big in BlackBerry country

July 12th, 2008 - 11:32 am ICT by IANS  

By Gurmukh Singh
Toronto, July 12 (IANS) Apple’s iPhone 3G debuted in the country of BlackBerry Friday with an unprecedented response. In cities across Canada, people started making lines at stores as early as 2 a.m. to lap up the magic wireless device. Rogers Communications, the exclusive carrier of iPhone in Canada, had a tough time controlling the crowds as supplies sold out quickly at its stores.

In fact, at its flagship store in downtown Toronto, the iPhone was sold out immediately after it opened at 8 a.m.

Sixteen-year-old Jordan Brown, who was the first to buy the multi-media mobile device in Toronto, said he spent the whole night at the store to become the first Torontonian to buy the gadget.

The new iPhone with a fancy touch screen is a combination of ipod, cellphone and personal computer which can be used to surf internet, play music, watch video, check email.

Operating on the G3 data speed network, this second-generation iPhone is three faster than the first generation. Best of all, it allows downloads so that users enjoy any games and other applications.

Its in-built GPS lets you know about users their location on the Google map.

Playing a brilliant marketing stroke, Rogers first pegged the cost for the basic data high at $60 which created the buzz as well as protests. Then just before the launch, it offered a promotional price of just $30 for a much higher six-gigabyte data till Aug 31.

The August deadline has been set in view of rival BlackBerry’s planned launch of its Bold and Thunder models soon. In fact, BlackBerry Thunder 9500 will be Research in Motion’s (RIM) response to iPhone 3G which also allows users access to corporate emails.

Aiming to expand its reach beyond its main base of corporate and IT managers, BlackBerry Thunder 9500 will be the first RIM device to have touch screen. Loaded with all iPhone-like features, this device will also operate on the faster GSM and EV-DO networks.

With iPhone 3G posing a major threat to BlackBerry, it remains to be seen how the Waterloo-based Canadian company responds to the new challenge. Already, the economic downturn has taken its toll on RM as its shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange have slipped 25 per cent since their peak value in mid-June.

On the other hand, the wireless industry is booming in Canada. Worth about $13 billion presently, it has well over 20 million customers. In fact, in a nation of just 32 million people, 1.6 million joined the wireless bandwagon just last year alone.

The new iPhone 3G marks another threshold in the booming market.

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