Canadian iPhone data plans: $30/unlimited data (plus voice), perhaps

Engadget Mobile is reporting a HowardForums post that details two potential iPhone plans for Canadian users: on top of a qualifying voice plan, unlimited data will be offered at $30 per month for individual customers and $45 for business clients. There’s also a Facebook group detailing the information.

In contrast to my previous statements on the subject, this seems like a reasonable plan falling in line with what AT&T is offering in the States. It remains to be seen if this rumor is accurate, but the original poster is generally well-informed and a community member in reasonably high standing. One other known employee/dealer has also confirmed the memo. That said – most of the usual dealers and “insider sources” have been silent on this matter.

I’m assuming the qualifying voice plan will be $35 minimum plus system access fee: Rogers has stated they’re expecting $90 per user with a combination of the voice and data plans, and $30 data plus $35 voice plus $6.95 SAF is only about $72. If they assume most people will take value packages, such as the $15 smartphone plan (text messaging/caller ID/voicemail), this figure is slightly closer to what’s expected financially.

While Apple may have given up their revenue-sharing program in favour of carrier subsidized phones, if this memo is accurate then Apple still retains a large amount of control over the available plans. It’s nearly a direct copy of AT&T’s launch memo with a few minor changes.

The plan is listed as “unlimited data (E-mail/Web)” which people are presently freaking out over for no good reason. This terminology is actually very common in the BlackBerry world, meaning that you get email access as well as having standard Internet access available – which encompasses all on-device TCP/IP data.

Forum users are assuming that GPS/YouTube/other random features will be disabled because they’re not specifically listed in the plan title. If we assume Apple still mains some control over the sales and pricing process, one thing certainly enforced is full access to all applications on the device.

One thing that’s probably accurate is the inability to tether with this plan. It’s not technically possible out of the box, requiring a hacked device. Users on HowardForums that desire tethering capabilities seem to be the most likely to abuse the definition of “unlimited” in wireless carrier terms: when you’re downloading over 5GB per month on your device, there’s a high chance you’re using the plan as an Internet connection replacement.

Is $30 per month unlimited data enough to get you to change carriers and pick up an iPhone? Myself, I’m waiting for the BlackBerry Bold (9000) and its related plans.

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