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Tuesday, October 28, 2008, 08:00 am PT (11:00 am ET)

Rogers says quarter million iPhones sold in Canada

Rogers Wireless, Apple's exclusive iPhone provider in Canada, said Tuesday that September quarter sales of the touchscreen handset totaled more than a quarter million units, boosting both its subscriber count and average user revenue.

Electronista reports the telecoms company sold and activated a total of 255,000 iPhone 3Gs between the device's July 11th launch and the end of September, helping the carrier grow its net subscriber additions to 191,000 while increasing average income per user "considerably above" the previous levels thanks to added data fees.

The sheer number of iPhone subscribers put a strain on Rogers through subsidies but should result in "considerable returns" over the length of the three-year contracts, the company says, courtesy of both higher monthly plans as well as reduced turnover from customers remaining loyal to have access to the device.


Rogers' iPhone deal is also expected to have a significant impact on rivals, none of which run GSM-based networks compatible with the iPhone. The carrier said about a third of its customers are either converting from a competing provider or are new to cellphone service.

Desjardins Securities analyst Joseph MacKay believes the iPhone's affect on Rogers' rivals will become clearer in their financial disclosures later this week. He anticipates that Bell Canada's subscriber adds will fall from 137,000 in the spring to 85,000 in the summer as a result of potential customers either staying with or switching to Rogers. Telus is expected to fare better but should still see a decline of eight percent year over year to 125,000 new customers in the period.