Technology & Science

Rogers says iPhone coming to Canada this year

Rogers Communications Inc. said Tuesday it has reached an agreement to bring Apple Inc.'s iPhone to Canada later this year.

Rogers Communications Inc. said Tuesday it has reached an agreement to bring Apple Inc.'s iPhone to Canada later this year.

But the company declined to give pricing details or say when it would begin offering the popular mobile handset, which has drawn praise for its sleek design and internet capabilities since it was first launched a year ago in the United States. Earlier this week, Apple said it expected to sell 10 million iPhones worldwide this year.

"We're thrilled to announce that we have a deal with Apple to bring the iPhone to Canada later this year," said president Ted Rogers in a brief statement. "We can't tell you any more about it right now, but stay tuned."

Rogers has long been rumoured to be the wireless carrier most likely to offer the iPhone in Canada, as it is the only Canadian carrier using the GSM (Global System Mobile) communications standard needed to run the iPhone. Canada's two other main cellphone providers, Bell Canada and Telus, use the competing CDMA standard.

But both Rogers and Apple had been tight-lipped about a possible Canadian release date. There has been speculation that part of the delay in bringing the iPhone to Canada was a dispute over pricing between Apple and Rogers. Apple has also been involved in a year-long trademark dispute with Toronto-based Comwave Telecom Inc. over the rights to the name "iPhone."

There are thousands of iPhones already in Canada, but most of these have been bought in the United States and unlocked to work on Rogers's network.

The iPhone, which earlier this year added a number of features designed to make it more business friendly, is expected to compete with Waterloo, Ont.-based Research in Motion Ltd.'s line of Blackberry smart phones.

Apple has sold more than five million iPhones, according to several analyst estimates, and the company expects to sell 10 million by the end of 2008.

Rogers also announced earnings of $344 million during the quarter, or 54 cents a share. That's up from $170 million, or 26 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue also rose 14 per cent to $2.6 billion.

Rogers Class B shares gained $1.56 to close at $44.46 in TSX trading.