After what many characterized as "too long a wait", Apple will finally begin offering its iPhone in Canada later this year. This information comes directly from Rogers Wireless, which officially confirmed today that it has reached agreement with Apple.
According to industry watchers, the main reason that held back the iPhone from making its way into the Canadian market has been a combination of infrastructure incompatibilities and a lack of competition: Rogers Wireless is the only Canadian carrier operating a GSM network.
Since the first-gen iPhone operates only on GSM networks, this fact alone limited Apple's available partners in Canada to just one carrier. Furthermore, data plans have been rather pricey in Canada and Apple apparently wasn’t happy with what has been available until recently.
Since most of the iPhone’s functionality emphasizes mobile Internet usage, steep prices for data plans are believed to have stalled iPhone introduction until this drawback had been resolved. It wasn't before February that Rogers began offering more affordable unlimited data plans.
It looks like Canadians finally will be getting their hands on local iPhones soon. After all, Rogers told its customers two weeks after the iPhone announcement in January of 2007 that it was negotiating and exclusive iPhone deal for the Canadian territory.
Apple has not yet commented on a possible iPhone availability in Canada and we can only hope that Rogers’ announcement isn’t premature again.