Canadian customers say iPhone is worth the wait

Fri Jul 11, 2008 1:22pm EDT
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By Claire Sibonney

TORONTO (Reuters) - Neither rain nor controversy discouraged a hardy band of gadget lovers who lined up for up to 16 hours on a downtown street to become among the first in Canada to buy Apple Inc's iPhone 3G on Friday.

Jordon Brown thought the distinction well worth a mostly sleepless night camped out on the sidewalk outside a Rogers store that Canada's exclusive iPhone service provider was opening early to accommodate the Apple faithful.

Brown, a 16-year-old high school student, said he arrived at 4 p.m. EDT on Thursday and was at the head of the line when the shop opened at 8 a.m. to begin signing up customers for the much-hyped smartphone.

"I've been waiting for this phone since November. One night in the rain is not so bad," he said half an hour before the store opened, as 120 other customers, surrounded by a couple dozen media people, queued up behind him.

"The first thing I'm going to do is call my friend, who said I was a loser for waiting here."

The 3G has faster Web links than the original iPhone and supports third-party software such as games. It's the first iPhone model to be offered in Canada, home to Research in Motion Ltd, maker of the BlackBerry smartphone and a major Apple rival.

The introduction was not without controversy. A wave of protest over initial pricing options for the iPhone led Rogers Communication Inc to add a cheaper plan this week for those who activate by August 31 on a three-year contract.

Rogers' initial pricing plans prompted such an outcry that some consumers set up a protest website ( They claim to have gathered nearly 63,000 electronic signatures and complaints by Friday morning, and urged customers to cancel their contracts with the carrier.   Continued...

<p>Jordon Brown, the first buyer of the new Apple iPhone 3G in Toronto, shows off his phone July 11, 2008. The new iPhone is expected to attract hordes of buyers when it goes on sale on Friday in more than 20 countries and regions, helping Apple Inc. handily beat its target to sell 10 million of them by the end of 2008. REUTERS/Mark Blinch</p>