ICEmobile on the new BlackBerry Z10 … Not!

I was very excited to pick up the new BlackBerry Z10 (released today in Canada) to test out ICEmobile on it and start work on enhanced BlackBerry support in ICEmobile 3.3. In yet another example of the draconian cell phone provider system we have, it turns out that Rogers will not sell you a phone for the low low price of $650. For the first few weeks, the only way to obtain the new BlackBerry Z10 is through an additional three years of your indentured service to the cell phone provider.

Telus deserves a few points for trying (and for being friendly about it): after mentioning that I intended to write a blog post today pointing out how grim Rogers’ service is, the clerk contacted her manager and Telus marketing. In the end corporate policy won out, and the BlackBerry Z10 stays on the shelf.

Why do cell phone providers include a mandatory prison term in their business model? This system needs to change, but the problem rests both with consumers and the cell phone providers. Consumers need to realize that a modern smartphone does not cost $100. Service providers (and manufacturers) need to realize that a modern smartphone does not cost $600. We need to arrive at the actual purchase price of $300 for the phone with competitive monthly cell phone service where the consumer has the option to change service providers at any time (it’s not as if you have a wire running to your phone that is owned by Rogers).

Rather than a rant about cell phone service corruption, watch this space for a future detailed look at the BlackBerry Z10 (which we badly need; strong competition for cell phone hardware is also vitally important to avoid a hardware monopoly).

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