updated 09:25 am EDT, Tue October 28, 2008
Rogers Q3 2008 Results
Rogers today reported a large leap in its results for the summer quarter that were highlighted by the Canadian launch of the iPhone 3G. The telecoms company sold and activated a total of 255,000 iPhones between the device's July 11th launch and the end of September, helping the carrier boost its net subscriber additions to 191,000 and increasing the company's average income per user "considerably above" the average thanks to many attaching a data plan to their services.
The results are an effective microcosm of AT&T's results, which netted in a similar number of sales relative to the population size and a matching initial impact on the company's finances. 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 both of their higher monthly plans as well as reduced turnover from customers remaining loyal to have access to the device.
Rogers' deal for the iPhone is also expected to have a significant impact on competing providers in the country, none of which run GSM-based networks compatible with the iPhone. The company reports about 33 percent of its customers either converting from a rival or else being new to cellphone service, while the remaining amount are existing Rogers customers.
The damage done to rivals should be manifested in results over the next few days, according to estimates by Desjardins Securities analyst Joseph MacKay. He anticipates that Bell Canada's subscriber adds will have plummeted 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 will have fared better but should still have dipped eight percent year over year to 125,000 new customers in the period.
Both Bell and Telus have faced a similar situation to those of American providers Sprint and Verizon over the course of the summer, with few direct alternatives to the iPhone on their own networks. Both launched the Samsung Instinct and the HTC Touch Diamond in the summer but haven't reported iPhone-level sales for any one device.
Notably, both of these CDMA-based providers have announced a switch to HSPA in 2009 that will put them on the same 3G network type as Rogers and thus give them access to the iPhone and other high-profile devices as well as a path towards the same Long Term Evolution standard for 4G.