Maple Leaf Rag: Canada To Offer Unlocked iPhones

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The home of power-trio Rush, back bacon, and Scott Pilgrim (the comic book and the movie) is poised to welcome a new resident: unlocked iPhones.

This Friday, when the iPhone 4 hits the Great White North, customers have the option of buying it subsidized and locked into the standard two-year-contract, or unlocked to let them find their best service deal.  Since Canada has THREE (count 'em!) cell carriers that support the iPhone — Bell, Rogers and Telus — customers can at least pick and choose, unlike their southern neighbors (meaning us) and the dreaded Death Star exclusive.

Needless to say, unlocking comes with its own (high) price: C$659 for a 16GB iPhone 4, and C$779 for the 32GB i4.  Wanna cheap out and stick with an 8GB iPhone 3GS?  That'll only set you back C$549.

Analysts are not optimistic that the unlocked i4 will be a hit, pointing to the high price (in Canada, as elsewhere, many people consider a phone price of $199 to be the maximum they'd spend) as well as the bad publicity generated by the new iPhone's raft of technical problems.  Canadian legislators, meanwhile, are discussing creating a law that would force cellphone carriers to unlock phones.

[Via CBC News]