Freedom Mobile announces iPhone X dates, provides update on network rollout - 1310 NEWS
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Freedom Mobile announces iPhone X dates, provides update on network rollout

Last Updated Nov 22, 2017 at 11:00 am EST

A women walks past the new rebranding sign of Freedom Mobile in Toronto on Thursday, November 24, 2016. Freedom Mobile will begin taking orders for the Apple iPhone X and iPhone 8 models starting Friday, with the smartphones in its stores on Dec. 8. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

TORONTO – Freedom Mobile will begin taking orders for the Apple iPhone X and iPhone 8 models starting Friday, with the smartphones in its stores on Dec. 8.

While that’s more than a month after Canada’s three national wireless carriers began selling the iPhone X, it will be the first time Freedom Mobile has a full roster of Apple smartphones to offer its customers.

The wireless arm of Calgary-based Shaw Communications Inc. (TSX:SJR.B) had previously been shut out of the Apple market because of limitations of its network technology.

The company said Wednesday that it expects network enhancements to be completed by early December in Western Canada and early 2018 in the rest of Freedom Mobile’s area — primarily Ontario.

Analyst Drew McReynolds of RBC Dominion Securities writes that having the iPhone ahead of the holiday period is an “incremental positive” for Shaw and Freedom Mobile and sets the stage for a more competitive market.

Freedom’s iPhone X promotional pricing is “more aggressive than what we would have anticipated at this time” but availability and conditions attached to pre-launch pricing, such as high service fees, could “dampen” demand, McReynolds wrote.

Formerly called Wind Mobile, Freedom is offering promotional pricing for orders placed by Nov. 30, subject to change or cancellation without notice and with certain conditions.

For example, the three newest iPhone models could cost $0 if bundled with activation of a new service and a 24-month service agreement, where available. The cost of the qualifying service agreement varies by phone model.

McReynolds said that profit margins for all the carriers could be affected by the cost of acquiring new customers and retaining existing customers but he believes the overall impact for incumbents “should remain manageable”.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version said Freedom’s announcement was before the three national carriers, rather than after them.

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