Rogers launch date for it's discount brand of phone, Chatr, has been pushed back until further notice. There are a couple of theories floating around as to why the Canadian cell phone provider pushed back it's target date of July 21st. Most notable, a complaint filed with the Competition Bureau by Mobilicity Chairman John Bitove stating that "They're trying to destroy our success… Abusing a dominant position. Mr. Bitove is suggesting that Rogers is in violation based on the Competition Act which states "…use of fighting brands selectively on a temporary basis to discipline or eliminate a competitor." It is unclear if this is the direct reason for the launch delay but it looks like the complaint did not fall on deaf ears.
Chatr is to be Rogers entry into the low end discount cell phone market. Offering only two plans, unlimited talk or unlimited talk and text. It is said that the two plans will be $35 and $45 respectively. The phones being offered are The Essential (Nokia 1661), The Slider (Nokia 2680), The Flip (LG GB125R) and the QWERTY (Samsung Gravity). Prices are at the lower end of the market and may appeal to entry level or low volume users. Part of Chartr's allure is that there is no activation fee, billing is by the minute and users have the ability to purchase a Chatr SIM and put it in an unlocked phone.
See below the details of the shipment delay.
In anticipation of the upcoming launch which was scheduled for July 21st, Chatr had arranged to have handsets and fixtures shipped out to stores this week for arrival Monday or Tuesday next week.
Unfortunately Chatr has now confirmed that the launch has been delayed, with a revised launch date to be determined. As a result, we ask that you hold the Chatr items in your storage rooms until confirmation has been provided. Once this has been confirmed, we'll send a notification with details of when and how to display the new Chatr POP. We are mindful of the limited storage space available in your stores, and appreciate your efforts to accommodate these additional pieces until the Chatr launch date is confirmed.
Chatr shipment details:
– Handsets have been shipped with expected delivery today or Monday July 19 in store (please hold these items in the backrooms for now)
– Fixtures for Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton have been shipped and will arrive in store on July 19/20 (please have courier deliver fixtures to your storage rooms)
– Kiosk store fixtures for Ontario have shipped and will arrive in store on July 19/20
– Inline store fixtures for Ontario have been held back
– The collateral and dummy phone shipments have been stopped
– Emailing of the store administrator user ID's and passwords is on hold…"