Mobilicity to launch Google Nexus One

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Sep 302010

Google Nexus One

Mobilicity today announced that it will soon offer the Google Nexus One smartphone, its first Google Android device.

The Nexus One is part of Mobilicity’s growing lineup of popular smartphones and is a great choice for sophisticated smartphone users on one of Mobilicity’s unlimited data plans.

Google Nexus One specifications:

  • Processor: 1GHz Qualcomm QSD 8250 (Snapdragon)
  • Operating system: Google Android 2.2
  • Connectivity: Quad-band GSM/EDGE and tri-band UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA
  • Other connectivity: A-GPS, 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR and A2DP
  • Display: 3.7-inch WVGA AMOLED touchscreen
  • Memory: 512MB RAM and 512MB ROM
  • Storage: MicroSD with support for cards up to 32GB (4GB card included)
  • Camera: 5MP auto-focus camera with LED flash
  • Battery: 1400mAH battery
  • Dimensions / Weight: 119 x 59.8 x 11.5 millimeters /130 grams

Mobilicity did not provide a specific availability date but did confirm that the Nexus One will sell for CA$549.99

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BlackBerry Torch 9800 now available in Canada

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Sep 302010

RIM BlackBerry 9800 Torch

The launch date drama is over and the BlackBerry Torch 9800 is now available in Canada. Bell Mobility, Rogers Wireless, TELUS Mobility, Virgin Mobile are all offering it.

Pricing starts at CA$179.99 from Bell and Virgin and CA$199.99 from Rogers and TELUS.

The BlackBerry Torch 9800 is also available from a number of retailers such as Best Buy, FutureShop, and The Source, among others.

Is Sony Ericsson building a Windows Phone 7 device?

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Sep 302010

Sony Ericsson

Could Sony Ericsson have dumped Symbian in favour of future Windows Phone 7? While the company has not made any official statement, Oded Ran from Microsoft UK’s Windows Phone 7 marketing team mentioned that Sony Ericsson is a partner.

While the conclusion that Sony Ericsson is building a Windows Phone 7 device may be premature, it does suggest that the company is at least considering such a move.

Maybe Sony Ericsson will make a surprise appearance at Windows Phone 7’s upcoming launch


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Nokia begins shipping Nokia N8

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Sep 302010

Nokia N8

Nokia has made good on its promise to start shipping the Nokia N8 by the end of September. With a day to spare, the company confirmed that it has begun to ship devices to customers who had placed pre-orders.

“With the N8, and the new Symbian software, we are bringing a familiar, faster and more intuitive user experience to the world’s most popular smartphone platform. The Nokia N8 has received the highest amount of consumer pre-orders in Nokia history and we are thrilled to start shipments of the N8, the first of Nokia’s new Symbian smartphone range,” says Jo Harlow, Senior Vice President, Smartphones, Nokia.

Market availability will vary by country and carrier but broad availability is expected within the next few weeks. US pre-orders began in mid-August for US$549.

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Fido goes Android with Acer Liquid e

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Sep 302010

Acer Liquid e

Fido yesterday expanded its smartphone portfolio a bit more by launching its first Android device, the Acer Liquid e. It has been available from Fido’s older sibing brand, Rogers Wireless since early June. Could we see other older Rogers smartphones trickle down to Fido in the future?

Acer Liquid e specifications:

  • Processor: 768MHz Qualcomm Snapdragon
  • Operating system: Google Android 2.1 with Acer UI
  • Connectivity: Quad-band GSM/EDGE and tri-band HSPA
  • Other connectivity: GPS, 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.0
  • Display: 3.5-inch WVGA capacitive touchscreen
  • Memory: 256MB RAM and 512MB ROM
  • Storage: microSD card (up to 32GB) / 2GB card included
  • Camera: 5MP camera with auto-focus
  • Battery: 1,350mAh
  • Ports/Connectors: Mini-USB, 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Dimensions: 116 by 54 by 12.75mm

Fido will provide an Android 2.2 update when it becomes available but no timeframe has been provided.

Fido is offering the Acer Liquid e for CA$30 with a three-year contract.

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HP abandons plans for Android smartphones and tablets

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Sep 292010


HP has confirmed what many had been expecting. It is abandoning development of Google Android-powered devices in order to focus on webOS devices. In an interview with the Financial Times, Jon Rubinstein confirmed that HP has abandoned plans for Android-powered tablets and smartphones.

“HP voted with its pocketbook,” Mr Rubinstein said of the $1.2bn transaction. “It’s all about focus.”

Rubinstein reiterated that HP will release a webOS tablet early next year (after the release of a Windows 7 tablet later this year). He also hinted at future smartphones, saying that HP would use its large customer base to sell them.

HP is also working on other webOS-powered devices, including printers.

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BlackBerry Torch 9800 now available from Rogers

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Sep 292010

RIM BlackBerry 9800 Torch

After a bit of launch date drama, the BlackBerry Torch is now available from Rogers Wireless.

Rogers is offering the BlackBerry Torch for CA$199 with a three-year contract, CA$499.99 with a two-year contract, CA$559.99 with a one-year contract, and CA$609.99 with no contract. Until October 30th, it is throwing in a free Bluetooth headset.

The BlackBerry Torch should be also be available from Bell (already taking pre-orders), TELUS, Virgin Mobile, and other carriers within the next couple of days.

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Mobilicity grows management team for expansion to new cities

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Sep 292010


Mobilicity today announced three additions to its executive team as it prepares to expand operations beyond Toronto.

“We are thrilled to welcome such a talented group of industry veterans to our team as we further our plans to introduce Mobilicity’s affordable, unlimited wireless and bill certainty to Western Canada and Ottawa,” said Dave Dobbin, president and CEO of Mobilicity.

Joining the Mobilicity executive team are:

  • Matthew Gould, General Manager, Western Canada (formerly at TELUS)
  • Tim Velichka, Market Manager, Calgary (formerly at Bell)
  • Janet Holt, Market Manager, Ottawa (formerly at Rogers)

As far back as May 2009, Mobilicity had revealed intentions to operate in as many as 10 major Canadian cities. In August 2009, it specifically named Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa as objectives for early 2010. It’s clear that Mobilicity’s plans have slipped but they have yet to provide new timelines.

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Kobo launches Kobo Wireless eReader

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Sep 292010

Kobo Wireless eReader

For once, my crystal ball did not let me down. Kobo today announced a new addition to the Kobo eReader family. The new Kobo Wireless eReader adds a number of new features and enhancements, including WiFi connectivity, and a sharper eInk screen. According to Michael Serbinis, CEO of Kobo:

“Today, we are excited to introduce our latest generation, the Kobo Wireless eReader, enabling customers to shop and update their library on the go with superior performance for only $149 CAD. The launch of the new Kobo Wireless eReader caps a very busy month for Kobo, in which we announced a new application that will come preloaded on the Samsung Galaxy, introduced the new Kobo Desktop and updates to our iPhone and Android apps, and unveiled the first social reading application for Blackberry. The market for eReading continues to grow at an unparalleled pace, and Kobo is advancing even faster.”

The Kobo Wireless eReader comes with new features like 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi supporting wireless shopping and wireless newspaper delivery, an improved 16-greyscale, 6-inch eInk display, improved battery life (up to 10,000 page turns per charge), improved performance including faster page turning, a built-in dictionary, and a poker game. It measures 120 by 184 by 10 millimeters and weighs 221 grams. It will be available in three colours: Onyx, Porcelain with Metallic Silver back, and Porcelain with a Pearlized Lilac back.

The Kobo Wireless eReader is now available for pre-order for US$129 (CA$149) with shipments set to begin in October. It will also be available from a number of retailers including Indigo Books & Music and Walmart in Canada and Borders in the US.

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Second Windows Phone 7 chassis design revealed?

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Sep 282010

Microsoft Windows Phone

With Windows Phone 7, Microsoft has more tightly managed what form factors manufacturers can use for their devices. All of the devices expected at launch will follow a similar “chassis” design (e.g., a capacitive touchscreen and three physical buttons including one tied to Microsoft’s Bing search engine). But Microsoft has hinted in the past that there would be other chassis types. Now, details about a second design may just have been revealed.

In an interview with, Microsoft’s ISV developer evangelist, Paul Foster, revealed that devices based on a Blackberry-like candybar design are in the works. These devices will have a display offering a resolution of 480 by 320 rather than the higher 800 by 480 we will see in the first devices.

Foster confirmed that Microsoft is aiming its first Windows Phone 7 devices squarely at consumers with the intention to focus on the enterprise space a bit later.


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RIM confirms QNX OS headed to BlackBerry smartphones

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Sep 282010

Research In Motion

RIM has confirmed rumours that its recently acquired QNX operating system will eventually make its way onto its BlackBerry smartphones. The confirmation came from a RIM VP during a breakfast event. The move is not a huge surprise, considering that the QNX OS is set to power the upcoming BlackBerry PlayBook announced yesterday.

The transition will take some time and the future BlackBerry 7 could be used a stepping stone ahead of a complete switch over.

It remains to be seen how developers will feel about having to manage what could be a dual-OS migration over a number of years.

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TELUS Mobility launches Samsung Galaxy Apollo

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Sep 282010

Samsung Galaxy Apollo

The Samsung Galaxy Apollo has quietly shed its “Coming Soon” status and is now available from TELUS Mobility. Everything is pretty much as we expected it.

Samsung Galaxy Apollo specifications:

  • Operating system: Google Android 2.1
  • Connectivity: Quad-band GSM / Dual-band HSPA
  • Other connectivity: A-GPS, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1+ED
  • Input: Virtual Swype keyboard
  • Display: 3.2-inch WQVGA touchscreen
  • Storage: 150MB onboard / microSD cards up to 16GB (2GB card included)
  • Camera: 3MP camera with auto-focus
  • Battery: 1,500mAh
  • Connectors: 3.5mm headphone jack, USB
  • Dimensions 113.5 by 54.5 by 12.5 millimeters / Weight: 113 grams
  • Other: FM radio

TELUS Mobility is offering the Samsung Galaxy Apollo for CA$49.99 with a three-year contract, CA$149.99 with a two-year contract, CA$199.99 with a one-year contract, and CA$249.99 without any contract.

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Apple COO Tim Cook to become new HP CEO?

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Sep 282010


A bit removed from the world of gadgets, this is nonetheless interesting. Rumour site (subscription required) is reporting that COO Tim Cook could leave Apple to replace the recently departed Mark Hurd as HP CEO. The rumour caused Apple stock to drop over US$15 when the rumour broke.

Cook stepped in to act as CEO while Steve Jobs underwent a liver transplant. He is widely seen to be a likely successor to Steve Jobs as well.

Many expect that HP’s next CEO will come from the inside but I would be surprised if HP was not also talking to a number of external candidates.

And now back to the world of gadgets…

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Amazon to offer its own Android tablet and app store?

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Sep 282010


TechCrunch has learned that Amazon may be about to take a couple of big steps into the Android world. First up could be its own Google Android app store. An Android tablet could also be in the cards later on.

Early details suggest that Amazon’s own app store will offer a wider selection of payment methods but would have more restrictive rules than the Google Android Market. For example, apps will be laced with Amazon’s DRM, limiting them to devices they approve. If apps are offered on other stores, the Amazon price will need to be no more than that of the others and developers will need to ensure that any updates to one store version are also reflected on the Amazon store.

The Amazon app store will be available in the US only although future expansion is likely. Developers will need to pay US$99 to be able to add their apps to the Amazon store.

Amazon may also release its own Android-powered device. Unfortunately, there is little information available at this point. TechCrunch feels that the tablet rumour is credible considering that it comes from the same source that outed the Amazon app store (a rumour supported by other TechCrunch sources apparently).

It remains to be seen whether the Kindle family about to grow or will Amazon keep the two products separate?

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RIM announces BlackBerry PlayBook

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Sep 272010

As widely expected, Research In Motion announced a tablet device today as the BlackBerry DEVCON 2010 conference kicked off. Rather than being called the BlackPad, RIM has named it the BlackBerry PlayBook.

“RIM set out to engineer the best professional-grade tablet in the industry with cutting-edge hardware features and one of the world’s most robust and flexible operating systems,” said Mike Lazaridis, President and Co-CEO at Research In Motion. “The BlackBerry PlayBook solidly hits the mark with industry leading power, true multitasking, uncompromised web browsing and high performance multimedia.”

BlackBerry PlayBook specifications:

  • Processor: 1 GHz dual-core processor
  • Operating system: BlackBerry Tablet OS with support for symmetric multiprocessing
  • Connectivity: None
  • Other connectivity: 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR
  • Display: 7-inch WSVGA capacitive touchscreen
  • Memory: 1GB RAM
  • Camera: Dual HD cameras (3 MP front facing and 5 MP rear facing) with 1080p HD video recording
  • Connectors: microHDMI, microUSB
  • Dimensions / weight: 130 by 193 by 10 millimeters / 400 grams

The RIM PlayBook will suppport WebKit/HTML-5, Adobe Flash Player 10.1, Adobe Mobile AIR, Adobe Reader, POSIX, OpenGL, and Java. A native SDK will allow developers to build their own applications.

RIM has already promised that 3G and 4G connectivity will be offered in the future.

The BlackBerry PlayBook will be available in the United States in early 2011. RIM will add other international markets beginning in Q2 2011. Pricing information was not revealed.

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