Rogers to launch Sony Ericsson arc and PLAY late April?

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Mar 312011

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play

A Tipster has provided a Rogers internal document that indicates that Rogers Wireless will launch the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc and Xperia PLAY in late April. The first shipments are expected to arrive at Rogers warehouses between April 19th and 21st and to retail stores some 24 to 48 hours later.

Both devices look set to sell for CA$99.99 with three-year contracts with a minimum CA$45 voice and data plan.

It also appears that pre-orders will begin shortly.

Could the official launch take place on April 14th?

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Mobilicity opens kiosks in Toronto-area Zellers stores

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Mar 312011


Mobilicity today announced that it has launched kiosks in 10 Zellers stores across Toronto. Zellers has been selling Mobilicity prepackaged UNLIMITED to GO mobile phone and airtime bundles since December but is the first time that it will offer full-service wireless offerings.

“We value our growing relationship with Zellers and this further supports our commitment to making buying and using mobile phones easy, convenient and affordable for customers,” said Mobilicity Vice President of Sales, Doug Perry. “People shop at Zellers for value and peace of mind and that’s what we deliver with our no-bill-surprise wireless service.”

Mobilicity and Zellers did not indicate whether the service would be offered outside of Toronto in the future.

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HTC schedules press event for April 12th

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Mar 312011

HTC has begun to send out invitations to a press event on April 12th in London. The event happens to coincide with Microsoft’s own MIX 2011 developer conference which kicks off on April 12th as well, suggesting that the event will focus on new Windows Phone 7 devices.

HTC April 2011 event

Between the two events, hopefully we will have a few new HTC devices to add to our wish lists…

Source: Engadget

BlackBerry OS7 to combine best features of QNX and OS6.1?

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Mar 312011

Research In Motion has landed some details about the upcoming BlackBerry 7 operating system. The upcoming OS was one of the topics in a keynote delivered by David Yach, RIM’s Software Chief Technology Officer at an internal RIM RDX conference.

It appears that BlackBerry 7 will be a combination of the best features of both QNX and BlackBerry 6.1. It will also be RIM’s first OS to be used on both PlayBooks and BlackBerry devices. The project is codenamed “Highlander,” apparently a reference to the movie of the same name where “there can be only one.”

BlackBerry 7 is currently in the “early stages” of development. RIM is looking to have it out sometime in 2012.

Meanwhile, it appears that BlackBerry 6.1 is falling behind schedule due to “miscommunication between teams in the critical path of the project.” BlackBerry 6.1, based on an OS now almost 10 years old, is pushing the limits of what can be done and a number of unspecified features could disappear. One new feature called “Liquid Graphics” promises to add some ‘wow’ to the platform though.

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Public Mobile announces CA$15 province-wide talk plan and email data plan

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Mar 312011

Public Mobile

Public Mobile today announced new plans, including its first data plan.

Available April 1st is the new Unlimited Province-Wide Talk plan for CA$15 per month. It will be a permanent plan offered to customers as an alternative to home phones and prepaid cards.

“At $15 a month for Unlimited Provincial calling, cutting the cord is more attractive than ever. People are realizing they shouldn’t be paying extra for ludicrous forty-year-old charges – like ‘Touch-Tone’ or crazy made-up fees like ‘network access’ on home phone long distance plans,” said Alek Krstajic, CEO of Public Mobile.

Also in April, Public Mobile will introduce its first data plan, the CA$5 Unlimited Email service along with a new device called the Buzz, a QWERTY device. There are no further details on the price or specifications of the Buzz at this time.

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MTS launches 4G wireless network today

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Mar 312011

MTS Allstream

MTS today launched its 4G (HSPA+) network, offering up to 97 percent of Manitobans download speeds up to 21 Mbps.

“Our new high-speed 4G network offers MTS customers faster and more reliable service as well as more wireless device choices,” said MTS President Kelvin Shepherd. “Looking to the future, our investment in 4G technology will allow us to focus on delivering more services that meet our customers’ evolving needs – such as programming your MTS Ultimate TV PVR with your MTS smartphone.”

MTS is offering a variety of new devices including the BlackBerry Torch 9800, Curve 9300, and Bold 9780, the Nokia C6-00, the Nokia Surge (a Symbian-powered keyboard slider) and the Motorola SPICE (a portrait-keyboard slider running Android 2.1).

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Microsoft Windows Phone 7 NoDo update now underway

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Mar 312011

Microsoft Windows Phone

Only days after Microsoft published its first Windows Phone 7 NoDo update schedule, the company and its partners have begun to push out the update. While there are plenty of reports of people receiving the update, many are still waiting. Given that the deployment is gradual, it could still be weeks before everyone has received the update. But at least it has begun.

The Canadian schedule now shows that both the February and March updates are in the ‘Delivering update’ phase for Bell Mobility, Rogers, SaskTel, and TELUS.

The US schedule which is by device has also been updated:

Device February update March update
Dell Venue Pro Delivering update Delivering update
HTC HD7 Delivering update Delivering update
HTC Surround Testing Testing
LG Quantum Testing Testing
Samsung Focus Testing Testing

All US testing is expected to be completed in early April 2011.

Unlike with the February update, it appears that the March updates are proceeding smoothly.

HTC Pyramid pictures surface

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Mar 302011

The unannounced HTC Pyramid is in the news again. have landed several pictures of the smartphone along with some specifications supporting earlier rumours. This could be quite the device.

Rumoured HTC Pyramid specifications:

  • Processor: 1.2GHz dual-core
  • Operating system: Google Android 2.3.2 with HTC Sense 3.0
  • Connectivity: 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi
  • Display: 4.3-inch qHD (960×540)
  • Memory: 768MB RAM
  • Rear-facing camera: 8MP
  • Front-facing camera: VGA

Rumoured HTC Pyramid

If earlier rumours are correct, T-Mobile USA could be among the carriers to offer it, possibly as early as May.

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Chrome OS notebook shipments to begin second half of 2011?

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Mar 302011

Digitimes reports that mass shipments of Chrome OS notebooks have slipped again and will not begin until the second half of the year. Late last year, Google had indicated that shipments would begin in the first half of the year.

These notebooks are expected to come with Intel or Nvidia processors and displays in the range of 10- to 12-inches. A number could also come with dual-OS support. Digitimes sources suggest that at least some of these could sell below US$300 in a bid to avoid direct competition against tablets which tend to start at around US$499.

Acer, Asustek Computer, Sony and Samsung Electronics are all expected to offer Chrome or dual-OS notebooks. Inventec, Quanta Computer and Compal Electronics could also manufacture such devices on behalf of other manufacturers.

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Nokia announces launch of Nokia C6-01 for Bell Mobility

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Mar 302011

Nokia C6-01

Nokia today announced the Canadian launch of the Nokia C6-01. It is available exclusively through Bell Mobility.

“The Nokia C6-01 is a smartphone for someone who is used to a PC experience – easy access to email accounts, live updates on Facebook and Twitter – but needs it on their mobile device,” said Richard White, General Manager, Nokia Canada. “With additional features like free Ovi Maps, apps from the Ovi Store and a built-in 8 megapixel camera, this compact device will appeal to first-time smartphone users.”

Nokia C6-01 specifications:

  • Processor: 1GHz dual-core
  • Operating system: Symbian^3
  • Cellular connectivity: GSM and HSPA/WCDMA
  • Other connectivity: A-GPS, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0
  • Display: 3.2-inch AMOLED ClearBlack capacitive touchscreen (360 x 640 pixels)
  • Storage: Up to 340MB onboard, microSD cards up to 32GB (4GB card included)
  • Rear-facing camera: 8MP with 720p HD video recording and LED flash
  • Front-facing camera: Yes
  • Connectors: micro-USB
  • Battery: 1050mAh
  • Dimensions / weight: 103.8 x 52.5 x 13.9 millimeters / 131 grams
  • Other: FM radio, Ovi Maps with voice-guided turn-by-turn Drive or Walk navigation

Bell Mobility is offering the Nokia C6-01 for CA$0 with a three-year contract, CA$229.95 with a two-year contract, CA$254.95 with a one-year contract, or CA$279.95 with no contract. Contracts require a minimum CA$50 voice and data plan.

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Google launches in-app billing for Android apps

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Mar 302011

Google Android Market

Google announced late yesterday that it has launched Android Market In-app Billing, allowing users to make users purchases from within Android apps.

Android Market In-app Billing is an Android Market service that provides checkout processing for in-app purchases. To use the service, your application sends a billing request for a specific in-app product. The service then handles all of the checkout details for the transaction, including requesting and validating the form of payment and processing the financial transaction. When the checkout process is complete, the service sends your application the purchase details, such as the order number, the order date and time, and the price paid. At no point does your application have to handle any financial transactions; that role is provided by Android Market’s in-app billing service.

A number of apps supporting in-app purchases have already been launched. These include Tap Tap Revenge by Disney Mobile, Comics by ComiXology, and Dungeon Defenders: FW Deluxe by Trendy Entertainment.

In-app purchases are also offered by Apple’s App Store and RIM’s BlackBerry App World.

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Android and Windows Phone top mobile operating systems in 2015?

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Mar 302011

A new IDC report predicts that Google Android and Microsoft Windows Mobile will be the dominant mobile operating systems by 2015. Android is expected to take the top spot this year while Nokia’s partnership with Microsoft is expected to have “significant implications for the smartphone market going forward.” RIM and Apple are expected to continue to battle it out for third (with Apple coming out on top according to IDC).

Operating System 2011 Market Share 2015 Market Share
Android 39.5% 45.4%
BlackBerry 14.9% 13.7%
iOS 15.7% 15.3%
Symbian 20.9% 0.2%
Windows Phone / Windows Mobile 5.5% 20.9%
Others 3.5% 4.6%
Total 100.0% 100.0%

IDC also predicts that the worldwide smartphone market will grow 49.2 percent in 2011 with smartphone vendors shipping more than 450 million smartphones in 2011, up from 303.4 million in 2010.

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Mozilla Firefox 4 for Android now available

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Mar 292011

Mozilla Firefox

On the heels of the release of Firefox 4 comes the release of Firefox 4 for Android.

Firefox for mobile allows users to take the Firefox experience they love everywhere and minimizes typing with features like tabbed browsing, bookmarks, add-ons and Firefox Sync. With a sleek new look that hides browser controls when not in use, Firefox allows users to focus on the websites they visit. Firefox Sync gives users seamless access to their browsing history, bookmarks, open tabs, form data and passwords across computers and mobile devices. Firefox also offers thousands of ways to customize the features, functionality and look of mobile Web browsing with Firefox Add-ons.

Firefox 4 for Android is a free download. It is also available for Maemo devices.

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Sprint opposes AT&T-T-Mobile merger

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Mar 292011

Sprint Wireless

This one should come as no surprise. Sprint yesterday announced that it was opposed to AT&T’s acquisition of T-Mobile USA.

“Sprint urges the United States government to block this anti-competitive acquisition,” said Vonya McCann, senior vice president, Government Affairs. “This transaction will harm consumers and harm competition at a time when this country can least afford it. As the first national carrier to roll out 4G services and handsets and the carrier that brought simple unlimited pricing to the marketplace, Sprint stands ready to compete in a truly dynamic marketplace. So on behalf of our customers, our industry and our country, Sprint will fight this attempt by AT&T to undo the progress of the past 25 years and create a new Ma Bell duopoly.”

A deal between AT&T and T-Mobile USA will make it more difficult for Sprint (currently the third largest US carrier) to negotiate volume discounts on new devices, compete for new customers, and secure new spectrum through future auctions or acquisitions.

It remains to be seen if smaller mobile operators will add their voices to Sprint’s opposition of this transaction.

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Amazon announces cloud music storage service

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Mar 292011


Amazon today announced the launch of a number of new services that will let customers store and play music in the cloud. Together, the Amazon Cloud Drive, the Amazon Cloud Player for Web, and the Amazon Cloud Player for Android will let customers store their music in the cloud and play it back on Android devices as well as Macs and PCs.

“We’re excited to take this leap forward in the digital experience,” said Bill Carr, vice president of Movies and Music at Amazon. “The launch of Cloud Drive, Cloud Player for Web and Cloud Player for Android eliminates the need for constant software updates as well as the use of thumb drives and cables to move and manage music.”

“Our customers have told us they don’t want to download music to their work computers or phones because they find it hard to move music around to different devices,” Carr said. “Now, whether at work, home, or on the go, customers can buy music from Amazon MP3, store it in the cloud and play it anywhere.”

Customers are given 5GB of Cloud Drive storage for free. Those who purchase an Amazon MP3 album will be upgraded to 20GB of storage. Additional storage is also available with prices starting at US$20 per year. New Amazon MP3 purchases are stored on Cloud Drive and do not count against the storage limit. Customers can also upload files in AAC or MP3 format.

Music playback is possible through a web browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari for Mac, and Chrome are all supported) or through Android devices. The Cloud Player will let users play music stored both locally and in their Cloud Drive.

Both Apple and Google are expected to unveil similar services in the near future. and Cloud Drive services are not available in Canada yet.

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