According to an email offer being sent to Sears Canada affiliates, Research In Motion’s highly anticipated BlackBerry PlayBook tablet will begin shipping on April 10th — the launch date we reported exclusively earlier this month. The email offers recipients the opportunity to pre-order the device beginning tomorrow, March 12th. The PlayBook at Sears… okay. We’ve reached out to RIM and will update this post with any comment it provides. More →
Despite the fact that Canadian wireless provider Bell Mobility will be rolling out LTE in the near future, it — like many of its peers — has decided to play the name game when it comes to “4G.” In an internal memo to employees, Bell explains that its high-speed HSPA+ network will henceforth be known as 4G. “Given the significant improvements in performance and quality the wireless carriers have made to their networks, the ITU has reassessed the definition of 4G standards,” reads the note. “This re-classification allows Bell to promote the HSPA+ network as 4G.” The changes take effect today, though there’s no word on how Bell’s marketing department will differentiate its 4G LTE network from its 4G HSPA network. Hit the jump to check out the full memo.
We have just been informed that as of February 15th, Telus in Canada will be offering SIM unlocking options on almost all handsets and devices. To qualify, you will need to be an active post-paid customer with an account that has been open for a minimum of 90 days. Telus will charge $50 for the unlock code and will unlock both iDEN and GSM devices. Not a bad offering, right?
One of our illusive ninjas from the North has just informed us that Canada’s largest wireless provider, Rogers, will begin carrying Dell’s Venue Pro sometime next month. For those in need of a quick refresher: the Venue Pro is a full-QWERTY, portrait slider running Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 operating system on a 4.1-inch AMOLED display. No word on what the VP will cost with and without subsidies, but we’ll keep digging and let you know if we come up with anything.
One of our Bell Mobility connections has just sent us some concrete proof that our Canadian friends will not be left out in the cold when it comes to the Motorola ATRIX 4G. The Ma’ Bell of the North will launch the newly announced device “soon”, albeit without the 4G tag dangling from the end of its name. The device sports the same specs its AT&T cousin, including the ability to hook itself up to that nifty laptop dock — no word yet on pricing. Start saving your pennies Bell customers… the ATRIX is coming!
A memo obtained by BGR indicates that Canada’s Bell Mobility will be exclusively launching the LG Optimus Chic on January 14th; the Chic is being billed as Bell’s “first entry-level Android smartphone.” The device will sport a 3.2-inch full-touchscreen display, 5 megapixel camera, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, DLNA support, micro-SD card slot (2GB card included), and Android 2.2. The device will “operate on the high-speed HSPA+ network”, be exclusive to Bell in Canada, and retail — subsidy free — for $249.95. Not a bad little set for the money. What do you think Canadian friends, any takers?
Ahoy there Canadian readers! Dreaming of a Torch-white Christmas? Your friends at Rogers Wireless were kind enough to provide your pals at BGR with one albino BlackBerry Torch to giveaway to you, our beloved readers from up north.
As most of you know, the Torch is RIM’s first touchscreen BlackBerry to also feature a full-QWERTY keyboard — the device also boasts a 5 megapixel camera, 512MB of RAM, and BlackBerry 6. So, how do you win yourself this BlackBerry Torch? Simple:
- To enter, drop a comment below letting us know why you want need this device.
- Follow us on Twitter and/or Facebook (optional but it can’t hurt your chances).
- The giveaway will run until December 31, 2010 at 11:59PM ET.
- You must be a Canadian resident, 18 years of age or older.
- Please comment once and only once. Multiple comments will result in an instant disqualification.
Good luck, and thanks again to Rogers for providing us with the goods!
UPDATE: Congrats to our winner David M., and thanks to all those who entered!
Last week, we told you about Canada’s Competition Bureau slapping Rogers Wireless with a $10 million fine for inaccurate statements it made while advertising for its pre-paid wireless arm chatr. Unsurprisingly, the folks at Rogers have released a retaliatory statement vowing to “vigorously defend” itself and its statements in court:
Rogers Communications commented today on the actions of the Competition Bureau regarding chatr wireless. “We’re surprised by the actions of the Competition Bureau,” said Ken Engelhart, Senior Vice President of Regulatory, Rogers Communications. “We have extensive, independent third party testing to validate our claims and we stand by our advertising. We will vigorously defend this action in court.”
“We’ve completed extensive testing in coverage areas across the country and there’s no question that the testing validates the advertising in market,” said Todd Stone, President & CEO, Score Technologies.
Score Technologies is an independent third party organization that specializes in network testing for leading wireless carriers across North America.
We’ll keep you updated on any additional developments that come out of Canada.
Last month, we told you about Bell Mobility’s plans to charge a $10 premium for access to the highest speeds on its HSPA+ network. This month, it looks like that report is becoming a reality. BGR has obtained a memo that indicates that Bell will launch the Novatel Wireless U547 data stick — capable of 42Mbps speeds — on November 23rd. The memo boasts that the U547 will be able to achieve real-world downlinks ranging from 7Mbps to 14Mbps in select markets; at launch, Toronto will be the only market with 43Mbps HSPA+ coverage. The new data stick will retail for $199.95; the memo did not indicate if there would be subsidized pricing.
Like all good things, the new, higher speeds will not come free of charge. Bell will be taxing U547 users an extra $10 per month to access the face-melting speeds, but said users are not required to purchase the add-on; the device will still operate at 21Mbps without it.
There you have it. Let us know what you think.
We just received a tip that Virgin Mobile Canada will not be left out of the smartphone party this November. According to our tipster, Virgin Mobile will be launching the upcoming BlackBerry 9780 on November 9th, and the Samsung Galaxy S on November 15th. Pricing information wasn’t provided to us but we doubt it will vary much from the competition.
Over the last several days, rumors have been swirling that the BlackBerry Curve 3G 9300 would be making its way to WIND Mobile — especially after the device surfaced in RIM’s software database. Now, one of our ninjas from the North has sent us visual confirmation of the device in Wind Mobile’s inventory system. Judging by the two listings, it appears as though the handset will be offered in two colors; we’re assuming a gray or black and something a tad bit brighter. Pricing and availability have not yet been determined… anyone excited?
We’ve just gotten some information confirming that Canadian carrier Bell Mobility will be launching the LG Optimus Quantum Windows Phone 7 handset on November 8; the November 8th date had been rumored — due to the U.S. launch — but not confirmed. The Quantum is a full-QWERTY device with a 3.5-inch capacitive touchscreen display, Wi-Fi b/g, Bluetooth 2.1, GPS, 5 megapixel camera with flash and 720p video recording, DLNA support, 1500mAh battery, and 16GB of internal storage. The full-retail price is listed as $449.95 without subsidies; look for the device to go for around $100 with a 3-year contract. Anyone up North been waiting for some WP7 love?
Last week, rumors of the Palm Pre 2’s eventual arrival in Canada surfaced as a result of tidbits extracted from the source code on Palm’s Canadian website. Today, those rumors gain a healthy dose of credibility thanks to a series of leaked images. The aforementioned images show a Rogers info sheet for the Pre 2 as well as the device itself, which is powered on and connected to the Rogers network. Of course nothing is confirmed for the time being, as Rogers has yet to announce the smartphone. More →