Canadian wireless giant Rogers Communications will be cutting at least 400 more jobs soon after letting 300 workers go earlier this year, the Financial Post reports. The Post says that the layoffs come at a time of “stagnating revenue growth across its mobile and wireline operations” and that the company only expects competition with rivals Telus and Bell Mobility to intensify for the foreseeable future. “This is part of a comprehensive approach to cost management that we announced earlier this year,” said Rogers spokeswoman Patricia Trott in a prepared statement. More →
Prototypes of Apple’s upcoming HDTV are already being tested by multiple potential carrier partners Apple is trying to woo, The Globe and Mail reports. The Canadian paper calls the iTV “a product that has the potential to revolutionize TV viewing by turning conventional televisions into gigantic iPads,” and claims at least two Canadian carriers are currently testing the Apple television in their labs. Apple’s forthcoming iTV can be controlled using voice commands or by making gestures in the air, and it supports Web browsing as well according to the report. Apple is said to be in talks with Canadian carriers Rogers and BCE regarding potential broadcast partnerships in Canada, though the content and terms Apple is seeking are unclear. Apple is expected to launch an iOS-powered HDTV later this year that will replace the conventional remote control with voice commands interpreted by Siri. The iTV may also offer a customized channel subscription model and iOS app support according to earlier rumors. More →
Rogers on Monday announced two new LTE devices that will offer even faster speeds than earlier 4G modems on its network. The company will soon launch the Sierra Wireless AirCard 330U LTE Rocket stick as well as the Sierra Wireless AirCard 763S LTE Rocket mobile hotspot. Both devices utilize the 2600MHz spectrum and will offer LTE download speeds of up to 40 Mbps, compared to the 12-25Mbps offered by Rogers’s earlier devices. “We are thrilled to offer Canada’s fastest LTE devices on Canada’s fastest and largest LTE network,” said Rogers Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer John Boynton. “We were the first to launch an LTE network in Canada and we have invested in the network technology that enables us to keep raising the bar for our customers to experience faster speeds, more devices and more LTE plan options.” Plans for the LTE Rocket stick and mobile hotspot will start at $22.93 per month. Read on for Rogers’s press release. More →
Apple has accused Samsung of copying its designs on a number of occasions. While the foundation for Apple’s accusations is questionable, this is one area where Samsung clearly stole a page right out of Apple’s playbook. BGR reported earlier this week that a passenger aboard a flight in Australia was welcomed to his destination by a spontaneously combusting iPhone 4. Now, just three days later, a user on the xda-developers forum posted images of his friend’s Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket, which supposedly exploded in the man’s pocket. “He said he heard a sound, [felt] a burning sensation on his leg and as he pulled this piece of junk out of his pocket he smelled burning,” the forum user wrote. “There was smoke coming out of his pocket and out of the phone.” It does not appear that the man was injured by the smoldering smartphone. Additional images of the fried Galaxy S II Skyrocket follow below. More →
Following widespread complaints of excessive battery drain thought to be related to a time zone bug, iPhone 4S owners are now beginning to draw attention to a new iPhone bug. According to multiple threads on Apple’s support forum, hundreds of iPhone 4S users are experiencing an audio echo during voice calls when using a wired headset. Users across multiple wireless carriers with various iPhone 4S models report that audio quality on voice calls often depletes after a period of time, and the voice of the caller on the other end of the line begins to echo. BGR was able to independently confirm the echo bug on one of our iPhone 4S handsets. Read on for more. More →
Research In Motion co-CEO Jim Balsillie revealed on the company’s second-quarter earnings call that RIM would soon be dropping prices on its BlackBerry PlayBook tablets. While the new price points have not yet been disclosed, it looks like the first move in carriers’ efforts to clear their shelves actually started this past Tuesday. Long-time RIM comrade Rogers has launched an internal sale on each of RIM’s three PlayBook models, and company employees are now able to purchase the slate at discounts of up to 50% off. Normally $499.99, the 16GB BlackBerry PlayBook tablet is now just $249, the 32GB model drops to $349 from $599.99, and the high-end 64GB PlayBook drops to $399 from its normal $699.99 price tag. While it is unclear what RIM plans to charge end users for the PlayBook moving forward, these prices could give us an idea of what’s in store. A link to a larger version of the image of Rogers’ PlayBook sale page follows below. More →
During a press event in New York City on Wednesday night we met up with Research In Motion to check out the BlackBerry Curve 9360, the latest of its BlackBerry OS 7 devices. Unlike the Torch 9850/9860 and the Bold 9900, the Curve 9360 does not offer a touchscreen display. This wasn’t a deal breaker, though, as it was one of the nicest Curve models we’ve seen to date. The 9360, which had Rogers branding, had the same top-notch keyboard as the Curves that came before it, although we prefer the Bold 9900 keyboard just a bit more. The interface felt rather smooth but we’re still not excited about the lackluster operating system. Sprint has announced that it will carry the device in the U.S. for $49.99 on contract, but it recently bumped the launch date from September 9th to sometime in October for unknown reasons. Our DSLR was on the fritz so we had to use a good old point-and-shoot, but nonetheless, be sure to check out the full gallery below.
On Thursday, Rogers and Ericsson officially activated the first Canadian 4G LTE network in Ottawa. “This network will power the next generation of innovative products and services in ways we’ve never seen before,” Rob Bruce, Rogers’ president of communications said. “[It] will be the backbone of Canada’s digital economy as we continue to move from a wired to a wireless world. We’re thrilled to welcome Ottawa — and Canada — to the future of the fast.” Rogers currently does not offer any 4G LTE smartphones but it is expected to launch devices from HTC and Samsung later this year, Toronto Sun reported. Rogers also said it will roll out its 4G LTE network to a total of 21 markets in 2012, starting with Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver this fall. More →
Launching new products is always difficult. Launching new products with hundreds of different carriers is exponentially more difficult. Apparently there is an easy way and a hard way to do things, however, and RIM has been making carriers offers they can’t refuse. BGR has learned from a trusted source that RIM has been strong-arming several carriers, essentially forcing them to approve devices they normally would not move through the Technical Acceptance phase. More →
LG and Rogers on Tuesday announced the release of LG’s Optimus Pad in Canada. Available for $449.99 CAD with a three-year data contract, $649.99 CAD on a month-to-month data plan or $699.99 CAD free and clear, the Optimus Pad features an 8.9-inch display, Android 3.0 Honeycomb, NVIDIA’s dual-core Tegra 2 processor and three cameras — one on the front for video chat and dual cameras on the back for 3D video recording. BGR reviewed the LG Optimus Pad last month, rebranded as the T-Mobile G-Slate, and we were very impressed with the hardware. We thought Google’s first version of Honeycomb left a lot to be desired though, and the overall design seemed a bit dated and juvenile. Android fans north of the border waiting to get their hands on a tablet should definitely spend some time with the device, however. Hit the break for the full press release.
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.
Earlier today, HTC’s Desire HD crossed the FCC’s desk with a welcomed surprise, North American 3G bands. The 4.3-inch device — which boasts a 1GHz processor, 720p video recording, Android 2.2, and much more — is rocking WCDMA bands II and V, which makes AT&T, Bell, Telus, and Rogers all potential suitors.
Shortly after the news broke, a trusted BGR source came forward and stated that the device will definitely be hitting Canadian carrier Telus — an assertion blog Engadget also echoed. Our source indicated that they have physically seen a Telus branded Desire HD, running on Telus’ network, in the hands of a company representative. No word on when we could see this device officially come to market, but we’ll keep digging.
We’re happy for Telus customers and all, but wouldn’t this thing look extra sexy with a Death Star logo on it?
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!