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GSMA shows Shaw planning a September wireless launch

Calgary-based Shaw is going to be launching their new wireless network sometime this year. Jim Shaw recently stated that “We are advancing our strategy to offer a competitive wireless offering and are now planning for an initial launch in late 2011″. Vague date of late 2011 but if you take a quick look at the GSM Association website they show that Shaw is looking at a planned launch of September 2011. There is no additional information or conformation of this date. Just remember that similar information of a planned September launch was posted about both Bell and TELUS with their HSPA+ network launch… and they went live in November 2009.

During the 2008 Wireless Spectrum auction Shaw invested $189 million and captured 18 licenses.

More here at GSMA
(Thanks Michael!)


Motorola splitting into two companies January 4th (Mobility & Solutions)

Effective January 4th, 2011 Motorola will officially split into 2 separate businesses: Motorola Mobility & Motorola Solutions. According to Motorola Canada website, the official descriptions of both businesses are:

Motorola Mobility focuses on cellphones and set-top-box “delivers personalised information to meet the needs of consumers both in the home and on the go” while Motorola Solutions will focus on public safety radio and enterprise handheld devices that “provides business and mission-critical communication products and services to enterprises and governments”. As for branding the businesses, the famous light blue Motorola logo of years past will go to the Solutions business and the Mobility business gets a brand new vibrant red logo.

Motorola is set to announce a number of new Android devices this year including smartphones and tablets.

Source: Motorola
Via: PhoneScoop & Engadget


Review: Mobilicity Motorola Spice

With increased competition and aggressive marketing/advertising campaigns, the Canadian wireless industry has become a struggle between the “Big Three” (Rogers, Bell, and Telus), and any other new entrant (Wind, Mobilicity, Public) looking to attract and sway the public with their low prices and persistent promotions. In order to keep up with their growing line of affordable unlimited plans, as well as other promotions such as their Friends and Family Program, Mobilicity has recently released the Motorola Spice XT300, in the hopes of increasing the amount of new activations, while expanding their Android device offerings. The Motorola Spice sports a 3” capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 240 x 320 pixels QVGA, and can be slid open to reveal a full, QWERTY keyboard, with slightly raised and curved keys. The Spice is approximately 97mm (tall) x 61mm (wide) x 16.8mm (thick) when closed, and expands to around 135mm (tall) when slid open, all while weighing around 145g.

Out of the box, I was immediately impressed with the screen size and housing of this device. I was initially worried that the low cost of the Spice would be apparent in its design, however after handling the device and playing around with the sliding mechanism, I am happy to report that this is not the case. The Spice is encased with a hard, black plastic that seemed to resist scratches and fingerprints quite well. This device fits comfortably in the palm of your hand, and can easily be used with one hand. (more…)


BlackBerry Messenger version gets leaked online

As we patiently wait for RIM to make the next major update to BBM (one that will include an integrated music platform)… version has leaked online. The size is about 3MB and has overall speed enhancements, specifically in loading group chats. Users who downloaded this have reported that this leaked version currently doesn’t work on OS5 devices. As always, remember to back up your device and follow the complete instructions. If you upgrade improperly you could end up with an inoperable device and we are not responsible for that.

Get it here: Dubie76 & RapidShare
Source: Driphter & BerryReview


Kaufman Bros says BlackBerry PlayBook battery drain could also be Adobe Flash

Last week RIM fired back at Kaufman Brothers analyst Shaw Wu for stating the unreleased BlackBerry PlayBook tablet has a poor battery life. RIM wrote “Any testing or observation of battery life to date by anyone outside of RIM would have been performed using pre-beta units that were built without power management implemented. RIM is on track with its schedule to optimize the BlackBerry PlayBook’s battery life and looks forward to providing customers with a professional grade tablet that offers superior performance with comparable battery life.”

Wu stated the poor battery life is due to the QNX OS because it “wasn’t originally designed for mobile environments but rather for devices like network equipment and automobiles”. But today another report from analyst Wu about the same battery life claim. This time it’s not just the QNX OS but it could also be Adobe Flash that’s draining the battery.

Wu stated that “Based on further data points we have picked up, we would be very surprised if PlayBook matches anywhere near the battery life of the iPad at 10 hours unless it uses a larger battery… In addition, from our understanding, the poor battery life of early PlayBook units may be due to its incorporation of Adobe Flash. As seen in recent tests for the new MacBook Air, use of Flash can cut battery life in half. It should be no surprise to anyone that our checks indicate Adobe is furiously working on reducing Flash’s consumption of resources to make it a viable mobile platform vs. HTML5 that both Apple and Google are moving toward.”

Wu also stated that he expects the same 6-hour battery life that the Samsung Tab is currently getting.

Source: Barrons


IDC says multitasking, copy-and-paste needed for WP7 success in 2011

Microsoft recently released their new Windows Phone 7 mobile platform and early global sales topped 1.5 million in 6-weeks. Analysts have been weighing in on their success and struggles over the past month and Al Hilwa from Research firm IDC recently stated that be believes the Windows Marketplace will become “the third largest app portfolio in the industry by the middle of next year” (they just crossed the 5,000 app mark).

In a December 29th report to his clients, Hilwa is back with his 2011 Windows Phone 7 mobile predictions. He stated that in order for the WP& platform to be a success they will need “To bring the platform rapidly to a level of parity with other major mobile platforms, Microsoft will need to deliver several key features in the first quarter of 2011”. Some of the features that Hilwa said are the obvious ones that are already publicly known will eventually be released such as “multitasking support, copy-and-paste and increased hardware support for augmented reality applications such as business card scanning”.

As for devices, Microsoft’s Mike O’Sullivan recently said us Canadians will see “…more devices coming. You’re going to see additional form factors. If you’re the type of person that loves a hardware keyboard, you’re going to see more phones like that coming out in the future”.

Source:  WPCentral & eWeek


Google planning to release a Digital Newsstand for Android devices

A new report from the Wall Street Journal reports that Google is looking for another way to work into our lives – this time taking aim at another form of media that’s currently untapped by them (but is in full swing by rival Apple). Google is said to be in discussions with various newspaper and magazine publishers about developing a digital newsstand. Some mentioned publishers are Time Inc., Condé Nast to the Hearst Group and their magazines would appear on smartphones or tablets that run the Android OS. To entice these publishers Google would take a smaller percentage of the revenue than the current 30% Apple currently takes. In addition, Google has “proposed giving publishers certain personal data about app buyers to help with marketing related products or services”.

Google declined to comment on the validity of the story, but stated “We’ve consistently said we’re talking with publishers about ways we can work together, including whether we can help them with technology for subscription services. We have nothing specific to announce at this time”.

Source: WSJ
Via: Phandroid


Review: Samsung Rugby II

With much focus nowadays on smartphones, Wi-Fi, Facebook and any other top of the line frills, many have forgotten the trusted and durable flip phone. Samsung has recently released the Rugby II, the sequel to their original rugged flip phone, which is advertised as “military grade”, as it reportedly meets US Army standards for shock, dust, and water resistance (military standard 810G compliance for extreme conditions). The Rugby II sports a 2.2” internal TFT screen with a resolution of 240 x 320 pixels QVGA, and a 1.3″ external CSTN screen with a resolution of 128 x 128 QVGA. The Rugby II is approximately 101.9mm (tall) x 52.3mm (wide) x 21.6mm (thick) when closed, and expands to around 195mm (tall) when opened, all while weighing around 133g.

The second I picked up this phone out of the box, I immediately noticed the rugged and durable feel of the housing. It feels very solid and sturdy while holding it (attributed to ribbed sidings), and its rectangular shape sits comfortably in the palm of your hand. The casing is made out of a silver/black tough plastic that seems to resist scratches quite well. (more…)


Samsung sells 10 million Galaxy S devices

Samsung had a goal of selling 10 million Android-powered Galaxy S devices in 2010 and it’s officially been accomplished. It only took a mere 7 months and now can claim they are the first Android to reach this milestone. According to the release that works out to somebody buying a Galaxy S every 2 seconds. North America let the global sales with 4.5 million, followed by Europe with 2.5 million.

JK Shin, President and Head of Mobile Communications Business at Samsung Electronics, said “The Galaxy S is the result of our 22 year heritage in the mobile industry. It is the realization of our concept of ‘the Smart Life’ – we wanted to makes users’ lives more convenient, more exciting, and more integrated. Today’s milestone shows that we have succeeded: 10 million Galaxy S users around the world are living the Smart Life.”

Possibly the next generation of the Galaxy S will included that 4.5-inch flexible display that’s going to be showed at CES.

Source: Samsung Tomorrow
Via: Engadget


iPhone 4 compass credited to saving snowboarders lives

The compass in the iPhone is credited to saving a couple snowboarders lives who went off course off of Cypress Mountain. A search that involved 18 volunteers and lasted 5 hours could have gone on longer but one of the boarders used his compass to give his exact GPS location.Daniel and Brian upon speaking to reporters stated that “the iPhone 4 is good”.

You can check out the full video here at CBC
Via: iPhone in Canada