Documents found on the Federal Communications Commission site shows Waterloo-based RIM prepping to release a successor to the Curve 8900. The BlackBerry 8980 will come with a full QWERTY keyboard, optical trackpad (no more trackball), 3.2 megapixel camera with flash, 3.5mm headset jack, Wi-Fi b/g/n, quad-band GSM antenna and apparently will ship with BlackBerry OS 5 (?) and not their new BlackBerry 6. No word on when this will be coming to Canada.
Motorola has posted an update on their support forum that might not be the best news today for XT720 owners (device is available at Videotron and Wind Mobile). This comes loaded with Android OS 2.1 (Eclair) but Motorola unfortunately states this is where the upgrade path ends. The XT720 “Will remain on Android 2.1″. No future updates planned.
Calgary-based Multiplied Media reported their Q3 2010 results – you might know them better by their app called Poynt (available on BlackBerry, iPhone and Windows Phone 7). This comes preloaded on some devices and helps you find phone numbers, addresses, directions, movie reviews and has the capability to purchase movie tickets and book restaurant reservations straight from your device.
Reading over their press release was an impressive list of statistics: “For the three months ended September 30, 2010, there was an average of 8,242 new users added per day, increasing the number of users from 3,155,431 to 3,913,728. As of November 28, 2010, Poynt’s unique user base totaled 4.5 Million across all platforms.”
Poynt also states that “Additional platforms are in development for release in 2011″. Great to see a Canadian company doing well!
There has been some major advancements in the way that TELUS is operating. To compete with other carriers in Quebec they released their Unlimited Quebec plan, a similar unlimited offering popped up in Winnipeg last week. In addition, TELUS restructured their cancellation policy (for new customers or those who renew) and also introduced a new hardware upgrade structure.You take all this and combine it with their device lineup (Fascinate, Desire, Torch, Optimus 7) the Future is Friendly!
It’s going to get even friendlier early next year. Currently the Big 3 carriers (Rogers, Bell and TELUS) all have their devices programmed to only operate on their network. Apparently a new strategy for TELUS is that they’ll start offering their customers the option to unlock their device for a fee. According to the Financial Post “A final shift in strategy is that Telus will begin some time early next year allowing mobile customers to “unlock” the vast majority of their handsets for a small fee, a first among the Big Three carriers.”
There are many ways to get your device unlocked now but this is a big step in the right direction. Certainly if TELUS does this other carriers will follow. No word on how much the fee is or what the “vast majority” of the devices are… hopefully it’s their entire lineup.
One way to get new ideas for future phone is to sponsor a design course… that’s what RIM did. Designers Kiki Tang and Daniel Yoon from the Art Center College of Design created a concept phone called “Blackberry Empathy”. It’s has a diamond like design but the guts of the device has the ability to detect your mood and your contacts mood. This comes with its own biometrics ring and checks your heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature but changes colour depending on your mood. As for specs, it has an OLED touchscreen with a physical keyboard on the back.
According to the description:
“It is of course touch based and all the user’s connections are shown graphically so you can see who is connected to whom. Each contact has an avatar that is encompassed by two colored rings. The inner colored ring shows the contact’s previous emotional state, and the outer ring represents the contact’s current emotional state. It is important to show the shift in emotions in order to see how an event has affected that contact.
Another important feature that we felt was important was the “Emotional Health Chart”. This chart would monitor the user’s emotional health through an indefinite period of time. One would be able to see how a certain event, or phone call/ message has affected the user. Obviously, if the chart shows someone is always upset, there would be a problem… If permitted, a user would be able to view other user’s charts as well.”
Check out the video after the break (more…)
Mobilicity “scheduled system maintenance” starting tonight… “you will only be able to make voice calls”
Over the past few weeks Mobilicity launched their wireless service in almost all of their cities: Edmonton, Vancouver and Ottawa now join Toronto. The only remaining city is Calgary (now scheduled for early 2011). If you hopped on the Mobilicity bus and grabbed one of their devices then you might experience a short outage tonight/tomorrow. Mobilicity stated on their site that a “scheduled system maintenance” will be happening during non-peak times. No word on exactly what they’ll be doing to their systems but you’ll only be able make voice calls, “data sessions and SMS texting will not be available”… for 4 hours. Here are the times and dates:
Vancouver area, November 29th at 10pm until November 30th at 2am.
Edmonton area, November 29th at 11pm until November 30th at 3am.
Toronto and Ottawa, November 30th at 1am until November 30th at 5am.
A Nokia prototype has found itself on eBay – the “NOKIA N00 Prototype C” comes with a 12 Megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics and a xenon flash, WiFi and GPS (possibly a successor to the Nokia N86 8MP) . According to the description the “Phone is barely used, no scratches or dings. Its a rare prototype, fully functional. You might be the only person with this phone for a while! Its makerd as Nokia N00, but checking the phone I might say its the prototype of the unreleased N87.”
The most hilarious part of the listing is very reminiscent of the unreleased iPhone 4 by stating that the “Phone was found in a bar, its unlocked and fully functional!”.
The package tracking apps are coming out in full force this season. Canada Post recently announced an iPhone app with a BlackBerry app in the works. Today UPS introduced their free “UPS Mobile” for both BlackBerry and Android devices. If you don’t have either of those platforms, UPS has also updated their mobile website (m.ups.com) for all other smartohones.
As for the BlackBerry and Android app you can track packages, find UPS locations, get quotes and if you have a My UPS account you can create a shipment and print shipping labels (it’s sent to your e-mail account where you’ll need to print it – no wireless print option yet).
Rogers discount wireless brand Chatr has been causing ripples in Canadian wireless even before they launched. New entrants Mobilicity and Wind Mobile both filed complaints again them at various government levels. On November 19th the Competition Bureau announced that their evidence found Rogers Chatr brand had “misleading advertising” specifically for “fewer dropped calls than new wireless carriers”.
The Bureau is heading to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice and asking Rogers to immediately stop advertising they have fewer dropped calls and possibly pay an “administrative monetary penalty of $10 million dollars”. We received a tip last week from a internal Chatr document that shows Rogers is obeying the first request.
“All collateral and brochures that has have printed “fewer dropped calls than new wireless carriers” is to be destroyed immediately. Recently the Competition Bureau announced that they will be pursuing legal action against Rogers in regards to chatr advertising claims. As a brand chatr stands behind our advertising, and have independent third-party testing to validate our claims. We are confident in our network and will continue to provide our customers with a no-worries talk-happy experience.”
Today the Globe published a good article with stats from the initial court document filings. The Competition Bureau’s stated that a “comparison of the actual dropped-call data of Chatr and new entrants between July 28, 2010 and October 27, 2010 establishes that the difference in average dropped call rates is insignificant, ranging from 0.11% to 0.77%”. The report also cited Ottawa numbers where “Chatr’s dropped call rates were higher than those of a new entrant on 84 days out of the 92 days… In Toronto, Chatr’s dropped call rates were higher than a new entrant’s on 53 of the 92 days, establishing that the statements were false 58% of the time. This fact makes the Representations false in Toronto”.
When we interviewed WIND CEO Ken Campbell back in August he said that the industry average of dropped calls is less than 1% and they are “well below” this mark. Rogers said their independent third party testing by Score Technologies will help “vigorously defend” themselves in court. Would be great to see those numbers.
Every carrier has come out with an Unlimited Quebec plan and you can’t blame Videotron for upping the ante with their Infinite Quebec plan. They have now added a “Plus” and unlimited text, photo, video messages and emails. Pretty good – also they have added a cap to the infinite plan with 5GB data (you would think with an infinite plan it wouldn’t be capped) to “access Internet on your mobile and 30 viewing hours on illico mobile”.
They also have a promo that gives the first month free but reading the fine print says “This limited-time offer is intended to new residential customers subscribing to Videotron mobile service. Regular rate apply as of the second month. This offer does not apply for Videotron wireless customers who migrate on the 3G+ network.”
As for pricing: $109.50/month. If you bundle it with other Videotron services you’ll get a discount, but not by much.
Check it out here at Videotron