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Public Mobile starts selling wireless at 60 Gateway Newstands locations

Public Mobile recently signed a partnership with Gateway Newstands locations to sell their service at their locations. Today’s the day the deal goes live and if you’re in Toronto you’ll be see a new co-branded signage between the two companies. Currently there are 60 Toronto locations and this will increase to 120 locations by January. You’ll see their full lineup of devices and plans with self serve options in various TTC stations, GO stations and major office buildings.

Public Mobile CEO, Alek Krstajic said in a press release that “Our partnership with Gateway provides the 1.5 million people who ride the TTC each day with quick and convenient access to our services, Gateway is excited to be a key distribution point for Public Mobile.”

It’s all about distribution and how easy it is to get yourself a device.

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Distribution is the next battleground in Canadian wireless (Loblaws sends out request to carriers)

Over the last year we’ve seen the Canadian wireless market heat up. New entrants such as Wind Mobile, Public Mobile and Mobilicity have all launched their service. Videotron and SaskTel just launched their new 3G+ networks, MTS and Shaw will be going live soon as well… the Big 3 (Rogers, Bell and TELUS) and their flanker brands (Fido, Chatr, Solo, Virgin, Koodo) have all in someway adjusted their pricing.

So competition is certainly increasing in Canada and the consumer is benefiting. We’ve got more options of who we want our wireless provider to be, the monthly plans and upfront costs for devices are dropping, and consumers are thinking twice before signing a lengthy contract. Before the AWS Spectrum Auction started the Industry Minister said that “Our government’s intentions are clear: to achieve lower prices, better service and more choice for consumers and business. We believe in relying on market forces to the maximum extent feasible because competition benefits consumers, and consumers benefit most when markets are as competitive as they can be.”

A few weeks ago the CRTC released their “Communications Monitoring Report” which showed at the end of 2009 there were 23.8 million wireless subscribers in Canada. By 2014 the number of subscribers is expected to increase to 30.1 million. The trend is growing and more people are adopting mobile phones and getting rid of their landlines. The wireless players are all working hard to grab our attention and the next trend we’ll be seeing is where customers can purchase a device. Distribution is key. Distribution is the next battleground in the Canadian wireless scene.

Other than corporate owned or franchise owned stores, the carriers currently have several partnerships to distribute their products in retail locations like Best Buy, Walmart, The Source, Future Shop and mall kiosks. The carriers need to have immediate, huge scale, overnight points of distribution with other reputable brands. We’ve already seen a glimpse of this and here are a few examples:

- TELUS purchased 113 Black’s Photo locations almost a year ago for $28 million
- Rogers partnered with Sony Style locations to distribute products
- Public Mobile to start selling at Gateway Newstands
- Wind Mobile entered an agreement with BlockBuster Video
- Canada Post issued a request for proposal about selling wireless in 2011
- Rogers started a pilot project with Shopper’s Drug Mart
- Public Mobile starts a trial with Money Mart

The carriers want to be where you are all the time and are turning to other locations not just for reach, but because some customers feel intimidated/overwhelmed when they walk into a store. Psychologically we buy from who we trust and who we’re most comfortable with.

More distribution channels are opening up and they’re coming fast. We’ve been informed that one of them is Loblaws Supermarkets. They have over 1,000 grocery stores across the country and have put out a request to the carriers looking for a proposal for them to come in. A leading Canadian company is looking to give up some of their retail space and possibly take a greater piece of the wireless pie (that goes beyond their current PC Mobile offerings). So you can bet that a national brand like Rogers, Bell, TELUS or WIND will be located in the same place you purchase your groceries.

But it’s not just about Loblaws… the distribution battle will have a trickle effect to others such as Home Depot, Sobey’s, Metro, Dollarama etc. Access to purchasing a wireless device and getting support will be easier… and will be everywhere you turn in a matter of months.


Global “Superphone” shipments to reach 100 million units by 2015

Analyst Alex Spektor at Strategy Analytics said that “We define a superphone as a high-end smartphone with a supersized display above 4 inches and a superfast processor greater than 1GHz.”. In their latest report Strategy Analytics stated the total amount of worldwide “superphone” shipments will reach 100 million units by 2015 (this represents a growth of 550%).

Wasn’t it a few months ago that Google came out with their Nexus One which was called the “Superphone”. This had a 3.7 inch display and a 1GHz processor but I guess it doesn’t qualify. For us Canadians to contribute to this number we’ll have to sell a great amount of the Samsung Galaxy S Vibrant, Captivate and the upcoming Motorola Droid X.

Source: IntoMobile


Skyfire hits 1,000,000 downloads of its Android app

Skyfire has announced that their mobile browser app for Android has been downloaded over 1,000,000 million times. They stated on their blog that the app has “become one of the most popular Android apps, placing it in the top .02 percent of all products in the Android Marketplace.” Skyfire recently released Skyfire 2.0 for Android which enables your mobile device to play Flash-video content.

More here at Skyfire


Contest: Win a Wind Mobile Huawei U8100!

UPDATE: This contest is now over and we are proud to announce the winner of the Wind Mobile Huawei U8100 is Forum member and Twitter follower “Neon”

Want another contest… we’ll probably be doing a giveaway once a week until the end of the year. So get ready for from mobile goodness over the next few months.

Up for grabs now is the Wind Mobile Huawei U8100. This runs OS 2.1 and has a 2.8 inch touchscreen (resolution of 320×240), Wi-FI, FM Radio, 3.2-megapixel camera with video capabilities, holds up to 16GB with a microSD card access to the Android Market, Google Maps etc… and it could be yours. All you have to do to win is one of the following: follow us on Twitter or become a member of our Forum. People who are already following or members are automatically entered. The contest ends Tuesday, September 28th at 11:59pm. Good luck to all who enter…


Video: Upcoming Samsung i8700 running Windows Phone 7

Not to diminish any current Samsung device – like the Vibrant, Captivate, Omnia 2 or Wave… but the upcoming Samsung i8700 Windows Phone 7 handset is looking incredibly impressive. Pics surfaced last week but now a 6 minute has popped up showing the familiar WP7 OS in action. No word if this is one of the devices that will be coming to Canada, but it’s highly possible. The video is a bit out of focus and silent so make sure you have your own music to keep yourself entertained.



Rogers interview outlines the Future of Video entertainment: either you’re connected or you’re not

If you have a few minutes to spare you might want to watch this video that was produced by Rogers. They interview Shelly Palmer and get his insight into the next 3 years when it comes to where video entertainment is going. No kidding everyone is jumping into the mobile content game. Immediate information wherever, however and whenever we want it. All this is already happening but a greater push on MobileTV will come to fruition over the next year.

Palmer states that “in a very short time only two kinds of people, those that are connected people and those who aren’t connected; and what I mean by that is people who walk around with their television sets now in a way they never had before. They are walking around with mobile devices that really have the capability of bridging two worlds… when you start doing things with your hand held, when you start texting people, and when you start using face book on your hand held, and twitter on your hand held, and Linked in on your hand held, You fill in your social network as you like you’re a broadcaster… When your entertainment can follow you, when your content, when your news, when the things that you passionately care about can follow you then that’s really, really, special”

Source: RedBoard


Report: 41% of Canadians have considered switching carriers

Another wireless report has surfaced that goes into detail of Canadian consumers wireless brand loyalty. The survey was compiled late July/early August time frame of 1,000 Canadians by Toronto-based Solutions Research Group and found that 41% have considered switching carriers. The report said that we value loyalty by much money we are paying out each month (rate plans, devices etc).

Other stats revealed that:
- Ages 20-29 are the ones who continually think about changing wireless carriers at 51%.
- 28% of Canadians are either on month-to-month on an expired contract, or expires within 12 months.
- 21% use prepaid and are not on a contract.
- Many Canadians want a lower monthly bill with “a substantial number” wanting bundling discounts, free texting, and free handset upgrades.
- 72% said the reason they would switch carriers is because of price.
- Most people said they would switch to an established brand such as Rogers/Fido, Bell/Virgin, Telus/Koodo), 7% said Wind and the “other new brands were hardly mentioned at all”.
- With Videotron launching last week, 31% considered switching

What are your thoughts on staying with your current carrier. Are you happy with them or are you considering making a jump to another carrier? What would keep you the carrier you’re with?

Source: Cartt


Confirmed: Fido launching Android Liquid e

The rumour is over… it’s now just about when Fido will launch their first Android-powered device. Thanks to one of our reliable tipsters for confirming that the Acer Liquid e is in fact coming to Fido within a few weeks. The price points are expected to be $50 on a 3-year and $350 no-contract.

So what does this actually mean for Fido? Well, the Acer is not your everyday low-end device. It’s a mid-range Android running OS 2.1 and packed with a 768MHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 5 megapixel camera, WiFi, full HTML browser, GPS, Bluetooth, and holds up to 32GB with a microSD card. The specs are impressive to be placed on the Rogers flanker brand and this certainly increases their value in the market. This is a good fit for Fido and it’ll be the start of them bringing on more devices that are nearing the end of life on the Rogers lineup. Eventually more smartphones like the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 mini, Curve 9300 could end up on Fido and the basic entry level devices will eventually go to Chatr.

We’ll have more info soon!