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Sony Ericsson says “shift to touch screen phones” caused 2009 results to slide

Sony Ericsson has reported their Q4 and full year 2009 results and even though us Canadians will be the first to get the anticipated XPERIA X1 shortly… the results have not been the best.

The report shows that the number of devices shipped in Q4 increased 3% to 14.6 million but had a year-on-year decrease of an astonishing 40%. Sony Ericsson states that the reason for the decrease was “due to a downturn in the global handset market and a faster than anticipated shift to touch screen phones in the mid-priced sector of the market”. We say that Rogers should speed up that X10! (more…)

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RIM to bring on “fingerprint recognition” on BlackBerry devices?

Another day… another patent filed by a mobile manufacturer. This time it’s RIM with a patent that shows they are working on some sort finger print scanning technology. The specific patent was originally filed on February 26th, 2009 but recently updated on January 12th, 2010.

According to the documents, this is “An apparatus for input and fingerprint recognition comprises a touch surface, and a data processor coupled to the touch surface. The touch surface comprises a first region and a second region. The second region is distinct from and coplanar with the first region and occupies a minor portion of a total surface area of the touch surface. The data processor is configured to selectively operate the touch surface in a touch input mode or a fingerprint detection mode. In the touch input mode, the data processor is configured to operate the second region at a first resolution comparable to that of the first region to detect a touch input anywhere on the touch surface. (more…)

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SaskTel drops price of BlackBerry Storm 9530 to $25

Even though the BlackBerry Storm 9530 has been around for well over a year… it’s nice to know that you can get it for an incredibly low price. Telus is selling this for $0.00 on a 3-year and Bell has this pegged in at $99.95 on a 3-year. The good news for those over in Saskatewan is that SaskTel has dropped the price to a decent $25.

So if you fancy the original Storm you might want to jump on this. (more…)

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Samsung announces winners in the Olympic “Mobile Explorers” contest

Samsung is a major sponsor of the upcoming Vancouver Olympics and they have announced the winners of their Mobile Explorers contest. Almost 7,500 people entered the contest but only 57 get the opportunity to be flown to Vancouver for 20 nights with free accommodations, meals and most likely an Omnia 2 to capture their Olympic “WOW” moments. The chosen 57 are from Canada, the United States, South Korea, China and Russia.

Ally Ruttger, a winner from St. Catharines said “Thanks to Samsung, my community will be connected to the action at the Olympic Games and they are all very excited to be cheering on the Samsung Mobile Explorers and seeing our online posts. My first WOW moment was when I learned that I was selected as a Samsung Mobile Explorer and I am very excited to experience more WOW moments and share them with the rest of the world.” (more…)

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Apple files patent that gives real-time parking information

Apple has filed a patent called “Parking & Location Management Processes & Alerts” that uses the GPS in your mobile device (basically your iPhone) that gives you real-time info “about future constraints pertaining to the present location to establish the occurrence of a future event”.

So the patent gives examples because the above statement is out there. Basically it will give you info on the best place to park your car, where available parking spots are, parking spot rates, closest taxi. The patent filing states that: (more…)

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Rogers asks CRTC for carriers to pay unpaid bills before porting

Number portability came into effect in March of 2007 and people have embraced it to give a new carrier a go. With customers swapping in and out during contract periods has also seen the rise of unpaid balances… which Rogers states costs them “millions of dollars each year”.

Rogers filed a request with the CRTC asking that all carriers “to be responsible for the unpaid balances owed by customers who switch providers”. Makes sense as you sign up with a clean bill and should leave with a clean bill. It should not be up to the new carrier to go chasing for costs that were not originally their responsibility. So somewhere along the way there is a sweet loophole. The CRTC said they are reviewing the request.

Rogers says “Customers porting out mid-contract with unpaid balances are costing Rogers, and most probably other wireless carriers as well, millions of dollars each year. The task of collecting these unpaid balances is made much more difficult once a customer ports their number to a new carrier as the relationship has been terminated.”

However, Michael Janigan, executive director at the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, says that it’s just not about unpaid bills but a bigger picture is about market share. Stating rivals like TELUS, Bell and now Wind are slowing taking business away from them. “This is the clear downside of long-term contracts for a supplier and now they want regulation to solve a problem brought about by market forces”.

With new competition… you must find new creative ways to keep customers and your shareholders happy.

Check out the entire filing here at the CRTC (PDF)

Via: CBC

(Thanks Bryan!)

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WIND’s Microsoft Surface will eventually be “fully integrated”

Today we got to visit the flagship Wind Mobile store on Queen Street in Toronto where they gave a full demonstration of the Microsoft Surface. With the Surface you can check out plans, rates, compare devices to each other with general descriptions. CCO Chris Robbins was on hand to explain the overall design and feel of the store experience, but more impressive are the reasons they brought on the highly attractive Surface.

Trapeze help create the brand and the direction and Creative Director Mike Kasprow was instrumental of tying the “Power of Conversaiton” together. We captured over 10 minutes of Surface action (we also had this video from a few weeks ago)… He states that “Surface is multi-touch computing environment that allows us to do a number of things… it was about mediating conversations, generating conversions of people into paying customers but also using it for a way to teach and for people to learn. The primary goal was to ensure that Surface didn’t become technology for technologies sake… we didn’t want it to be a toy that people just came in and played with because it was here. We wanted to actually be the center of a meaningful conversation between a potential customer and the Customer Service Representative.”

Currently you can check out plans, rates, compare devices to each other with general descriptions, but in the future Wind hopes to use the byte tags on the back of the devices for more. Kasprow said eventually (hopefully) “every customer might have their own tag, or a tag that represents their account, so personalization they can do within the store is limitless”. Chris Robbins also stated that “You put your phone down and if you want to add content, rather than downloading or SMS… you could walk into a store and add content, add a plan, add roaming can automatically be done on the Surface. The whole idea is to have this fully integrated.”

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Public Mobile on building their network: “It’s a ton of fun… to be building something from scratch”

Public Mobile is back and this time it’s not about taking on the government. We just want them to launch their new brand! Initially they had targets to be in the market for late 2009 but it’s been shifted to mid-2010. A quick video with CEO Alek Krstajic again, he’s wearing the same outfit so I’m sure it was pre-recorded from a month ago… however he talks specifically on their network and states that building a network is “a ton of fun, it’s great to be building something from scratch” (more…)

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Fido set to launch Renew Plus, Naite, Curve 8520 & Gravity?

Looking for some more info on what Fido will be launching this quarter? “RogersInsider” over at HoFo has dropped some handset and prices that will be launching February 9th or the 23rd. Here’s the upcoming rumours to add to the mix:

Moto Renew PLUS (launching February 9th)
(Will replace the current Moto Renew)
2-year contract: $15
Month-to-Month/Prepaid: $65

Sony Ericsson Naite (launching February 9th)
2-year contract: $30
Month-to-Month/Prepaid: $150

BlackBerry Curve 8520 (launching February 9th on the HoFo, but we think it’s going to be February 2nd)
3-year contract with Voice & Data plan: $60
Month-to-Month/Prepaid – $400

Samsung Gravity(launching February 23rd)
2-year contract: $65
Month-to-Month/Prepaid: $150

Another device to expect is the LG Etna 2 (GW300)

Are you ready to line up and get one of these?

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Vidéotron waives long-distance to Haiti: “We’re sure as hell not going to charge them”

Vidéotron is the first carrier that has stepped up and waived all long-distance fees to those who want to reach those in Haiti. The company said they will have no fees until February 12th.

Vidéotron spokesman Marc Labelle stated customers have placed “well over” 200,000 successful calls since the earthquake on January 12th. He continued to say “This major community of people is trying to reach their own folks to see if they’re alive and what’s left there. We’re sure as hell not going to charge them… We decided to open the valve”. (more…)

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