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Microsoft’s acquisition of (most of) Nokia is set to close on April 25th

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Nokia Oyj, the company’s public name, will soon be Microsoft Mobile Oy. Microsoft’s $7.2 billion acquisition of Nokia’s Devices and Services division, including its manufacturing, design and engineering facilities, will close this Friday, April 25th.

Brad Smith, Microsoft’s General Counsel, wrote in a blog post today,“the completion of this acquisition follows several months of planning and will mark a key step on the journey towards integration. This acquisition will help Microsoft accelerate innovation and market adoption for Windows Phones.” He also notes that elements of the original deal have changed:

“As with any multinational agreement of this size, scale and complexity, our two companies have made adjustments to the original deal throughout the close preparation process. We’ve entered into numerous agreements to address items ranging from manufacturing to IT.” (more…)

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Analyst says the proposed $350 million Mobilicity/TELUS deal is ‘dead on arrival’

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Mobilicity, legally known as Data & Audio-Visual Enterprises Holdings Inc., announced a few days ago that after a lengthy bidding process they believe that TELUS is best suited to acquire its spectrum and 165,000 subscribers. The purchase price is set at $350 million and William Aziz, Mobilicity’s Chief Restructuring Officer, stated “I am confident the Transaction will serve the best interests of Mobilicity’s customers and employees.”

TELUS went down this path twice before and both times were shut by the Industry Minister, mainly due to the transfer of set-aside spectrum licenses. Industry Minister James Moore previously declared “We will not waive this condition of licence and will not approve this, or any other, transfer of set-aside spectrum to an incumbent ahead of the five-year limit.”

Analyst Jeff Fan of Scotia Capital sent a note to his clients with his thoughts on the possibility of this transaction moving forward. The bottom line is incredibly blunt: “Third Time’s a Charm? More Likely to See Strike Three,” and “We believe that this deal is ‘dead on arrival’ for the regulators.”

Fan stated that there could be a couple strategies a play. “Plan A is to have the bankruptcy court overrule IC’s rejection.” Apparently if this Plan A doesn’t move forward then Plan B comes into place where Mobilicity will be forced to pursue the next bid (or wait for another lower offer to emerge),” which could very well be WIND Mobile. Fan said that “we believe IC is determined to devalue Wind and Mobilicity to the point that it becomes attractive for consolidation.”

Time will tell the fate of Mobilicity.

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Samsung says the next Galaxy Note will have a ‘new form factor’

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The Samsung Galaxy Note helped define the ‘phablet’ and officially launched in Canada on February 14th, 2011. We’ve since seen the Note evolve and include more specs and features, namely to its design and integration with the S Pen. This year, according to a Samsung exec, will be no different.

In an interview with Reuters, Yoon Han-kil, SVP of Samsung’s product strategy team, stated the newly released Galaxy S5 is off to a better start than previous flagship Galaxy S4. No indication of specific sales numbers, but Yoon also declared that the company is looking ahead to release another Galaxy Note, presumably the Note 4.

This new Note will reportedly sport some kind of “new form factor” and become available during the second half of the year. The Galaxy Note 3 was released to Canadians last October so we could see it arrive around the same time this year. In addition, a previous report suggested that Samsung might be extending the display to the sides of the device — a 3-sided display – “so messages can be read from an angle.” Yoon said “Our ultimate goal is to make products that consumers really aspire to have. This is how we are trying to find a breakthrough in the stagnant premium market.”

Source: Reuters
Via: PocketNow

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Sony Xperia M2 hands-on (video)

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Sony has another smartphone launching in Canada this quarter, and while it doesn’t have the spec sheet or design advancements of its Z2 sibling, the Xperia M2 is a decent entry-level product that will be sure to engage some price-conscious smartphone buyers.

A successor to the 4-inch Xperia M, the M2 sports a much larger screen with a slightly higher resolution, but the main improvements are in the camera and battery life. We had a chance to play with this well-constructed product, and came away impressed. The quad-core Snapdragon 400 SoC and 1GB of RAM were enough to keep Android 4.3 Jelly Bean chugging along nicely, and Sony promises further improvements to performance with an update to KitKat later this year.

The M2 also comes with 8GB of internal storage, a 2,300mAh battery, and LTE connectivity, another big upgrade from the original Xperia M. (more…)

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Samsung Galaxy S5 gets its first post-release update

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Samsung’s Galaxy S5 has only been on sale for about a week, but the company has already issued its first update.

Still based on Android 4.4.2, build G900W8VLU1AND is a 28MB update that offers “improved performance,” which is the most generic of changelogs we’ve seen. The build was created on April 11th, as opposed to March 10th for the shipping versions of the device, so expect quite a few bug fixes and other nips and tucks along the seams of TouchWIZ. We received it on our Rogers-locked demo units, but it should be available to all carrier-sold Galaxy S5′s.

If you notice any specific changes to the OS, let us know in the comments.

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Belkin beefs up its WeMo app with improvements to Light Switch

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Belkin has updated its WeMo app with lots of new features for its excellent Light Switch module as the company expands its reach into the blossoming home automation industry. What started as a lone baby monitor has expanded into a line of smartphone-operated smart plugs, motion detectors, light switches and, launching this summer, smart light bulbs.

The updated WeMo app, available today for iOS and Android, adds a bunch of cool features to the Light Switch, the best of which appears to be long-pressing the light to trigger an IFTTT action.

(more…)

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Windows Phone developers can now respond to app reviews

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Microsoft launched its pilot program this week, first announced at BUILD, which allows Windows Phone developers the ability to respond to app reviews. The pilot program contains a small group of pre-selected developers, and is currently only US-only, although Microsoft will slowly expand the program each month to new developers prioritized by app download volume.

Developers in the program will be able to respond to reviews posted from Windows 8.X devices, triggering a notification email to the reviewer. The reviewer then has the option to respond or update their review. They can also opt out of future notifications, or even report developers abusing the feature. Microsoft has been explicit that the tool is not to be used for marketing, but rather for gathering feedback and updating users on new features and bug fixes.

As with any communication system related to tech reviews, Microsoft’s initiative has the potential to be both a giant boon to developers or a flaming clustercuss.

SourceTNW
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LG G2 placed on Bell’s ‘End of Life’ list as hints of a summer G3 announcement surface

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This screenshot could significantly bring truth to the rumours of LG launching the G3 soon. According to this internal doc, courtesy of Bell, the current LG G2 flagship has been placed on the “End of Life” list. This usually means that the current stock is being depleted and “no longer available for ordering.” Bell is requesting staff shift prospective buyers towards the Nexus 5, Samsung Galaxy S4 or for some reason the Galaxy S4 mini.

The Verge recently reported that stated the LG G3 is slated to be available sometime this summer and will sport an impressive 2560 x 1440 screen resolution.

(Thanks tipster!)

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