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Rogers executive team earned $48,971,630 in 2013

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Rogers has a plethora of business and have their hands in radio, magazines, TV, home security, internet and also own a number of sports teams. From a wireless perspective they are leading the nation with over 9.4 million subscribers across the Rogers Wireless, Fido and Chatr Wireless brands.

Curious what compensation it takes to lead a company like Rogers? Well, Rogers just issued their proxy circular for year-end 2013 and the executive team were paid a total of $48,971,630. This includes base salaries, shares and bonuses. Most of the payout was dedicated to former President and CEO Nadir Mohamed at $26,769,973 (54.7%). New CEO Guy Laurence, who came on board December 2nd, earned $12,699,997 in the form of a base salary, shares and a signing bonus of $750,000. (more…)

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Google Hangouts for Android update merges IMs and SMS, adds widget

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Google Hangouts for Android is receiving a nice new update this week, addressing one of the most vociferous user complaints since SMS functionality was added last year: that the two content branches were separate.

The update merges Hangouts and SMS messages, but unlike iMessages on iPhone, does not do so automatically. Instead, it asks you to choose one or the other before sending the message. This offloads the responsibility to the user, rather than relying on Google’s servers to determine which devices have Hangouts installed. While the convenience factor is lower, this is likely as close to an iMessage-like experience as Google can produce at the moment.

The app is also getting a new homescreen widget, which showcases recent conversations and video/audio calls made. It’s nothing special, but, like the merging of Hangouts and SMS, is a long time coming.

Performance improvements and a simplified contact list round out the relatively concise change log, but Hangouts users will be very happy to see these changes.

The update is rolling out piecemeal throughout the week, so either wait for the update to arrive on Google Play, or head to Android Police for one of their mirrors.

 

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Rogers Q1 2014 results show slow subscriber growth, ARPU sitting at $57.63

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Rogers announced its Q1 2014 results today and wireless revenues were 2% lower than last year, coming in at $1.73 billion. The reason for the decline was “pricing changes made over the past year primarily associated with our simplified plans and the introduction in 2013 of lower priced roaming plans.”

From a subscriber base perspective, Rogers now has 8,076,000 postpaid subs, up 198,000 from Q1 2013. Postpaid continued to drop and now represents 1,356,000 subscribers (down 142k in the past year). Total subscribers are now 9,432,000. Blended ARPU (average revenue per user) is now sitting at $57.63, again down an impressive $2.05 over the same period last year. The total number of postpaid subscribers who have a smartphone rose 5% to 76%.

Rogers also noted that another reason for the decline in wireless was due to the recent adoption of the CRTC Wireless Code, stating that it “appears to have slowed overall wireless subscriber growth over the past three quarters.”

Guy Laurence, President and CEO of Rogers said, “During the first quarter, we made a significant investment in ‘beachfront property’ 700MHz spectrum to give our customers an unsurpassed wireless experience, building on our unprecedented NHL rights deal late in 2013. We made these long-term strategic investments while maintaining our balance sheet at investment grade.”

Source: CNW

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Google and HTC rumoured to partner for 8-inch Nexus 8

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The latest rumour to hit the web, courtesy of DigiTimes, reveals that Google will release a new tablet sometime in Q3 that will sport an 8-inch display. The name follows the previous Nexus tablets numbering and will go to market as the Nexus 8. One major difference is that the Nexus 8 will reportedly be build by HTC and not ASUS like previous versions.

DigiTimes states that their sources the reason Google potentially switched manufacturing partners is that they are “considering adopting a new design.” Perhaps we will see the Nexus 8 sport similar design lines to the HTC One M8 with an all-aluminum unibody.

The report says this unannounced tablet will be available in between July, August or September. With Google I/O coming up on June 25th this timing works out well. No indication of pricing.

Source: DigiTimes
Via: Engadget

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Apple pushes its good name beyond products in new Earth Day initiative (video)

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“Better. It’s a powerful word and a powerful idea.”

Thus begins the narration from Apple CEO Tim Cook over a video highlighting Apple’s success, not in products but in the earth-focused processes under which they’re designed, produced, manufactured and distributed.

The Cupertino-based company is highlighting its “unprecedented” leadership in environmental matters this week, in the run-up to Earth Day. A new portal on Apple’s home page, titled Environment, outlines ways that the company has cut down on harmful emissions in recent years, powering its new Reno data centre entirely with renewable energy from wind turbines and solar arrays.

Apple also points out that it not only uses a prodigious amount of recycled material in its products, but offers in-store initiatives to recycle older Apple products.

(more…)

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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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