In January Tony Lacavera, WIND Mobile’s Chairman and CEO, stated that he would be stepping down and “enter into an agreement to transfer” his shares (AAL Corporation) of the company to Orascom Telecom, which is owned by Netherland-based VimpelComm, which would see them take controlling command of the wireless carrier. Half a year later, Lacavera is still spearheading the company and finding a new wave foreign issues that might delay his exit.
According to the Globe and Mail, the Canadian government is having “national security concerns” of how WIND Mobile is so tightly connected to Huawei. This is not the first time China-based Huawei has faced this issue. The United States government believes the Chinese government can tap into various telecom systems and grab sensitive data via their equipment. As for Canada, Huawei helped build-out WIND’s core network, which now powers their 600,000 wireless subscribers.
Huawei has been operating in Canada since 2008, employs over 400 people, and have also worked in some capacity with Bell, TELUS and SaskTel. On the security concerns, WIND said they have a “ring fence” with levels of firewalls and equipment from over 12 suppliers that protects its network. WIND noted that “we work co-operatively and proactively with CSIS and other law-enforcement agencies (federally and provincially) on both security and emergency/9-11 matters… Although we regularly work alongside these agencies on security matters, we must emphasize that we have never had any security issues with our network.”
A decision on the WIND/VimpelCom acquisition is expected to be completed before July 4th.
Toronto-based Whirlscape developed Minuum, the one-dimensional simplified keyboard for smartphones, tablets and wearable technology. This idea gained a great deal of attention back in March when they went live on crowd-funding site IndieGogo. Their initial goal was to raise $10,000, but they’ve dominated and accumulated just over $87,000 – which is 874% above their goal – and about 10,000 supporters.
Those who backed the initiative were promised early access to the beta app for Android sometime in June. Minuum seems to be on track as we’ve been informed that the beta app for Android is scheduled for release “early next week.” We’ll keep you updated on the specific date, but in the meantime check out our hands-on with the Minuum below.
It’s true. Another tablet. This time its Amazon’s attempt to crack the Canadian market. The Kindle Fire HD and the Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ are now available.
While Amazon’s Wi-Fi only tablets take their own unique spin on the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS, the Kindle Fire HD has some limited services when compared to its US counterpart, namely access to apps via Google Play as it ops for their own Amazon Appstore for Android. In addition, missing from the experience, due to Canada’s licensing terms, is the streaming video service Instant Prime Video. If you can get passed these then the Kindle Fire HD tablets are a good choice, especially as they do have the Kindle eBook store that offers a great selection of material.
As far as specs, the Kindle Fire HD comes with a 7-inch 1280×800 display, a 1.2Ghz dual-core processor, 1GB RAM, a front-facing HD camera and is priced at $214 for the 16GB and $244 for the 32GB. The Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ has an 8.9-inch display (1920×1200), a 1.5Ghz dual-core processor, 1GB RAM, a front-facing HD camera and costs $284 for the 16GB and $314 for the 32GB.
After a year of rumours and denial, Microsoft has finally released the “Office Mobile for Office 365 subscribers.” As you guessed it the app is currently only available to those who have an active Office 365 subscription. In addition, Office Mobile is currently optimized for the iPhone and no word on when an optimized iPad app will be released. The big downer for many users is that the app is only available via the App Store in the United States… no indication of when Microsoft will make it available in Canada or other countries. However, it’s progress.
The Office Mobile app allows you to view and edit Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft PowerPoint docs that are stored in the cloud from your iPhone (iOS 6.1 or higher).
WIND Mobile will start selling nano sim cards tomorrow, June 14th. This is compatible with the T-Mobile version of the iPhone 5 that went on sale back in April. The price of the nano SIM is set at $25, but in order for it to work you’ll have to make sure you purchase an the correct model According to an internal doc we received it stats that “WIND testing has identified that for an iPhone 5 to be compatible with WIND, it must meet the following criteria. However, customers are responsible for verifying network compatibility, and that the device is unlocked.”
The iPhone 5 must be purchased after April 11, 2013, supports AWS band (1700/2100), and has the model number A1428. In addition, the serial number must end with any one of these four numbers:
- iPhone 5 Black 16GB: FH19 ($699)
- iPhone 5 White 16GB: FH1C ($699)
- iPhone 5 Black 32GB: FH1D ($799)
- iPhone 5 White 32GB: FH1F ($799)
- iPhone 5 Black 64GB: FH1G ($899)
- iPhone 5 White 64GB: FH1H ($899)
So there you have it… now you just have to hunt down an iPhone 5.
BlackBerry introduced “BBM Channels” during their BlackBerry Live developer conference in May. This is an extension of their popular BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) service and is a “a new social engagement platform” that allows the 60 million BBM users to connect to the things of interest by creating different “channels,” plus allows you to “follow” and receive latest updates (similar to Twitter).
BBM Channels is currently in beta, but it seems BlackBerry has a bigger game in mind. They recently posted an open position for a Director Media Sales for BBM Channels in the UK that “will assume responsibility for revenue generation.” Specifics of how one would generate revenue within BBM Channels was lacking, however a survey to those in the BlackBerry Beta Zone suggests we’ll possibly see the likes of a ‘sponsored invite’ flood our feed, similar to Twitter ‘sponsored Tweets,” and Facebook ads.
The survey noted that “Channel owners will be allowed to advertise their Channels by sending invites to BBM users within the channel owner’s target demographic. Users will receive the invite, and be able to preview the Channel, then choose to subscribe or decline the invitation to subscribe. This will be a limited ad unit, with users never receiving more than 3 sponsored invites in a single month.”
This was simply a survey and not confirmed, but is one way BlackBerry might eventually monetize BBM. No indication if the BBM Channel owner (publisher) will receive a percentage of ad revenue. This move would certainly help increase adoption and interest.
Microsoft opened their first retail store in Toronto last November and it looks like the onslaught is upon us. A partnership between Best Buy, Future Shop and Microsoft will see 100 “Windows Stores” open nationwide this year.
This store-within-a-store concept will have a similar experience to the retail location, but give “just another great opportunity to reach customers in more places and give them choice in their technology-buying experience.” Bottom line is that Microsoft will have a dedicated section within Best Buy and Future Shop stores – between 1,500 square feet to 2,200 square feet – that highlights everything Microsoft: Windows tablets, PCs, Windows Phones, Microsoft Office, Xbox and accessories.
The 100 Canadian locations will join 500 Windows Stores launching in the United States. The good news is that this partnership will add a total of 1,200 more staff. No word on how many will be employed in Canada.
The HTC One has won many high profile awards for its forward thinking all-aluminum design. Last weekend they oozed with pride and engaged in some heated Twitter banter with Samsung (see here). In Canada, the HTC One is currently available at Bell, SaskTel, Rogers and TELUS, but according to a thread on XDA Developers reveals the Android Jelly Bean device might be en route to both Quebec-based Videotron and Mobilicity. A long collection of Carrier IDs (CID) have been listed that shows “CA_Videotron VIDEO001″ and “CA_Dave DAVE_001.” DAVE is Data & Audio-Visual Enterprises Holdings Inc. and they operate legally as Mobilicity.”
There’s no official word from either carrier, but this is a good hint that they’ll be eventually releasing the One. HTC released the One back in the middle of April and is now fallen to $99.99 on a 3-year, or $650 outright.
We’ll keep you updated on the One coming to other carriers. In the meantime, check out our full review here.
An invitation to a Sony press event teases what looks like a Godzilla sized phablet. The rumoured Xperia Z Ultra is pictured and the translation reads “Sony mobile reserves a BIG surprise for you.” The Xperia Z Ultra has a speculated screen size of 6.44-inches with a stunning 1080p HD, plus shows a stylus with the words “Don’t forget to mark your calendars!” that indicates it’ll have input support similar to the Samsung’s Galaxy Note.
Some of the other rumoured specs have it coming in at a thin 6.5mm with a 2.2GHz quad-core processor, 2GB RAM, 16GB internal storage, 8MP camera and 2.2MP front-facing camera, running Android OS 4.2 Jelly Bean.
Overall is sounds beastly. Hopefully Sony Canada brings it to our fine land.
Source: Xperia Blog
The battle to be the number one mobile messaging platform has reached a fever pitch. With Kik messenger rapidly growing, Apple’s iMessage, Samsung’s ChatOn, and BlackBerry’s BBM going cross-platform this summer to iOS and Android, one would wonder if there’s space for more competition.
Well, there is. Arguably one of the more popular messaging services is WhatsApp. Touting their dominance on Twitter, WhatsApp announced a huge milestone of successfully processing 27 billion messages 24 one day: “new daily record: 10B+ msgs sent (inbound) and 17B+ msgs received (outbound) by our users = 27 Billion msgs handled in just 24 hours!”
WhatsApp currently has 200 million users and is available on the iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Nokia S40 and Symbian, plus Windows Phone. For an app business that has caught slack recently for not desiring to grow out their mobile eco-system, WhatsApp doesn’t seem to be losing any momentum!