Earlier today it was revealed that TELUS has agreed to acquire Mobilicity, legally known as Data & Audio-Visual Enterprises Holdings Inc., for $380 million. The deal is expected to close by June 10th, 2013 and TELUS would integrate Mobilicity’s 250,000 subscribers and 150 employees into its organization.
The agreement still needs to be approved by all regulatory bodies — the Competition Bureau and Industry Canada — and Mobilicity’s debtholders. Industry Minister Christian Paradis acknowledged the potential transaction, but stated “The government will take the time required to review the proposal carefully.”
Jeff Fan, analyst from Scotiabank, communicated a note to his clients that several situations might occur, such as the government delaying the upcoming 700 MHz spectrum auction. However, his clear message was that, “in our opinion, the situation is getting messier for the government. The bottom line is this makes it less likely that a strategic investor will step up to consolidate the new entrants and participate in the auction to create a stronger fourth operator.”
I/O is a place not just for Google to show off its newest wares but for partner companies to engage in dialogue with developers, press and fans. One of the most intriguing examples of this intersection is Nvidia’s upcoming Shield gaming thing. Not quite a portable video game system, not quite an Android media device, Shield is more like a developer demo machine with a gamepad affixed to it.
It’s also extremely intriguing, both from a consumer perspective and, here at I/O, a developer one. There are so many reasons to be excited about Android gaming, and with the Tegra 4 it appears that Nvidia is taking the prospect as seriously as it can.
The updated YouTube app for Windows Phone turned out to be too nice for its own good. Google just issued a cease and desist order to Microsoft over the new app’s contravention of the YouTube API terms of service.
At issue at hand is the lack of pre-roll ad support, which is required for all official and third-party YouTube apps. The Windows Phone app also allows users to download videos, another restricted feature of the copyright-friendly YouTube service. Third, the app allows all Windows Phone users to watch any video, regardless of whether it has been restricted by Google’s partners from being watched on mobile.
Google rolled out quite a few updates to its core apps yesterday, one of which positively affected Jelly Bean users running Google Now. The predictive and, in many ways, magical feature has been improved with location- and time-based reminders, public transit information and information about upcoming books, albums, television shows and video games.
Search was a big part of Google’s keynote address yesterday, and along with improvements to the Knowledge Graph on both mobile and the web, information is now much easier to obtain, and it’s displayed more navigably. Having the ability to speak or type reminders into the phone is a fantastic step in making Google Now a productivity tool that you interact with, not just one that talks at you based on previously-searched material.
The public transit information should be available in most major Canadian cities today, and will be rolling out to others in the coming weeks.
Download Google Search for Android.
Rogers has quietly restructured their monthly rate plans again. Similar to the recent changes they implemented in Quebec, below are the price changes, mostly decreasing, and also giving customers some additional gigs of data. Apparently these rates are a promo until June 30th for new customers or existing customers making changes to their plan.
This week has certainly been busy. If you’re interested in consuming your lunch time break with some YouTube, perhaps avoid cats and Psy videos and relive the glory of either the BlackBerry Live or Google I/O keynote sessions. BlackBerry’s is just shy of 1:30 minutes, while Google’s marathon lasted about 4 hours. Overall, great new mobile features and products from both organizations.
This is turn of events, but also expected.
In a press release today TELUS announced that they’ve entered into an agreement to acquire Mobilicity for $380 million. Of course, the deal is pending the “required approvals” from authorities (Competition Bureau, Industry Canada, and Mobilicity’s debtholders). “The purchase price received would be applied to repay all of the outstanding first and second lien debt of Mobilicity, with the remainder being used to repay certain outstanding unsecured debt securities issued by Mobilicity.”
Nokia Music has actually been live in Canada for about a week now, ever since the entry-level Lumia 520 launched (available on Rogers, TELUS and Koodo for about $150 outright). This free music streaming service (carrier data charges applies) is available to all Lumia device owners and gives them the ability to access over 18 million songs without the need to sign up or subscribe, or receive a plethora of ads while you listen (online and offline). The service allows users to generate their own playlists, or listen to playlists that others have created, and is based on categories such as favorite music and artists.
If you want a bit more, Nokia Music+ will cost you an $3.99/month, but gives you unlimited songs skips on playlists, access to music from the web and uses high-quality audio on WiFi.
Download Nokia Music here from the Windows Phone Store
According to the latest report from research firm IDC, it’s Google’s Android OS that’s dominating the smartphone OS market. Their “Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker” shows that Android accounts for a stunning 75% of all smartphone shipments in Q1 2013, representing 162.1 units shipped. IDC notes that Samsung has a “commanding 41.1% market share” of all Android smartphone shipments. Apple’s iOS followed with 17.3%, or 37.4 iPhones shipped. This combined for Google and Apple to reap 92.3% of all smartphone shipments during Q1 2013.
The battle for third place – which BlackBerry and Microsoft have both desired to claim – was captured by Windows Phone with 7 million smartphones shipments, representing 3.2% market share. The OS slightly nudged out BlackBerry (both older versions of BlackBerry OS and the new BlackBerry 10) as their shipments in Q1 reached 6.3 million devices, or 2.9% market share.
Kevin Restivo, analyst at IDC, said “Windows Phone claiming the third spot is a first and helps validate the direction taken by Microsoft and key partner Nokia. Given the relatively low volume generated, the Windows Phone camp will need to show further gains to solidify its status as an alterative to Android or iOS.”
Samsung’s Galaxy S4 is a big hit, but not big on internal storage. The 16GB flagship Android only offers users about 9GB of actual available space. This became a heated discussion after it was highlighted on the BBC TV show Watchdog in the UK. Samsung initially stated some of the storage was consumed by the “high resolution display and more powerful features” and if users wanted more they should use a microSD card.
“As one of the most advanced smartphones on the market, the Samsung Galaxy S4 uses part of its internal memory to bring our customers its innovative and unique features. We appreciate this issue being raised and we will improve our communications. Also, we are reviewing the possibility to secure more memory space through further software optimisation. Samsung is committed to listening to our customers and responding to their needs as part of our innovation process.”
There’s no word of when the “further software optimisation” will arrive, or specifically how they’ll “secure more memory space.” Google and Samsung will be releasing a Galaxy S4 with stock Android Jelly Bean in the US on June 26th, but not in Canada.