Program still in limited reach internationally
Apple's iPhone Reuse and Recycling trade-in program will be launching in Canada in the next few weeks, a source says. The person explains that staff training is due to begin this week. As elsewhere, the backend of the program is expected to be handled by BrightStar.
Rogers Next will offer 12-month upgrades for $25 monthly fee
Rogers of Canada is following the lead of its American carrier counterparts, by offering customers an earlier upgrade via an extra subscription. Rogers Next, similar to T-Mobile Jump, AT&T Next, and Verizon Edge, will allow customers to trade in smartphones every 12 months for a new device, with no up-front charges on a large number of devices, no connection fees, nor early upgrade fees.
Supporting regions still under a dozen
Apple has brought its two-step verification process to several more countries, the company's support pages show. Until today, only the US, UK, Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand were supported. Now however the list also includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and Spain.
KitKat update for Android starts North American roll-out
Owners of the HTC One in Canada have started to receive the Android 4.2.2 update to their devices, despite it only entering carrier testing late last week. At the same time as Canada's rollout, the Android KitKat update for Sprint subscribers has been made available to download, though as a "customer initiated request" rather than a pushed update.
Delays follow path of international storefronts
Apple's online stores in the US, Canada, and Mexico now listing "March" shipping times for the 2013 Mac Pro, shoppers note. Until recently, the stores were quoting February delivery dates. The new times are however consistent with changes at Apple's international storefronts.
Testing of hands-free Beacon system expands
Transaction service PayPal has started testing a new web feature called In-Context Checkout, reports say. Normally, web-based PayPal transactions have to be completed at paypal.com. With the in-context code in place, choosing PayPal checkout at a retailer's website will simply conjure a pop-up, where billing and shipping information can be entered. At the moment only a handful of retailers have the option, but PayPal is promising that more vendors will adopt it in the first half of 2014.
US residents enjoy special holiday 'channels' on iTunes Radio instead
While US residents can brag on their ability to listen to special "holiday" channels on iTunes Radio, other countries have their own iTunes celebrations going on -- the Canadian iTunes Store, for example, has launched a "Boxing Day" sale on select albums and songs, while the UK store has a similar sale (but not, strangely, labeled as "Boxing Day" related). In both countries and a few others, "Boxing Day" kicks off a week of sales from all manner of retailers.
Carrier promotes global data packages
AT&T has announced that its customers can take advantage of LTE roaming while traveling in Canada. The service is one of the first to enable LTE connectivity for US travelers as they head across northern borders, through a roaming agreement with Canadian carrier Rogers Communications.
Canadian stores typically opening later than in US
Only some Apple Stores in the US and Canada will be opening early on Black Friday, reports note. In the US a portion, generally ones inside malls, will be open at 6AM. Others will be open at their regular times, and/or between 7 and 9AM. Canadian outlets will be open no earlier than 7AM, but otherwise follow a similar pattern. Apple's retail website provides details for individual store hours.
National security concerns over telecoms infrastructure nixed buyout plans
Lenovo could have bought ailing smartphone manufacturer BlackBerry, but was denied by the Canadian government. Alleged interference of inter-company discussions by Ottawa government officials made it clear to BlackBerry executives that a takeover by a Chinese company would not proceed, due to potential national security concerns.
Amazon opens pre-orders for Kindle Fire HD, HDX in UK, Canada
Amazon has opened up pre-orders for its new Kindle Fire HDX and updated Kindle Fire HD in the United Kingdom and Canada. The lower-resolution Kindle Fire HD will be shipping in both countries from October 24th, starting from £119 and $149. While those in the UK will have to wait until November 19th to receive their HDX models in both 7-inch and 8.9-inch forms, starting from £199 and £329 respectively, Canada will have to wait until November 26th, with the tablets priced at $254 and $399.
Industry minister calls for changes
The Canadian government is reportedly preparing to establish new regulations that will force cable TV companies to offer unbundled channels. Several cable services already offer "a la carte" pricing for individual channels, however comments from the country's industry minister, James Moore, suggests the government will mandate the service option as part of a broader consumer-protection strategy.
US, Canada, China, Australia see new forecasts
Shipping times for the iPhone 5s have changed at Apple's online store, checks show. As recently as yesterday, the device was only listed as shipping in "October" for US buyers. Now orders are set to arrive in two to three weeks; the same forecast has been applied to the Canadian, Chinese, and Australian storefronts, and possibly others.
Sends private invites through LinkedIn
On September 26th, Apple hosted a recruitment event aimed explicitly at BlackBerry workers, says Canada's Financial Post. The event took place at the Cambridge Hotel and Conference Centre in Cambridge, Ontario, a little over 14 miles from BlackBerry's Waterloo headquarters. To attract people the company is said to have sent out invitations to BlackBerry employees via LinkedIn.
Beats predictions from sources
iTunes Radio is already rolling out in Canada and the UK, according to anecdotal reports. Until this week, the service was only accessible in the US. The timing beats out predictions by Bloomberg sources, who suggested that Canada and the UK would only get Radio in early 2014. There is no word yet of Australia, New Zealand, or various Nordic countries getting access; the Bloomberg sources suggested those regions would be joining Canada and the UK in roughly the same timeframe.
Subsidiary Fido also affected; website down as well
[Update: service restored after five hours] In an unusual national disruption, Canadian cell carrier Rogers -- the country's largest carrier by subscriber base -- has suffered a near-countrywide failure of wireless voice communications, though 3G and LTE data appears to be unaffected. Between Rogers Wireless and its subsidiaries Fido and Chatr, the company controls about 34 percent of Canada's cell phone market. Customers from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Victoria, British Columbia say they have been without service for much of the evening, while some report partial service.
English-speaking and Nordic countries in initial rollout plans
Apple is expected to make English-speaking and Nordic countries the first wave of its expansion of iTunes Radio into non-US countries, pulling ahead of main rival Pandora in terms of international reach, Bloomberg reports. Citing "people with knowledge of the situation," Apple expects to bring the new streaming-radio feature of iTunes to Canada, the UK, several Nordic countries, Australia and New Zealand in a timeframe said to be aimed for early 2014.
America's northern neighbor likely to be first outside country to gain the service
Apple has posted job notices seeking iTunes Radio programmers for Canada, a sign that the well-received free music-streaming service will be expanding into the US' closest ally as one of, if not the, first countries outside America to gain the service. The posting suggests that the launch of the service in Canada may occur as early as sometime later this month, presuming some strong candidates can be found.
Rogers will not carry BlackBerry Z30 over limited store space
Canadian carrier Rogers is refusing to carry the BlackBerry Z30 in stores, citing that it can only "pick what we think are the biggest winners" to display on its limited shelf space. The Globe and Mail reports that it will still stock the Z10 and Q10 smartphones, suggesting it won't be going as far as T-Mobile, but a BlackBerry spokesperson revealed that competitors Bell and Telus will sell the Z30.
Canadian stolen IMEI register connects with international GSMA database
A number of carriers in Canada, along with the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA), are working together on a new national blacklist of mobile phones and carrier-connected devices. The new service will prevent stolen phones listed on an international database from being used on Canadian carrier networks.
BlackBerry smartphones in website sales supplied unlocked
BlackBerry is attempting to improve the sales of some of its smartphones by making them available directly. The manufacturer is selling the BlackBerry Z10 and BlackBerry Q10 through its website, with the incoming BlackBerry Z30 also being seen at the FCC ahead of its expected release on networks in Canada in the near future.
Moto X goes on sale through Sprint, $100 credit for number transfers
Sprint has started selling Motorola's flagship smartphone, the Moto X, on its network. Priced at $200 alongside a two-year contract, the carrier will be offering customers switching their number to Sprint a $100 instant credit off the up-front cost of the device. Though it is not launching with Moto Maker customizations, Sprint states that it will be available to its customers "in the coming months."
Lowell McAdam speaks following Vodafone announcement
Verizon Wireless has reportedly left open the possibility of international expansion, though the company is no longer considering a foray into the Canadian market, according to CEO Lowell McAdam's comments during a Tuesday conference call with analysts. The company's $130 billion commitment to buy Vodafone's 45-percent stake has raised questions regarding potential expansion and other investments.
Nokia Lumia 1020 due on Telus, Rogers in Canada in the future
The Nokia Lumia 1020 will be heading to Canadian carriers in the near future. The phone producer's Twitter feed for Canada states that the camera, complete with its 41-megapixel rear camera, will be available to buy on both Rogers and Telus soon. Launch dates and prices for each carrier were not revealed, but should be a similar cost to that of the AT&T version, namely around $300 on a two-year contract.
No intention of helping Canadian phone manufacturer by government
Phone manufacturer BlackBerry will not receive government assistance as it attempts to rectify its financial situation, according to a Canadian government minister. Industry Minister James Moore advised that the government is hoping BlackBerry manages to turn itself around, but it will not intervene if the company is unable to do so.
European customers to also have G2 wireless charging via accessory
More details concerning the launch and charging of the LG G2 have been revealed. Six carriers will be offering the smartphone in Canada, while wireless charging has been touted for the Verizon variant and also for European carriers, though the version crossing the Atlantic will not have the capability built into the device.
Report claims Verizon to bid in Canadian spectrum auction instead
Verizon may be putting a hold on its attempts to purchase two Canadian carriers, in favor of acquiring spectrum directly, according to a report. The American carrier, believed to be offering at least $600 million to Wind Mobile and a similar figure for Mobilicity, is now considering bidding in a Canadian government wireless spectrum auction instead.
New countries to join August 16th
Apple is extending the number of eligible countries in its USB adapter takeback program. The program began in China August 9th, and is coming to the US on August 16th. Now also joining on the 16th will be Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, and the UK.
iPhone maker saturates different media
Apple is starting to run prints ads as part of its Designed by Apple in California marketing campaign. The company has taken out a two-page ad (below) in prominent Canadian newspaper the Toronto Star, using text echoing a TV ad that premiered earlier this month at WWDC 2013. Both spots are focused on corporate branding rather than selling any specific Apple product.
Apple Camp registrations open in US, Canada
Apple has announced the 2013 slate of its annual Apple Camps for kids, which are hosted at Apple Stores. The focus this year is on producing a short iMovie clip using self-shot footage, with a soundtrack produced in the iPad version of GarageBand. Each workshop will stretch over three days, ending with the videos being shown at a camp film festival.
Google adds voice search to home page in Chrome update
Google has updated Chrome to enable voice search, among other additions. Chrome version 27 enables conversational search through the Google homepage, providing a clickable microphone to start it off, and then switching to a larger Google Now-style mic logo. The update, spotted by Searchengineland, also provides a new API for Chrome Store developers, 14 security fixes, and a 5-percent speed boost to page loads.
Option will appear automatically in account details
Apple is extending its two-step verification option for Apple IDs to a wider range of countries, users say. When the feature first launched in late March, it was restricted to the US, UK, Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand. Now though people in Canada, Argentina, and Pakistan are reporting getting the feature, and other countries may be following suit.
Amazon cuts Kindle, Paperwhite price by $10 in Canada
Amazon has dropped the price for some of its Kindle and Kindle Paperwhite e-readers in Canada. The standard Kindle has dropped from $89 to $79, while the Paperwhite version, with its lighter screen and built-in light, sells for $129 instead of $139. The 3G-enabled version of the Kindle Paperwhite remains at $199.
Rogers, Bell, Telus to stock Q10, selling on three-year contract
The BlackBerry Q10 will be going on sale in Canada on May 1. The BlackBerry OS 10 device with a QWERTY keyboard will reach its home country on the main three networks ahead of the US, somewhere that BlackBerry has yet to announce a release date for, with pre-orders starting up for a majority of carriers.
Majority of markets to offer 150Mbps maximum speed
Rogers is expanding the reach of its LTE coverage in Canada to include an extra 44 markets over the next few months, increasing the proportion of the Canadian population covered by LTE to beyond the 60-percent hit last year. The expansion will also see 34 of the 44 new markets become capable of maximum theoretical network speeds of 150Mbps, using the carrier's 2600MHz spectrum band.
Includes previously hard-to-get 27-inch models
Shipping times for the iMac have been upgraded to "within 24 hours" at Apple's US and Canadian online stores. This includes 27-inch models, which have often been slower to arrive than their 21.5-inch counterparts. Late last week, delays for both models improved from weeks to between 1 and 3 business days.
Suspects make unusual attack during store hours
Three men used bear spray while robbing the Oakridge Centre Apple Store in Vancouver Monday night, the CBC reports. Unusually the crime occurred around 7PM, toward the end of store hours, instead of overnight as with most Apple Store robberies. About 40 shoppers are said to have been in the shop at the time; the thieves shot the bear spray into the air, ultimately forcing five people to be treated for exposure.
HTC offers $100 bonus for trade-up to a HTC One in Canada
HTC is offering potential customers a $100 incentive to buy the newly-launched HTC One in Canada. A page on the company's Canadian site allows users to preregister for the smartphone, and then after buying the HTC One, can send their old handset and proof of purchase for the new device to HTC. Successful participants will receive a prepaid Visa card loaded with either $100 or the trade-in value of the old phone, whichever is greater.
Nature of protocol could lead to misdirected messages
The Canadian government IT department has warned its workers that the BlackBerry PIN-to-PIN service is unsafe. According to a presentation by Public Safety Canada, messages sent with the service are "the most vulnerable method of communicating on a BlackBerry" making it "not suitable for exchanging sensitive messages." The newly-updated memo, first crafted in 2011, states that “although PIN-to-PIN messages are encrypted, they key used is a global cryptographic ‘key’ that is common to every BlackBerry device all over the world,” and “any BlackBerry device can potentially decrypt all PIN-to-PIN messages sent by any other BlackBerry device.”
UK store still stuck at 1-3 business days
The iPad mini is now officially "in stock" at Apple's online store in many countries. Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, and the US have all made the change. Some notable exceptions include places like the UK, Germany, and France, where the tablet is listed as shipping in one to three business days.
No plans to offer streaming video with Prime in Canada
Amazon has launched its lauded subscription-based Prime delivery service in Canada. The all-you-can-eat delivery service offers users free two-day delivery across the country, though it offers a more stripped-down version of the retailer's own offering in the United States and the United Kingdom.
VoIP calling beta test comes to Canada
Facebook has updated the iOS and Android versions of its Messenger app with support for voice messages. Holding down a button starts the recording process. Using a slide gesture cancels a message, while letting go sends it.
Fourth of 13 total gifts for UK, Canada, Europe users
Apple's 12 Days of Christmas app, available only in Canada, Mexico, the UK, Australia and New Zealand and parts of Europe, added to its list of gifts with a free HD episode of the critically-acclaimed BBC Drama Sherlock, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. The episode in question, "A Study in Pink," is loosely based on the classic novel "A Study in Scarlet" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It originally aired as one of three episodes in the show's first series.
Kindle hardware expected for local sales in near future
Amazon has set-up a dedicated e-book store in Canada, two and a half years after the company's first international e-book shop was opened in the UK. The addition of the Kindle Books store to the localized version of the website brings with it titles in the local currency, as well as recommendations for local writers.
Black and red design set for December 7 release
[Updated after official announcement] Rumors that Nintendo will be releasing a smaller version of the Wii have been confirmed, after an image and release date for the Wii Mini mistakenly appeared on Best Buy Canada's website before any official announcement. Shortly after, Nintendo confirmed the console's existence as a Canada-exclusive device, with its size being not the only change to the popular game system.
Bell, Virgin Mobile join Fido, Rogers, Telus in for-fee unlocking
Two more of Canada's larger mobile-phone carriers will now offer unlocking of the iPhone -- for a substantive fee -- joining with the largest three carriers in the country. The iPhones in question will still need to be off-contract, but can be carrier-unlocked for use in other GSM countries -- particularly the US, China, Mexico and other countries frequently visited by Canadians. This leaves only Koodoo, Sasktel and MTS (mostly regional carriers) as still not offering unlocking.
Store in Toronto, ON. opened by Wayne Gretzky
Microsoft has opened a new store in Toronto, ON. The location at Yorkdale Shopping Center is now the first outside the United States to have a permanent location, which also happens to be the 31st non-temporary retail location launched by the company, aside from the 34 temporary stores opened in the US and Canada for the holiday season.
Could signal modest demand for fourth-gen tablet
Wi-Fi models of the fourth-generation iPad are now listed as "in stock" at Apple's US and Canadian online stores, checks show. Before its November 2nd launch the hardware switched to a one-week delay, and more recently times were reduced to between 3 and 5 business days. The latest development suggests that Apple has caught up with demand, and that perhaps that public interest is relatively modest, due to the simultaneous introduction of the Mini and very few differences with the third-generation iPad, which was only released in March.
LTE from carrier now covers 60 percent of population
Rogers has expanded its LTE coverage in Canada by 18 new markets. Previously promised in July, the expansion sees the carrier's LTE network grow enough to cover 60-percent of the Canadian population, only months into its second year of deployment in the country. This forms part of the company's $500 million plan for widespread LTE coverage by the end of the year.
Low bandwidth caps, high excess charges hurting users
Broadband caps in Canada are too low and too costly, according to a Netflix executive. Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos called out the Canadian Internet service providers at the Merrill Lynch Media, Communications and Entertainment conference earlier this week, echoing other bandwidth-related comments against the country's ISPs earlier this year.