MTS to go through third-party distributors
Russian carriers MTS and VimpelCom will resume selling the iPhone on October 25th, says Reuters. All three major local carriers -- the continuing holdout being Megafon -- stopped direct sales of the iPhone earlier this year, as they chose not renew their contracts with Apple. The Russian government doesn't allow cellphone subsidies, and given the high cost of the iPhone, that put the device out of reach for many people. Apple, meanwhile, was demanding strict sales volumes and marketing budgets.
Russian buyers forced to turn to other sources
All three major Russian phone carriers have stopped selling the iPhone at their stores, leaving people to buy from Apple directly, Svyaznoy outlets, or else the black/gray market, says Fortune. The last holdout was VimpleCom, whose Beeline brand severed its ties with Apple last week, replacing the iPhone 5 in its lineup with the Samsung Galaxy S4. Beeline blames the switch on "draconian [Apple] contracts" and "harsh conditions...especially in the marketing department." Previously, MTS CEO Andrei Dubovskov stated that "Apple wants operators to pay them huge money subsidizing iPhones and their promotion in Russia" when asked about his own company dropping the hardware.
Xperia T coming to Bell, Rogers, and other Canadian carriers this November
Sony's Xperia T, which is also being called the Bond phone on account of its upcoming cameo in the Skyfall blockbuster flick, will arrive this November at various Canadian wireless providers, Sony announced on Wednesday. While a specific date hasn't been nailed down, Bell, Mobilicity, MTS, Rogers, and Videotron will begin carrying the phone in November. Pricing hasn't been revealed, but the associated contracts, as applicable will no doubt last three years and require data plans.
Samsung highest in total sales; Apple most profitable per unit
According to a report published by wireless carrier MTS, Apple's share of Russia's nascent smartphone market grew slightly the first quarter of 2012. The overall Russian smartphone market grew 10.1 percent by volume from the first quarter of 2011 with Samsung nearly doubling its share primarily at the expense of Nokia, with huge year-over-year gains.
iPhone 4S pricing, pre-orders go live in Canada
Many Canadian wireless providers have began offering the newly announced iPhone 4S for pre-orders. We've summarized the prices for the various capacity models at each. The device is available in either black or white at all, and the prices are in Canadian dollars.
Ukrainian iPhone on Oct. 3
The Ukraine should finally receive the iPhone later this week, the Russian financial paper Kommersant is said to claim. Reports say that the phone will launch overnight between October 2nd and 3rd, and be carried by MTS, with the possibility of more sales through KievStar. This information has not been confirmed by Apple's distributor for the region, Pro Turbo Service, but the company does say it expects the phone to be released in the Ukraine before the end of the year.
Russian iPhone on Oct. 3rd
The iPhone should go on sale in Russia October 3rd, Reuters reports. Nadezhda Senyuk, a PR director for Russia's Tekhnosila retail chain, explains that several retailers should begin selling the iPhone overnight between October 2nd and 3rd. Two other retailers, Eldorado and M.video, have confirmed Senyuk's statements by issuing separate announcements of an October 3rd sell date. Eldorado says it expects total iPhone sales in the country to reach 150,000 for 2008, out of which Eldorado hopes to claim 15,000.
MTS iPhones for Russia
Russia's top cellular carrier, Mobile TeleSystems, today announced it has successfully negotiated with Apple and will soon be offering the iPhone, according to the Associated Press. This confirms speculation that Apple would be making deals with all three major Russian carriers, as the company signed deals with Vimpelcom and MegaFon earlier this week.
Megafon gets iPhone
Russia's third-largest telecom firm, Megafon, has announced that it has reached an agreement with Apple to carry the iPhone 3G, making it the second carrier in the country to offer the device. The company has not yet committed to any particular release date, but has announced in a statement that the iPhone will be available "later this year."
VimpelCom Gets iPhone
Russian telecoms firm VimpelCom today said it has struck an agreement with Apple to carry the iPhone 3G, making it the first carrier in the country officially set to offer the device. The telecoms firm follows the practices of earlier carrier announcements and doesn't commit to a particular release date, saying only that it would have the device "later this year."
Canada 2GHz Auction Starts
The Canadian government today officially began its wireless auction for the 2GHz band, setting the groundwork for a potentially significant change in the country's cellular business. Similar to the recently completed 700MHz auction held by the FCC in the US, the auction will let a total of 27 companies bid on licenses to operate wireless networks in different regions. The Canadian auction differs by having the government dictate bidding increments for early stages and asking companies to match each bid.
Canada Wireless Bidders
The Canadian government today introduced a list of bidders in the upcoming wireless auction that is expected to determine the future of the country's cellular industry. The auction is now known to include several newcomers under different operating names, such as Videotron owner Quebecor Media, Manitoba's MTS, and western telecoms firm Shaw. However, large existing carriers such as Bell Canada, Rogers, and Telus are also joining the auction.
Canada Cell Biz Expands
Canada's wireless industry was set to expand on Friday when Quebecor said it would participate in an upcoming wireless auction, hoping to claim newly available frequencies for future cellular business. The company is best known for its Videotron cable and Internet services in its namesake Quebec but has placed a $317 million deposit to put itself into the auction citing the rare opportunity to expand outside of its native province with a new service.