Posts Tagged ‘ US ’

Canada is a year behind in Mobile Trends

Online Graphing

I could pretty much just post this chart and call it a day. The numbers are taken from the just released data from Quorus Consulting for Canadian statistics and from Nielson for the US numbers. It clearly shows the Canadian market in 2011 mirroring what the US looked like a year before.

So why the discrepancy? Well it’s likely a number of factors but ultimately it boils down to three; loyalty, pricing and marketing.

Loyalty is the obvious one, RIM is a Canadian company and people enjoy supporting a product of Canada. Also since so many businesses, schools and government are built around the blackberry it makes moving to an alternative more difficult.


Pricing is definitely another proponent of slowing down progress and has much to do with Canadian carriers and their three year contracts. I’m still on a contract from my 2008 purchase of a Windows Mobile HTC Touch Pro. To upgrade before August of 2011 I have had to buy my Android phone at full price.

It’s not just contract pricing but also device pricing that has helped Blackberry stay on top. RIM has done well due to inexpensive devices like the Curve and the Pearl. These devices were often given away for free with contract and offered a better experience than the competition could provide at that price point. But Canada is finally starting to get some inexpensive Android devices worth owning that offer the better experience in lower price bracket.


The biggest reason for the discrepancy is marketing and is something that Apple excels at. What has kept Android behind is the lack of centralized marketing. Google doesn’t push Android like Apple or RIM does with iOS and BlackBerry. It’s up to the carriers and manufacturers to do so and as a result the message is fairly fragmented.

It is in this very area that US differs drastically and is all thanks to Apple’s bad decision to limit the iPhone to AT&T. Verizon (AT&T’s biggest competitor) in an effort to stay relevant in the smartphone space heavily promoted Android. The Droid namesake was bought and sold by Verizon with a consistent message, Droid Does. The recent change in Apple’s approach which brought the iPhone to Verizon has done very little to slow Android down. The damage was down and it all started with the original Droid back in late 2009. It was the spark that lit the fire and brought Android to the mainstream and informed the masses of a true alternative to iOS.

No carrier in Canada has done for Android what Verizon did in the US. But with recent increases in Android alternatives on all Canadian carriers and no new iPhone in sight the summer of 2011 could turn out to be a big quarter for Android. I’ll have to come back to this next year and see just how much Canada has progressed.

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Why AT&T buying T-Mobile could be bad for Wind and Mobilicity

by Dave Loft

The news hit Sunday that AT&T would buy T-Mobile for $39 Billion. This is bad news for anyone in the US as it would mean that AT&T would now be the only national carrier utilizing GSM. The two other national carriers, Verizon and Sprint both use CDMA. For any jet setters out there, it’s hard to find a CDMA phone that also does GSM which would be a requirement to take your phone with you while traveling.

But I’m not here to discuss the implications of this buyout in the US but instead the implications of it in Canada. The first thing I need to explain is that in Canada, Bell, Telus and Rogers all use the same band (frequency) of HSPA, an extension of GSM that allows phones to work on all three carriers. All of these carriers use the same band as AT&T in the US. The smaller carriers in Canada like Wind and Mobilicity use the same band as T-Mobile, a completely different band of HSPA the other carriers offer. This makes a phone from T-Mobile compatible with Wind and Mobilicity, but not a phone from AT&T, Rogers, Bell or Telus.

AT&T plans are to convert all the T-Mobile towers over to their frequencies to expand their network’s capability. To understand why it could affect Wind and Mobilicity you need to step back and look at these networks from a device manufacturers perspective. For device manufactures, carriers are their customers. Manufactures could justify spending the money designing and building phones that are compatible with the very small carriers in Canada, because they also had a big customer in the US.

Now I’m not saying Wind and Mobilicity won’t get any phones, I’m just saying they just won’t get any good ones. AT&T purchase isn’t just bad for T-Mobile customers, it’s bad for all consumers. I’d like to believe that the FCC would have the back bone to keep this from happening, but we all know that’s not going to happen. So don’t count on getting any new Google Nexus phone on either Wind or Mobilicity after this deal goes through.

Best Android Phones by Carrier February 2011

by Dave Loft

For many people, one way or another they’re stuck with a specific carrier. If your in that boat and looking to get an Android phone in the near future, read on to find out what I recommend getting.

Bell

  • Motorola Atrix ($170 on contract, $600)
  • Samsung Galaxy S Vibrant ($150 on contract, $500)
  • HTC Desire Z ($130 on contract, $500)
  • LG Optimus Chic ($250)

Rogers

  • Samsung Galaxy S Captivate ($100 on contract, $550)
  • Acer Liquid mt ($50 on contract, $400)

Telus

  • HTC Desire HD ($150 on contract, $500)
  • Samsung Galaxy S Fascinate ($150 on contract, $530)
  • HTC Desire ($80 on contract, $450)
  • LG Optimus One ($200)

Virgin Mobile

  • Samsung Galaxy S Vibrant ($150 on contract, $500)
  • HTC Legend (free on contract, $350)

Koodo

  • LG Optimus One ($225)

Videotron

  • Google Nexus One ($50 on contract, $480)

Mobilicity

  • Google Nexus One ($500)

Wind

  • Motorola Milestone XT720 ($400)

AT&T

  • Motorola Atrix 4G ($200 on contract, $500)
  • HTC Inspire 4G ($100 on contract, $400)
  • HTC Aria (free on contract)

Verizon

  • HTC Thunderbolt 4G ($250 on contract, $600)
  • Motorola Droid X ($200 on contract, $570)
  • Motorola Droid 2 Global ($200 on contract, $560)
  • HTC Droid Incredible ($150 on contract, $530)

Sprint

  • Samsung Galaxy S Epic 4G ($250 on contract, $500)
  • HTC Evo 4G ($200 on contract, $450)
  • HTC Evo Shift 4G ($150 on contract, $400)
  • LG Optimus S ($50 on contract, $300)

T-Mobile

  • Google Nexus S ($200 on contract, $530)
  • HTC G2 ($200 on contract, $500)
  • Samsung Galaxy S 4G ($200 on contract, $500)
  • Motorola Defy ($100 on contract, 380)
  • LG Optimus T ($240)

Android Devices Upgraded to 2.2 in Canada

The big news story in the US is how Samsung has been slow to update their Galaxy S line. A similar chart was made in the US to show the percentage of manufacturers that upgrade their phone. When comparing the two charts you see completely different results between Canada and the US.

By comparison HTC has upgraded 50% of devices in the US to 2.2 but in Canada they have only upgraded 11% thus far. The HTC Desire on Telus is the single HTC devices upgraded. When we look at Motorola in the US we see 15.4% which doesn’t look great but it’s far better than in Canada where zero Motorola devices have been updated. Motorola’s support in Canada is pathetic with the best device being the Motorola Milestone aka Droid. Canada has no Droid 2 or Droid X or Droid Pro.

The real shocking difference is with Samsung. Who as I said has received a lot of complaint due to the length of time the update process has taken in the US. Unfortunately for Americans, Samsung has chosen to upgrade their devices last. As all Galaxy S devices in Canada have been upgraded to 2.2 and Samsung has done pretty much the same world wide. I find it odd that people blame Samsung for this and not the US carriers. Samsung has proven everywhere else they can update their devices in a timely fashion. In Canada we have 66% of all Samsung devices that have been upgraded to Froyo. In the US, it’s just 11.1%.

I know it’s frustrating to not get your update but I think Americans need to calm down and stop with the Samsung hate. They’re working on it and unfortunately the American carriers are slowing things down. Motorola is the biggest issue for us in Canada. But on Canadian mobile sites I don’t see Canadian Milestone owners going bat shit insane like their American counterparts have done. Thank god T-Mobile is in the process of finally releasing their update. I can’t wait till all 4 US carriers have it done, so we can finally put the Samsung hate to bed.

Dave Loft

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