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Tag Archives: Cellphones

One Month After Launch, iPhone 6 Plus Scalping Is A Huge Problem In Canada

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I preordered my iPhone 6 Plus 128GB in Space Grey on September 12th, at 11:22am, with Fido, a large Canadian carrier. It’s now October 21st, and I’m still sitting in the pre-order queue at #206, down from #414 when I first completed the procedure. This is ridiculous. But it gets worse. I have been checking the Apple site daily, hoping to be able to make a reservation there and there never is anything available, ever. So I went to one of the Apple stores several times, hoping for a miracle, only to finally be informed by one of the Geniuses of what’s actually going on: scalping!

According to this Genius, it seems there are teams of resellers who hire kids to refresh the Apple site all day, immediately snagging any units as soon as they become available. They then waltz into the store, buy the devices full price, and sell them for an outrageous profit. To confirm this, I decided to see if I could actually get my hands on a phone from one of these resellers. After walking around a local mall for a few minutes, I happened on a small kiosk that sold cell phones. I asked for a 6 Plus, 128GB and was told that “of course, you can have one. It’ll be $1,500.” Oh. Ok. That’s a 50% profit margin!

Meanwhile, Fido has apparently received only about 200 units of the 6 Plus 128GB Space Grey in one month’s time. That’s Canada-wide! What this seems to mean is that Apple is funnelling the vast majority of its available inventory directly to its retail outlets, rather than through the carriers, since we imagine this way they can reap the full profit rather than sharing a portion with the carriers.

It’s a frustrating situation. Of course we understand Apple’s apparent decision to make as full of a profit now that demand is still high, but the unfortunate side effect of this is that regular customers are being gouged. Supply to legitimate carriers is apparently being throttled, and no one at any retail outlet besides the Apple store seems to know what’s going on.

Any other Canadians experiencing this?

Deal Of The Day: 51% Off On Universal Car Mount

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Driving with your phone in your hand is a bad idea. Not only is it illegal in most places, it’s also a bad idea; people die. But you don’t have to spend a fortune to set yourself up with a windshield mounted phone holder. The Universal Car Mount pivots 360°, and its adjustable arms grasp onto pretty much any sized phone. The best part is the price: $14. That’s as little as a couple of Starbucks creations, but will be more likely to save your life than the triple shot of caffeine you’d normally get.

[ 51% Off On Universal Car Mount ]

These Pants Wirelessly Charge Your Nokia Lumia As You Walk

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The pants you’re looking at have an integrated 2,400mAh battery as well as a DC-50 Induction Charging Plate sewn right in. With this setup, your Nokia Lumia 930 phone will start charging as soon as you put it in your pocket, with no need to plug any wires or do anything. Granted, it also means your pants will need a charge from time to time, but if that means a longer battery life, we suppose we can live with it. “Created by British designer Adrien Sauvage in collaboration with Nokia for London Collections: ‘Modern Man’”, the pants will actually be available for pre-order on Amazon soon for £200 (approx. $350).

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[ Nokia ] VIA [ DamnGeeky ]

TAG Heuer Launches Phone With Infinite Power

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You wouldn’t have expected TAG Heuer, maker of watches, to get into the cell phone business, let alone to announce the launch of a phone with what they’re calling “Infinite Power”. Yet that’s exactly what the Meridiist Infinite is supposed to have. By inserting a transparent photovoltaic cell behind the screen, the phone is capable of remaining on standby indefinitely, so long as it’s receiving a specific type of light, whether natural or artificial. However if you’re actually using your phone, the “infinite power” thing doesn’t apply.

Like many luxury electronics, you’re going to be paying for the materials (sapphire, Titanium Grade 5, carbon, etc.), the brand name, but definitely not for the technology. The Meridiist Infinite is running Froyo, and even if it is being produced in limited quantities (1,911 units, to be exact), we’re not convinced it deserves the $7,000 asking price.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Engadget ]

Emoji’s May Soon Be More Racially Diverse, Thanks To Apple

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If you’ve noticed your Emoji’s seem overwhelmingly white, it’s because they are (yes, even Miley Cyrus seems to think so). So MTV Act decided to do something about it and sent an email to Tim Cook. Apple’s vice president of worldwide corporate communications, Katie Cotton’s reply is as follows:

Tim forwarded your email to me. We agree with you. Our emoji characters are based on the Unicode standard, which is necessary for them to be displayed properly across many platforms. There needs to be more diversity in the emoji character set, and we have been working closely with the Unicode Consortium in an effort to update the standard.

Ok, so they’re working on it, although there’s no timeline for when the changes might be implemented. Still, it wouldn’t be so bad if the characters representing us in text messages, you know, actually represented us, and it’s good to know something’s being done about it.

VIA [ Gizmodo ]

Modular Smartwatch Gives You Options

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The Internet tubes exploded in a fury a while ago when word that a modular cellphone called Phonebloks was possibly in the works. We then found out Google might actually be putting their weight behind it under the guise of Project Ara, and we rejoiced. Well it stands to reason that modular is now becoming the it thing in the consumer electronics world, and the smart watch is receiving the treatment. Simply called Blocks, the idea is that you can customize your watch to your liking, attaching as many or as few of the myriad components available: accelerometers, thermometers, heart monitors, galvanic skin response sensors… The list goes on. With Blocks you’ll be able to pick out the face of your liking and combine it with as much functionality as you want or can afford.

Better yet, Blocks will have an open marketplace for developers, which is likely to spur innovation and result in greater choice and competition for the customer. As for when or if this might ever see the light of day, that’s another question. The UK team behind the watch claim they have a working prototype and are aiming for a crowd funded launch sometime in mid-2015. You can sign up on their website to be notified of when it’s time to put some money down.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Techcrunch ]

The YotaPhone Has Two Screens And That’s A Good Thing

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Of course, the screens are not identical, that would be stupid. Instead, the YotaPhone allegedly will have a regular 5-inch, 1080p, AMOLED screen on the one side, and a low power 4.7 inch e-ink display on the other. The idea is that you can use the e-ink side for things that don’t really require a bright colourful display, like reading emails or texts. This will help with battery life, while flipping the phone to the other side will let you use it normally, with a proper refresh rate and colours and all. On the inside you have a 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800 processor running Android and while we don’t have other prospective specs, the essential feature here really is the dual screen. The company is planning to release an open SDK so that other developers may build applications like e-book readers, and if all goes well the device should sell for around $675.

VIA [ Engadget ]

Blackphone To Be First Cellphone To Focus On Privacy

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It may be 2014, but it sure feels like 1984. With the NSA snooping on every phone call and keeping track of your every move, privacy is at the forefront of a lot of minds. Which sounds like the time is ripe for Spanish manufacturer Geeksphone to introduce the Blackphone, the “world’s first smartphone to put privacy and control ahead of everything else.” Featuring an Android-based OS, a “top performing” processor, and a modem that will be unlocked and compatible with any GSM network, the phone is sure to appeal to those who haven’t completely given up on the notion of privacy. It’ll run “a skin called ‘PrivatOS’ that will allow you to make and receive secure phone calls and text messages, store files securely and browse the web privately through an anonymous VPN.” It’s being revealed at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next month, though the price hasn’t been announced yet.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Engadget ]

NewTrent PowerPack Ultra Comes With A Massive 14,000 mAh Battery

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External and high capacity batteries are becoming popular these days. Users with heavy usage either carry a spare battery, if their handset comes with a removable one, while other prefer to use cases with external battery or a battery pack that can help them charge their devices. If you’re looking for a powerful and durable external battery pack, take a look at NewTrent’s PowerPack Ultra. This beastie comes with a massive 14,000 mAh battery, which is more than enough to charge a smartphone up to six times. The battery pack has dual USB ports, with one carrying 2.1A while the other one comes with 1A, which can be used to charge smartphones. NewTrent guarantees that PowerPack Ultra can survive 500 charge cycles, which is pretty amazing. The battery pack is water-resistant and requires almost 12 hours for a full charge. PowerPack Ultra comes with a $69.95 price tag and can be purchased from the product page link below.

[Product Page] via [Slashgear]