One of my favourite web forums happens to be redflagdeals.com, where bargain hunters unite and share where to get the best price on everything. One poster has put together a pretty thorough list of every tablet on sale in Canada, from popular ones like the iPad 2 to lesser known ones like all the others.
It’s an interesting resource. With the selling-like-hotcakes iPad standing pat at $519 in Canada, it’s interesting to see how low other manufacturers will go to undercut Apple’s tablet. Also, look for the HP TouchPad to drop in price further very soon, from $449 to $399 for the 16GB model, as HP has made last weekend’s sale pricing in the U.S. permanent.
Those of you looking to save 20% on your iTunes and App Store purchases, head on down to Jean-Coutu Pharmacy between now and May 25. $25 cards are just $20, with a three-card purchase limit per visit. $75 of music/books/apps for $60 is as cheap as you will ever find it at Canadian retail.
Earlier this year, Apple finally reversed its long policy of not allowing iTunes gift cards to be used for app purchases, giving some weak excuse about Canadian tax codes. Whenever I pressed them to explain just what Canadian tax laws prohibited this, they could never give me an answer. Lame, I know.
Since the new policy, I’ve always been on the lookout for deals on iTunes gift cards. Thanks to a post from the awesome community at redflagdeals.com, I found one today. Until October 24th, you can get $60 worth of iTunes gift cards for just $48. That’s 20% off, turning your 99-cent apps into 80-cent apps.
Stock up this week. If you don’t have a Costco membership, ask a friend who does to buy you a cheap Costco gift card. The wholesaler allows anyone with a Costco gift card to shop at the store as if they had a membership, and will accept cash, debit or AMEX for your purchases. So even if you only have a $10 gift card, they’ll let you buy a $1,000 HDTV.
If you’ve frequented this blog, then you probably saw my review of the Samsung Omnia II, perhaps the worst phone I’ve ever used and a great example of the failings of Windows Mobile 6.5.
Luckily for Samsung, they’ve jumped on the Android bandwagon, a superior mobile OS offering from Google that is serious competition for the iPhone. The Samsung Galaxy S Vibrant(Bell, $149 on a three-year contract) is a perfect marriage of Google’s OS with some very good hardware.
On the other side of this Canadian smartphone battle is the iPhone 4(Rogers, Fido, Bell, Virgin Mobile, & Telus, $159 for 16GB and 269 for $32GB on a three-year contract). Avoiding the iPhone isn’t easy in Canada, thanks to the fact that it’s available on all of our major carriers, and none of them suck as much as AT&T in the U.S. The iPhone’s penetration in the Canadian market, both carrier and consumer-wise, make it hard to argue against.
Is the Galaxy better than an iPhone? Over two weeks, I tried to find out.
About a month ago, I was channel surfing, which for me consists of going between CBC, NBC, FOX, CW and PBS – the channels I get in HD over the air from the states, when I stumbled on David Letterman introducing M.I.A. and her performance of “Born Free.” The performance, which you can see embedded below, was perhaps the most outrageous performance I’ve ever seen on network TV. I can distinctly remember saying to myself “What the f*** was that?” when it was over. For those of you who don’t watch Letterman, you’re probably unaware that the show’s musical guests are varied & generally awesome. When I go on YouTube, it’s usually to look at one of two things: Videos of the Montreal Expos, or Late Show with David Letterman musical performances.
So a couple of nights ago, surfing YouTube via the site’s excellent mobile web app, I decided to re-watch that month-old M.I.A. performance, primarily because Letterman’s reaction at the end is priceless. And as I re-watched the video, I heard it in my headphones. Exactly what I was thinking one month ago. At about 4:15 of the video, a man in the audience yells out “WHAT THE F*** WAS THAT?”
It’s clearly audible, just pay attention as Letterman walks out to M.I.A.:
If you made it through the entire video without skipping to 4:15, I commend you. Actually, after the third time, the song does grow on you!
For some reason, that video pretty much sums up Summer 2010. I spent it teaching at Concordia, doing the weekly segment on CTV, working on my tennis game and trying to enjoy the great weather. The iPhone 4 has come, and I have bought it. As the summer winds down, the blog will start back up. I’m posting this to get back in the swing of things.
What’s on the agenda for the blog? Well, along with the iPhone 4, I currently have in my possession Canada’s best Android phone, the Samsung Galaxy S Vibrant. Next week, I’ll post a head-to-head battle between the best of the best, iPhone & Android.
As anyone who’s watched the show will attest, HBO’s The Wire, which ran from 2002 to 2008, is the finest television series ever made. So naturally, I’m rewatching every episode. Imagine my surprise when I saw an iPad in this season two episode (Storm Warnings, Original Air Date: August 10, 2003) as Lieutenant Carver tracks the bad guys. Did HBO get an iPad seven years before every else?
You should head on over to Engadget for all the details, but if you want the abridged version, here it is: AT&T is stopping the awesome $29.99 unlimited data iPad plan Steve Jobs heralded at the iPad unveiling and replacing it with a new $25 for 2GB of data package. Current subscribers get to keep the old plan, but everyone else gets the shaft. The move now makes Rogers and Bell, who offer 5GB of data for $35 in this country, seem like veritable deals.
The move, which comes just one month after the iPad 3G’s American launch, is being spun by AT&T as “making mobile internet affordable to more people.” This PR line is complete nonsense. Anyone who has been using an iPad knows that it eats up data, and this move pretty much acknowledges that AT&T completely underestimated iPad data consumption.
Let’s hope this shocking development at AT$T AT&T does not give Canada’s wireless CEOs any crazy ideas. By the way, my take on the iPad data plans offered by Bell, Rogers, & Telus is here.
[UPDATE: FedEx drivers will be on the road until midnight tonight delivering iPads in Canada, and FedEx service centres will have extended hours tonight for those wanting to pick up their devices. This has proved to be one giant clusterf*$& for the courier.]
If you’re a Canadian expecting FedEx to deliver your iPad today, good luck. Various sources at FedEx have confirmed to me what Canada is tweeting about right now: The delivery of 80,000 iPads to people across the country has almost brought FedEx’ entire tracking and computerized delivery systems down, resulting in delayed – and possibly cancelled – deliveries.
For those who chose to buy one in-store today, Future Shop and Best Buy are your best bet. While they were kept from advertising that they would even stock the iPad by Apple, both chains (Which are actually just one chain, both owned by Best Buy) have received iPads. While Apple stores had massive lineups and waiting, the Future Shop in downtown Montreal had about 10 people and tons of stock at opening today.
At least one twitterer says Apple has given him a free accessory to make up for the shipping snafu. So if you’ve been kept from playing with your iPad today, make sure to call up Apple to complain. It seems that in this case, the worm has not gone to the early bird, but to the guy who strolled into Future Shop at 10 AM.
If you’re walking along Sainte-Catherine street in downtown Montreal at night, be prepared to be freaked out by a display of Apple retail zombies employees.
I don’t know what enticed this particular Apple store to put up this display of Mac Zombie cutouts, but it got creepier as I approached the store. A legion of Apple retail employees, frozen, waiting to sell you a MacBook Pro – and possibly eat your brains.
As someone who gets accused of “drinking the Apple Kool-Aid” sometimes, despite the fact that I never hesitate to bash bad Apple products (like the TV and virtually every mouse the company has ever made) I can see how this particular display makes Apple look a little cultish.
This time, Apple has gone too far. Or perhaps these are just real employees awaiting the Hale-Bopp comet.
One of the things I’ve read the most during my few days with the iPad is random bloggers and tech writers calling the iPad a “big iPod touch.” After spending almost a week with the iPad I can tell you one thing: Those people clearly don’t know what they are talking about.