Canada finds Apple’s carrier deals don’t hurt competition

France may think Apple is up to no good with its carrier deals for the iPhone, but you won’t hear similar gripes from Canada. The country’s Competition Bureau has determined that there isn’t “sufficient evidence” to show that Apple had illegally strong-armed carriers into deals that gave it preferred treatment. While there’s no question that the iPhone is a “must-have” for carriers, the regulator says, the terms only have a minor effect at most — there’s plenty of competition, and ditching Apple’s agreements wouldn’t significantly change the playing field.

The investigation started in 2014 after the Bureau received info hinting that Apple was placing a heavy burden on providers. As in other countries, there were concerns that carriers had to buy a minimum number of iPhones, agree to up-front retail subsidies and give Apple a “most favored nation” clause that prevented rivals from getting better treatment. What evidence exists suggests that carriers could easily “mitigate” these terms, according to the decision.

From first-hand experience, the findings appear to hold up. The Canadian market is big on the iPhone, but you’re just as likely to see carriers push the latest Samsung phone or the Google Pixel line. You’ll frequently see other flagship devices get more prominent treatment, or discounts that aren’t offered for Apple’s handsets. While this doesn’t rule out the possibility of overly strict deals, it’s clear that there’s no international consensus on Apple’s competitive stance — it largely depends on individual markets.

Via: AppleInsider

Source: Competition Bureau

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The Wirecutter’s best deals: $30 off the Amazon Tap

This post was done in partnership with The Wirecutter, a buyer’s guide to the best technology. Read their continuously updated list of deals at TheWirecutter.com.

You may have already seen Engadget posting reviews from our friends at The Wirecutter. Now, from time to time, we’ll also be publishing their recommended deals on some of their top picks. Read on, and strike while the iron is hot—some of these sales could expire mighty soon.

Athlon Optics Midas ED Binoculars

Street price: $ 290; MSRP: $ 290; deal price: $ 250

The first time we’ve seen a drop on these binoculars since we started tracking them, and it’s a worthwhile one. At $ 250, they’re a full $ 40 below the street price.

The Athlon Optics Midas ED are our pick for the best binoculars. Daniel S. Cooper said, “Amazingly affordable with great optics, these binoculars have comparable performance to many models that cost thousands more.”

He went on to say, “The Athlon Midas ED pair’s optics aren’t its only strong suit: These are exceptionally durable binoculars that easily withstood the humid, dusty, and hostile environment of the Mexican rain forest and harsh sun of the Californian desert. And their focus dial adjusts reliably and smoothly across a wide range of depths, making it easy to focus on what you’re trying to see, no matter where it is.”

Anker PowerLine 3-ft Lightning Cable (3-Pack)

Street price: $ 25; MSRP: $ 40; deal price: $ 20

If you like having spare Lightning cables on hand, Anker’s currently offering a deal on a 3-pack of their PowerLine 3-ft Lightning cables. It’s $ 5 below their street price and only slightly over the usual cost of buying two Lightning cables individually.

The Anker PowerLine Lightning cable is our pick for the best Lightning cable. Nick Guy wrote, “Anker’s PowerLine cables charge iPads, iPhones, iPods—and the plethora of Lightning-based accessories Apple introduced over the past year—at their maximum speed (though the 12.9-inch iPad Pro can charge even faster with a special cable and charger). They also fulfill our readers’ number-one request: sturdiness. Anker builds its PowerLine cables with Kevlar fiber and PVC strain-relief collars that should prevent fraying during normal use. Plus they’re affordable: The 3-foot cable is half the price of Apple’s 1-meter (3.5-foot) Lightning to USB Cable. Add to this Anker’s reputation for stellar hardware, its fantastic customer service, and an awesome 18-month warranty, and it’s clear why this cable is our pick.”

Amazon Tap

Street price: $ 130; MSRP: $ 130; deal price: $ 100

This is the second time we’ve seen the Tap down to $ 100, matching a previous sale from the start of August. A couple days after that last sale started, Bed Bath and Beyond beat it with an $ 80 sale for a few days, but since that’s the only time we’ve seen a great BB&B sale on any our picks, we don’t think we’ll see that price again soon.

The Amazon Tap is a more portable pick in our Alexa guide. Grant Clauser wrote, “The Tap’s built-in battery lets you take Alexa voice control to the backyard or other places outside the home, though worse audio performance and the lack of an always-on microphone is limiting.”

For more about the always-on microphone, “The Tap doesn’t sport the always-on microphone for receiving voice commands that the Echo and Dot have. Instead, there’s a microphone button you need to press, similar to pressing the home button on an iPhone to call Siri to attention (if you don’t have “Hey Siri” enabled on your iPhone). This little inconvenience is meant to make the Tap’s battery last longer. It also makes it unsuitable as your main Alexa interface. You can’t shout commands across the yard, because the Tap isn’t listening.”

Refurbished Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 Lens

Street price: $ 350 (new); MSRP: $ 400 (new); deal price: $ 220

We’ve featured a deal on this refurbished lens before, but this comes in at $ 20 below the previous sale. At this new low, it’s even more affordable and even more of a reason to pick it up if you’re looking for a more capable prime lens. As always, Canon’s refurbished lenses come with a 1-year manufacturer warranty.

The Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 STM is the higher quality version of our prime lens pick in our Canon lenses guide. Tim Barribeau wrote, “If you’re willing to spend a bit more, the Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 is higher quality—and capable of gathering even more light—but nearly three times the price. Of the company’s two 50 mm offerings, the f/1.4 version is undoubtedly a better lens, but if you’re just starting out and you aren’t sure what you want out of a lens, the f/1.8 version is supremely affordable and worth getting as you feel your way around.”

Deals change all the time, and some of these may have expired. To see an updated list of current deals, please go to The Wirecutter.com.

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Amazon Prime Day 2016: UK deals you need to know about

It’s July 12th. For many, it’s just another Tuesday, but for Amazon, it’s another chance to sell millions of customers gadgets, homeware and lots of other stuff they don’t need. Yes, it’s “Prime Day,” a marketing gimmick where Amazon discounts thousands of products for Prime subscribers. To keep on top of things, you’d normally have to track shopping websites or keep an eye on social media, but we want to help. We’ve listed a number of all-day deals that we think are worth keeping an eye on, but act quick, other deals on the site will only be available for a couple of hours at the most.

  • Fire Tablet – £35 (normally £50): We’ve put Amazon’s diminutive tablet through its paces and even at £50 we’d consider taking the plunge. You’ll save £15 if you decide to buy today.
  • Fire TV Stick – £20 (normally £35): Amazon’s high-definition streaming stick supports Prime Video, Netflix and a whole host of other apps. If you need a streamer for your spare TV, you can’t go wrong with this.
  • Amazon Fire TV 4K – £55 (normally £80): If you’ve already got a 4K TV and are looking for Ultra HD content to watch, the 4K Fire TV can help. It also supports voice search and play games with its smart remote.
  • Kindle Paperwhite – £80 (normally £110): With its improved high-resolution 300ppi display, the Paperwhite is the Rolls Royce of Kindles. With a bigger discount than Black Friday, now might be the time to pick one up.
  • Lenovo N22 11.6-Inch Chromebook – £100 (normally £160): It’s not an Amazon sale without a cheap laptop, and this year it’s a Chromebook that is getting the discount treatment. The Lenovo N22 comes with an HD display, Intel Celeron N3060 processor, 2 GB RAM and 32GB of internal storage.
  • Surface Pro 4 Bundle – £750 (normally £944): Microsoft’s 2-in-1 is also seeing some decent discounts today. The Pro 4 bundles with a 2.2 GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 4 GB RAM, 128 GB SSD and a range of coloured Type keyboards have been reduced by almost £200 today.
  • Xbox One 500GB Bundle: Amazon has a number of Xbox One deals on today. First is the standard Kinect bundle for £210, then there’s the Kinect Bundle plus Overwatch for £230. However, if you want Guitar Hero, that’ll cost you £235. Finally, there’s the Kinect Bundle, Forza 6 and a extra controller deal for £246.
  • PlayStation 4 500GB Bundle: There aren’t as many deals for the PS4, but Amazon is putting on an Uncharted 4 bundle that costs £240 and will save you quite a bit of cash. If you want Uncharted 4 on its own, that too is discounted and will set you back £32 for today only.
  • Microsoft Band 2 – £129 (normally £200): Microsoft’s fitness tracker is enjoying another big sale.
  • Nvidia Shield 16GB – £100 / 500GB – £170: Both boxes are £50 off today (and still come with a free controller).
  • 12 Months of Xbox Live plus £10 credit – £31.49 (normally £40): To get the most out of your Xbox One, you’ll need a subscription to Xbox Live. This deal will see you right for a full year and give you some extra cash to spend on games or DLC.
  • SanDisk SDSSDHII-480G-G25 Ultra II SSD – £77 (normally £95): If you’re looking for a way to speed up your PC (or even Mac), Sandisk’s Ultra II SSDs will definitely help things zip along.
  • Beoplay H2 On-Ear Headphones – £79 (normally £150): Bang & Olufsen’s on-ear headphones are almost half off today and are available in green or silver.
  • Anker PowerCore+ 26800 portable charger – £35 (normally £50): Anker markets the PowerCore+ 26800 as the world’s highest capacity portable charger with Quick Charge 2.0 technology. It’ll juice your iPhone 6 over 10 times and a MacBook over three.

Source: Amazon Prime Day

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The Wirecutter’s best deals: Save $300 on a Moto X / Moto 360 combo

This post was done in partnership with The Wirecutter, a buyer’s guide to the best technology. Read their continuously updated list of deals at TheWirecutter.com.

You may have already seen Engadget posting reviews from our friends at The Wirecutter. Now, from time to time, we’ll also be publishing their recommended deals on some of their top picks. Read on, and strike while the iron is hot — some of these sales could expire mighty soon.

Moto X Pure Edition 64GB + Moto 360 Sport Watch

Street price: $ 700; MSRP: $ 750; deal price: $ 400 with codes

This deal involves stacking two codes and results in a huge $ 300 savings. First, you’ll go to the Moto X Pure page and select the 64GB storage option. Once you add it to your cart, use the code CLASSOF2016. Then, you’ll add the Moto 360 Sport to your cart and use the code JUNEMOTO360. The final total should be $ 400. While the Moto 360 Sport wasn’t one of our top picks in our smartwatch guide, it’s certainly worth it in this combo deal.

The Moto X Pure Edition is our customizable phablet pick in our best Android phones guide. Ryan Whitwam said, “Motorola’s latest flagship phone offers a great Android 6.0 software experience with customization options that other phones simply can’t match. You can choose from different colors and materials for the back, pick a metallic accent color, and even customize the startup message. It’s more comfortable to hold than other phablets despite its big, 5.7-inch LCD, plus it has a slot for a microSD card. If you take a lot of selfies, we have still more good news: This phone has a front-facing flash paired with a wide-angle 5-megapixel camera.”

TomTom Spark Music GPS Watch

Street price: $ 190; MSRP: $ 200; deal price: $ 150

The best price we’ve seen on this watch, which we’ve never seen drop below $ 180 until this deal. This price is available on all sizes and colors.

The TomTom Spark Music is our music playback pick for the best GPS running watch. Jim McDannald said, “If you love listening to music on the run and want to leave your smartphone or mp3 player at home, the TomTom Spark Music could be worth the trade-off in accuracy, fit, and features. Along with gathering GPS data about your run, the Spark Music transmits your music wirelessly to Bluetooth headphones for playback.”

Apple Watch Stainless Steel

Street price: $ 450; MSRP: $ 550; deal price: $ 350

While we’ve avoided posting deals on the stainless steel model of the Apple Watch in the past due to the price, we felt this drop was low enough to post. It’s down to $ 350 for the first time, and while you’d still save a substantial amount buying the Sport, if you prefer the look and feel of the stainless steel, this is a significant savings over the street price.

The Apple Watch Sport is our favorite smartwatch for iPhone users. Dan Frakes and Kevin Purdy said, “the Sport’s fit and finish are impressive, and the watch is lightweight and comfortable. It can use any of Apple’s many watch bands, and it has the exact same features and components—including the same OLED display at the same resolutions—as the more expensive Apple Watch (stainless steel) and Apple Watch Edition (gold).”

Wren V5BT Bluetooth Speaker

Street price: $ 200; MSRP: $ 400; deal price: $ 160 with code DG16

Make sure to use the code DG16 to get this price. This is the best price we’ve seen on this particular speaker, though it’s only available on the bamboo finish.

The Wren V5BT is our alternate pick for a home Bluetooth speaker in our best gifts for audiophiles guide. We wrote this about the Airplay model, though it also applies to the Bluetooth one, “If your giftee prefers AirPlay over Bluetooth, the Wren V5AP is the AirPlay speaker that strikes the best balance between affordability and compactness, plus it sounds great for its $ 250 price. It gets our recommendation because it sounds as good as any AirPlay speaker we’ve heard under $ 400 and even better than some products in the $ 600 range.”

Deals change all the time, and some of these may have expired. To see an updated list of current deals, please go to The Wirecutter.com.

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