Monday, April 14, 2008

Why do Tech Companies Hate Canada?

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If you ask any geek in the Great White North what the most wanted gadget on every geek's must have wish list, you'll probably get Apple's iPhone as the top response. Now almost a year after Apple's iPod, Internet surfing and oh yeah it makes phone calls too gadget went on the market, the Canadian launch is still nowhere in sight. Most blame sky high rates that Rogers Wireless charges to users of data devices like the iPhone, but it's not the first time that Canadians have denied the latest tech toys.

Tivo is another example of technology that has been delayed or denied to Canadian consumers. Tivo launched in 1998 and has been a hit with users ever since. For most of that time Canadians could only watch references to Tivo on their favorite American tv shows. Tivo simply ignored the Canadian market for nine years. Prompted by Canadians hacking the Tivo to load Canadian TV listings on the boxes (a move that Tivo calls piracy) Tivo now sells the model that Americans bought two years ago. No HD recording no other Internet content that new Tivo boxes can do.

Microsoft's Zune music player the current laughing stock of the portable music player market is also not yet available in Canada. The only appearences of the Zune in Canada are in liquation stores, Microsoft is just trying to get rid of their original poop brown Zunes. Most likely that Microsoft still has to reach a deal with Canadian recording companies to sell songs online to Canadians. When Microsoft was developing the Zune and reaching the deals with the American recording companies, they could have also been talking to the Canadian recording companies too.

Undoubtely there is still a bad taste in the mouth of some executives who may have worked at DirectTV as some point, because they were banned from Canada does that mean that Canadians have to be denied the latest technologies? There were no regulatory issues with Tivo, the Zune or even the iPhone.

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