Remainder of locations will re-open on April 4 with Best Buy branding
Canadian technology retailer Future Shop has essentially been absorbed into parent company Best Buy overnight. While 66 locations were completely shut down overnight, 65 locations will be reborn as Best Buy stores on April 4. Reports scattered across Canada are seeing employees being notified of the closure and their future employment status as they arrive for a Saturday shift at the store.
More Best Buy, Future Shop locations to host store-within-a-store by September
Microsoft has started to roll out its Windows Stores, smaller versions of its retail chain, into Best Buy and Future Shop locations in the United States and Canada. Revealed by the company in mid-June, the store-within-a-store will appear in more than 600 retail stores, 500 of which are in Best Buy, in order to help promote Windows Phone devices, Windows tablets, Xbox, Office, and Windows itself.
Now available at four retailers
Best Buy and its Canadian subsidiary Future Shop are now accepting pre-orders for Google's Nexus 7 tablet. The product pages for both retailers show the Nexus 7 arriving at their warehouses on August 10. Both retailers price the 16GB model of the Nexus 7 for $260, $10 more than its listing on Google's Play Store.
Canadians hit by clay iPad scam
Canadians have been hit by up to 24 known cases of iPad 2s being sold substituted with clay at major retailers in Vancouver, including Future Shop, Best Buy, Walmart, and London Drugs. According to CTV News, customers were sold boxes that looked like new. However, while perfectly sealed, they were given weight by clay, where in at least one instance, a charger was also replaced with clay.
iPhone 4S pricing, pre-orders go live in Canada
Many Canadian wireless providers have began offering the newly announced iPhone 4S for pre-orders. We've summarized the prices for the various capacity models at each. The device is available in either black or white at all, and the prices are in Canadian dollars.
Kobo Vox leaks on Future Shop, due October 17
Kobo's seven-inch Vox Android tablet very briefly showed up on Canadian retailer's Future Shop website on Thursday, though it has since been pulled, The Digital Reader reported. Despite this, official specs were gleaned, and an image capture of the webpage in question is available. The price tag was set at $250 CAD ($242) and the release date was October 17, at least in Canada.
Canadian stores cut PlayBook prices first
RIM's promises of cutting BlackBerry PlayBook prices to clear the slow-selling tablet have borne out as Canadian stores have started slashing prices. Best Buy and its sibling Future Shop, as well as Staples, have all dropped the price by $200 across the board to $300. The first two chains supply a gift card to get to the $300 price if bought in store, but all three give an immediate discount if the tablet is bought online.
HP TouchPad clears out at high speed
HP's decision to slash the TouchPad to $100 has triggered the biggest rush on webOS devices since the Palm Pre launched two years ago, according to reports. In those US and Canadian stores still selling the TouchPad, several checks by Electronista readers and further investigations on social networks has found many stores already having sold out of their stock. HP's own store already lists it as out of stock, although whether that's permanent or temporary is still unclear.
HP TouchPad fire sale already active
HP acted on hints of a closeout for the TouchPad by cutting prices drastically through at least some stores. In an affiliate copy sent to Electronista and others, the 16GB TouchPad's price has been cut to a quarter of its previous value at $100. The 32GB model has a steeper discount again at $150.
HP TouchPad goes beyond US with price cuts
HP kickstarted the international launch of the TouchPad on Friday. The webOS tablet is now available both in Canada and the UK, both directly and from third-party chains. Official prices in both countries sit at $519 and £399 for a 16GB model, and $619 or £479 for a 32GB edition. Both are the same inside as their American counterparts.
HP Slate 500 at retail through Future Shop
HP's Slate 500 has escaped its primarily US-only, Amazon focus by showing up in a listing at Canadian retailer Future Shop. The 8.9-inch, Windows 7-based tablet costs $800 Canadian, the same as it does in US currency. Its version is similarly equipped with the 1.86GHz Atom Z540, 2GB of RAM, 64GB SSD, and dual cameras.
BlackBerry PlayBook faces lukewarm launch
RIM's expectations for the BlackBerry PlayBook were half-met on Wednesday with some sales but little of the fanfare hoped for with the launch. One anecdote in Toronto, an hour and a half from RIM's Waterloo headquarters, illustrated some sales but little buzz. A flagship Future Shop in the heart of the city had a significant number of pre-orders but over-prepared for the launch, opening early and hiring a catering company when just two people showed up by doors open.
Xoom Wi-Fi in Canada on April 8, 3G coming later
Motorola on Monday announced it will ship the Wi-Fi version of its Xoom tablet in Canada in April. It's now available for pre-order at Future Shop and Best Buy, priced at $600 CAD ($614) and $650 CAD ($665), respectively. Provider Telus will also carry the Wi-Fi device, pricing it from $600 CAD.
Apple drawing down in prep for iPad 2?
The first-generation iPad appears to be on the way out in Canada and the United Kingdom, reports say. In Canada, major retail chain Future Shop is said to be low or completely out of stock for some models at some outlets. UK retailer Carphone Warehouse is now claimed by 9to5 to be out of the 64GB Wi-Fi iPad, as well as all 3G tablets.
Boxee Box ships preorders Nov 10, stores Nov 17
Boxee today locked down ship dates for the Boxee Box. The media hub will ship November 10 for those who've pre-ordered through either Amazon in the US (above) or Best Buy and Future Shop in Canada. A much wider range of online and retail shops should get the Boxee Box on November 17.
Black Wii coming to North America in May?
Sources from electronics retail stores such as Target, GameStop and Future Shop indicated that a black Nintendo Wii will arrive in North America in May. The bundle would be slightly more advanced than the original, Kotaku said, and would include a copy of the Wii Sports Resort game and the Wii MotionPlus accessory, all for $200.
Xbox 360 Halo 3 Wi-Fi bundle
Canadian retailer Future Shop this week went beyond Microsoft's official Xbox price cuts by launching an even more aggressively-priced bundle for the game. First spotted earlier in the week and now online, the Elite Value Bundle gives the typical 120GB Xbox 360 Elite a copy of Halo 3 as well as the Wireless Network Adapter for Wi-Fi. The pack by itself gives the console an edge over the slim PS3 by matching its Wi-Fi and adding a free game in the process.
Gateway EC1803h in Canada
Canadians have been receiving an early North American look at the first 11.6-inch Acer and Gateway notebooks to use Intel's CULV platform thanks to a model that has been spotted this week by an Electronista tipster at Future Shop stores in the country. Known as the Gateway EC1803h, the PC seems to be a rebranding and mild respecification of the Acer Timeline 1810T (Aspire 1410 in the US) that isn't yet on sale in North America and shares much of its design language with Gateway's own LT3100. The new model shares the Aspire/Timeline's 1.4GHz Core 2 Solo and GMA 4500 graphics, and in its single trim level comes with 3GB of RAM and a 250GB hard drive as well as expected features like its 6-cell battery, HDMI output and 5-in-1 card reader.
The Source Stores for Sale
The collapse of Circuit City in the US may not only cast doubt on the future of its Canadian retail chain The Source but could shift many stores towards Best Buy. Circuit City's Canadian subsidiary InterTAN says all 765 The Source stores are being put up for auction this week and that buyers could pick up some or all of the stores for their own purposes. Proposals from buyers are due as early as Friday and could result in a decision shortly afterwards.
Visual Land iPod clone
Southern California-based Visual Land's V-Touch VL-875 multimedia player is being sold on Boxing day, Friday, at Future Shop, a major Canadian electronics chain store owned by Best Buy. The 8GB gadget, which bears a striking resemblance to Apple's iPhone and iPod touch, sports a 2.8-inch, 240x320 resolution resistive touchscreen and is part of Visual Land's VL-805-series of personal multimedia players, which are differentiated by their onboard memory capacities, ranging from 1GB through to the current 8GB example.
Future Shop slips new Macs
Some placeholder SKUs in Canadian retailer Future Shop's computer system could be a clue to impending Mac revisions, according to a screenshot supplied by an anonymous employee to MacRumors. A total of twelve spots entitled "APPLE MAC PLACEHOLDER" exist in the system, six each for English and French, all numbered accordingly. Futureshop and Best Buy have typically been privy to past Apple releases, most likely due to the close nature of their relationship.
Dell Retail in Canada
Dell this morning revealed that Canada would be the next to see the fruits of its retail initiative. Beginning late this week, the company will sell several of its desktop and notebook models in multiple large retailers for the country, including Best Buy, Future Shop, and Staples. The exact mixture of systems will vary by store but should include the Inspiron 530, its slimline 530s equivalent, and the XPS 420 for desktops; notebooks will include both the Inspiron 1525 as well as the XPS M1330 (pictured) and M1530.
Future Shop HD DVD Trade
Canadians who bought an HD DVD player now have a trade-in option for the obsolete format, Future Shop claims. A new deal from the retailer is offering any owner of an HD DVD player a $100 discount on the purchase of a hybrid player that can play both their existing titles as well as the surviving Blu-ray standard. This chiefly includes either the LG BH200 or its fellow Korean rival the Samsung BD-UP5000, the store notes. No distinction is made between the value of different HD DVD players.