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The disappointment is real for people who got 'fake AirPods' for Christmas – CTV News



As kids, teens and young adults alike tackled wrapping paper Christmas morning, many had only one thought on their minds: is this the year I finally get those AirPods I asked for?

For a lot of people, it seems that answer is no. But the worst part? The biggest injustice, they say?

Many received what they’re calling “Fake Airpods.”

AirPods are Apple’s wireless earbuds, which boast up to five hours of listening time, according to the tech giant’s website.

They also cost CAD$219. And that’s just for the basic model. For another $100, you can get the AirPods Pro, which are sweat- and water-resistant and have a customizable fit.

This holiday season, parents looking to cut corners — and avoid buying a teenager who can’t even remember to clean their room an extremely expensive tech device they will likely lose in a week — found every other alternative to fill the brief of a) earbuds, b) without wires.

Skypods, Smartpods, Souljapods — every pod possible, it seems, except the coveted AirPods.

The disappointment is real. So real that numerous downtrodden, heinously wronged folk took to Twitter to express their despair.

A Twitter moment called “The great AirPods disappointment of Christmas 2019” compiled some of the best of the sadness.

Users tweeted out they had specifically asked for “AIRpods,” and then attached photos of the imitation brand they had received instead. Some Twitter users lamented that their siblings had received the Apple product instead of them.

In one tweet, a photo-shopped Baby Yoda clutches a pair of socks underneath the caption “Me watching my brother get AirPods and an Apple Watch while I get socks.”

Others tweeted out their own versions of AirPods. One user twisted Q-tips into the familiar “L” shape of the iconic Pod. Another gushed about how their Mom had gotten them AirPods and was the “best when it comes to Christmas” — and then attached a picture showing an empty hand with a sketch of earbuds drawn on top of it.

AirPods were first introduced in 2016 when Apple decided that the headphone jack was a thing of the past and removed it from all of its phones moving forward. At the beginning, the move was soundly mocked, and AirPods were viewed as inaccessible and silly.

But after celebs started repping them, the AirPods quickly became a status symbol. What better way to signal your wealth and success than by having two strips of white protruding from your ears at all times?

Once the AirPods caught on, it wasn’t long before other companies put out their own wireless earbuds, many with significantly smaller price tags than Apple’s.

For the uber-trendy, it seems a cheaper copy is not good enough.

But there’s good news for those who didn’t receive AirPods this Christmas, or who were broke enough to never consider asking for them in the first place.

Model Bella Hadid was spotted wearing headphones WITH WIRES only a few days ago — an event so thrilling it warranted a Vogue story and a storm of tweets. Maybe the wires are coming back.

The original earbuds, with wires, are still on sale on Apple’s website. They go for only $40.

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Britain in talks with 6 firms about building gigafactories for EV batteries



Britain is in talks with six companies about building gigafactories to produce batteries for electric vehicles (EV), the Financial Times reported on Wednesday, citing people briefed on the discussions.

Car makers Ford Motor Co and Nissan Motor Co Ltd, conglomerates LG Corp and Samsung, and start-ups Britishvolt and InoBat Auto are in talks with the British government or local authorities about locations for potential factories and financial support, the report added .


(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

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EBay to sell South Korean unit for about $3.6 billion to Shinsegae, Naver



EBay will sell its South Korean business to retailer Shinsegae Group and e-commerce firm Naver for about 4 trillion won ($3.6 billion), local newspapers reported on Wednesday.

EBay Korea is the country’s third-largest e-commerce firm with market share of about 12.8% in 2020, according to Euromonitor. It operates the platforms Gmarket, Auction and G9.

Shinsegae, Naver and eBay Korea declined to comment.

Lotte Shopping had also been in the running, the Korea Economic Daily and other newspapers said, citing unnamed investment banking sources.

South Korea represents the world’s fourth largest e-commerce market. Driven by the coronavirus pandemic, e-commerce has soared to account for 35.8% of the retail market in 2020 compared with 28.6% in 2019, according to Euromonitor data.

Shinsegae and Naver formed a retail and e-commerce partnership in March by taking stakes worth 250 billion won in each other’s affiliates.

($1 = 1,117.7000 won)


(Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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Canada launches long-awaited auction of 5G spectrum



Canada is set to begin a hotly anticipated auction of the mobile telecommunications bandwidth necessary for 5G rollout, one that was delayed more than a year by the pandemic.

The 3,500 MHz is a spectrum companies need to provide 5G, which requires more bandwidth to expand internet capabilities.The auction, initially scheduled for June 2020, is expected to take several weeks with Canadian government selling off 1,504 licenses in 172 service areas.

Smaller operators are going into the auction complaining that recent regulatory rulings have further tilted the scales in the favour of the country’s three biggest telecoms companies – BCE, Telus and Rogers Communications Inc – which together control around 90% of the market as a share of revenue.

Canadian mobile and internet consumers, meanwhile, have complained for years that their bills are among the world’s steepest. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government has threatened to take action if the providers did not cut bills by 25%.

The last auction of the 600 MHz spectrum raised C$3.5 billion ($2.87 billion) for the government.

The companies have defended themselves, saying the prices they charge are falling.

Some 23 bidders including regional players such as Cogeco and Quebec’s Videotron are participating in the process. Shaw Communications did not apply to participate due to a $16 billion takeover bid from Rogers. Lawmakers and analysts have warned that market concentration will intensify if that acquisition proceeds.

In May, after Canada‘s telecoms regulator issued a ruling largely in favour of the big three on pricing for smaller companies’ access to broadband networks, internet service provider TekSavvy Inc withdrew from the auction, citing the decision.

Some experts say the government has been trying to level the playing field with its decision to set aside a proportion of spectrum in certain areas for smaller companies.

Gregory Taylor, a spectrum expert and associate professor at the University of Calgary, said he was pleased the government was auctioning off smaller geographic areas of coverage.

In previous auctions where the license covered whole provinces, “small providers could not participate because they could not hope to cover the range that was required in the license,” Taylor said.

Smaller geographic areas mean they have a better chance of fulfilling the requirements for the license, such as providing service to 90% of the population within five years of the issuance date.

The auction has no scheduled end date, although the federal ministry in charge of the spectrum auction has said winners would be announced within five days of bidding completion.

($1 = 1.2181 Canadian dollars)


(Reporting by Moira Warburton in Vancouver; Editing by David Gregorio)

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