Bell and The Source will miss the holiday shopping season

Following-up on my coverage this morning of how the carriers are taking the smartphone battle to the shopping malls of Canada and how Telus is now offering a selection of smartphones in its Black’s stores, it appears Telus will have a leg-up on Bell Mobility and its The Source by Circuit City stores during the important holiday shopping season.

Despite Bell having acquired The Source chain first, Telus has beaten it to the product punch and Bell products won’t be available at the bulk of The Source stores until the New Year. That’s because of an existing contract The Source had with Rogers to sell its product that doesn’t expire until December 31st.

Bell Canada spokesperson Jeff Meerman told CDN that Bell has chosen to honour The Source’s contract with Rogers, and so Bell Mobility will be beginning its national roll-out with The Source chain on January 1, 2010.

That’s not to say there’s not some Bell presence in The Source stores today. In select markets, primarily in central Canada, there are The Source stores carrying Bell TV and Internet offerings.

Meerman wasn’t able to discuss any potential rebranding or revamping of The Source’s retail strategy of what Bell Mobility offerings will be available in the New Year, except to say Bell is planning a phased approach to product launch plans in different markets. He also wasn’t able to comment on the future of the Bell World stores, which are often located in many of the same malls as The Source stores.

So we’ll have to wait until the New Year to see what Bell has in store for The Source. In the meantime however, it certainly seems that by being out of the gate faster getting its products into Black’s, Telus will have an edge in the malls this holiday season.

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