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Canadian iBookstore approved, Rogers to unlock iPhones

The Canadian government has formally approved the Canadian version of the iBookstore, while wireless carrier Rogers has begun unlocking iPhones for customers that have finished their contract or purchased the handset unsubsidized.

iBookstore

The Ministry of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages announced Tuesday that it was granting formal approval of Apple's iBookstore, MacNN reports.

"Our Government is committed to strengthening Canada's economy through all its sectors, especially arts and culture," said Minister James Moore. "Apple has demonstrated how iBookstore Canada represents new opportunities for Canadian authors and publishers, and I have determined that this investment will be of net benefit to Canada."

According to the press release, Apple has committed to the promotion of Canadian-authored French- and English-language titles in the iBookstore in Canada and internationally; increased opportunities for Canadian publishers and authors; increased access to titles from Aboriginal authors and publishers; assistance to Canadian publishers in streamlining processes of e-book creation and enhancement.

Though a limited version of the iBookstore has been available in Canada until now, offering some US-based paid titles and public domain works, government approval of a Canadian iBookstore should help draw Canadian publishers to Apple's eBook platform.

iPhone unlocked

Canadian carrier Rogers has reportedly begun unlocking iPhones for customers who have finished their contracts or bought an unsubsidized handset. The new policy for Rogers sub-brand Fido allows qualifying customers to unlock their iPhones for a $50 fee plus applicable taxes, iPhone in Canada reports.

To qualify, customers must have an account in good standing; have finished their contract or paid the unsubsidized cost for the device 30 days prior and unlock a device that is listed in their equipment history.

According to the report, Fido user Argun Tekant was able to successfully unlock an iPhone 3GS. Tekant claims he tested AT&T, O2 UK, and Wind SIMs to verify the unlock.

Canada, along with the UK and France, was one of the first countries to sell the iPhone 4 unlocked and SIM-free.