Google wants to buy mobile payment startup Square, but CEO wants to sell out to Apple

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 9, 2014

Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey’s other business venture, the mobile payment startup Square, has a cozy relationship with Apple.

As a case in point, not only does Square develop for iOS first, Apple itself is happy to carry Square’s $9.95 credit card reader for the iPhone and iPad and the $99.95 Square Stand for iPad on its web store.

Moreover, some of Square’s talent comes straight from Apple, including director of engineering for the iPod, iPhone and iPad accessories, Jesse Dorogusker, who recently left the company to join Square.

After allowing Google to buy smart thermostat and smoke detector maker Nest Labs back in January, pundits have observed that Apple should be wise enough to avoid repeating the same mistake twice. Be that as it may, Apple is said to have mulled an acquisition offer for Square.

The possibility of such a deal has been floated on Wednesday as rumors of both Apple and Google discussing a possible acquisition with Square continue to persist. Although CEO Jack Dorsey would reportedly prefer selling the company to Apple, not Google, a deal with Apple is wishful thinking for now… Read More

 

Apple purchased speech recognition firm Novauris last year to bolster Siri team

By Cody Lee on Apr 3, 2014

Just a day after Microsoft unveiled its digital assistant ‘Cortana’ to rave reviews, news has surfaced that Apple has been making moves to bring its own assistant up to speed. TechCrunch is reporting this morning that the Cupertino company has purchased speech recognition firm Novauris, and the group is now working on the Siri team.

Novauris is highly-regarded in the world of speech recognition. Founded in March 2002 by well-known speech researchers and ex Dragon Systems engineers, the firm’s technology is used in a variety of products by companies like Verizon Wireless, Panasonic, Alpine and BMW, and can be operated in both the embedded and server space… Read More

 

Rumor: Apple buying Renesas SP Drivers to improve iPhone battery life and image sharpness

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 1, 2014

The Japanese business site Nikkei is reporting that Apple is in discussions with chipmaker Renesas Electronics concerning taking over their division that builds mobile display chips, Renesas SP Drivers.

The deal should enable Tim Cook & Co. to bring another technological piece under their roof and help Apple’s engineers “improve image sharpness and battery life” on iPhones.

Renesas Electronics is included on the official list of Apple’s suppliers. Apple is known for investing in its partners and suppliers when it makes sense. For instance, the company holds a ten percent stake in UK’s fabless semiconductor maker Imagination Technologies which provides blueprints for GPUs used in iOS devices… Read More

 

Facebook is buying Rift headset maker Oculus VR for $2 billion

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 25, 2014

Facebook on Tuesday issued a press release announcing it is buying Kickstarter-funded startup Oculus VR for approximately $2 billion in cash and stock.

For those who have been sleeping under the rock lately, Oculus VR is the maker of the Rift virtual-reality headset. This major move reveals Facebook’s intent to make use of virtual-reality technologies, not long ago the stuff of science fiction.

The announcement comes just days after the Japanese consumer electronics giant Sony announced Project Morpheus, its own head-mounted five-inch full HD display with a 90-degree field of view that could mainstream virtual reality gaming by connecting to the PlayStation console… Read More