Future Fitbit devices to gain support for NFC-based contactless payment technology

By Christian Zibreg on May 19, 2016

Fitbit, which makes fitness accessories, activity trackers and other wearable devices, just acquired payments hardware firm Coin, signaling its intent to enrich its product lineup with contactless payment features. That’s right, your next Fitbit fitness tracker may let you pay for in-store purchases. Read More

 

iPhone manufacturer Foxconn buys Nokia feature phone business from Microsoft

By Christian Zibreg on May 18, 2016

iPhone manufacture and the world’s largest contract fabricator, Foxconn, has made an interesting purchase, snagging the Nokia feature phone business from Microsoft for a paltry $350 million with a little help from private equity backed HMD Global.

Nokia’s feature phones, which are powered by the Series 30+ operating system, once were its bread and butter—especially in pre-smartphone days. Read More

 

Tim Cook talks Didi acquisition during China trip

By Christian Zibreg on May 16, 2016

Apple CEO Tim Cook visited an Apple Store in Beijing this morning with Liu Qing, president of Didi Chuxing, the company the iPhone maker invested an astounding $1 billion in.

Also called the Chinese Uber, Didi is a ride sharing service and Apple’s investment comes at a time when the Cupertino firm is widely rumored to be secretly working on an electric car project. Cook said Apple and Didi both shared concerns for the environment.

He also revealed, according to China Daily, that app developers in China have now earned over $7 billion, half of which came in the past twelve months alone. Read More

 

Nokia is buying French health tracking company Withings for a reported $192 million

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 26, 2016

Nokia said this morning that it’s buying French health tracking company Withings for a reported €170 million, or about $192 million, as it looks to gain a foothold in the competitive digital health market.

Withings, which designs, builds and sells wearables with health and fitness tracking features, as well as devices for the connected home such as smart weighing scales, thermometers, blood pressure monitors, home and baby monitors and so forth, will become part of Nokia’s Technologies business. Read More

 

iPhone manufacturer Foxconn buys Apple supplier Sharp in a $3.5 billion deal

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 30, 2016

It’s finally official: the world’s leading contract fabricator, Foxconn, which assembles iPhones and other products for Apple and other consumer electronics companies, has purchased the struggling Japanese giant Sharp, one of Apple’s display panel suppliers, in a deal valued at a reported $3.5 billion.

As reported today by The Wall Street Journal, Foxconn believes this transaction will improve its position on the technology value chain and has plans to expand Sharp’s production capacity and invest in the production of OLED screens that future iPhones are expected to adopt. Read More

 

Facebook acquires company behind popular face swapping app MSQRD

By Cody Lee on Mar 9, 2016

Facebook on Wednesday announced that it has acquired the popular face swapping app MSQRD, and the company behind it, Masquerade. The terms of the deal are unknown, but it’s being reported that the founders will be joining Facebook.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the app, MSQRD allows you to apply various filters and effects to your photos and videos—not unlike Snapchat’s ‘lenses.’ You can apply masks, hats and other accessories, or simply swap faces with others. Read More

 

GoPro is buying powerful iPhone video-editing apps Replay and Splice

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 1, 2016

GoPro, an American manufacturer of action cameras that are popular in extreme-action videography, has acquired two mobile video editing apps, Replay and Splice.

In a media release yesterday, GoPro said that merging these apps into its mobile strategy will help them deliver powerful mobile editing solutions to GoPro customers “and billions of smartphone users,” indicating the apps will continue to be available in the App Store.

In fact, both apps will be coming to Android later this year, said GoPro. Read More

 

WSJ: iPhone contract manufacturer Foxconn is delaying the signing of Sharp takeover agreement

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 26, 2016

As previously reported, Apple’s favorite contract manufacturer Foxconn has made a $6.2 billion bid to acquire the ailing Japanese consumer electronics maker Sharp, which has been in the business for a cool 103 years now. Although Sharp’s board has made the decision to accept the offer last Thursday, it seems the acquisition is not a done deal after all.

As reported Friday by The Wall Street Journal, Foxconn is reportedly delaying the signing of the takeover agreement after it had been “surprised” by new information Sharp had disclosed just a day before. Read More

 

Foxconn to acquire Sharp for $6.2 billion

By Cody Lee on Feb 24, 2016

Apple partner Foxconn is set to acquire Sharp for roughly 700 billion yen (or $6.2 billion USD), reports Nikkei Asian Review. The outlet says that Sharp’s board voted on Thursday morning to accept the offer, and plans to restructure its operations under the Hon Hai umbrella.

The deal, which has not been officially announced yet, comes after years of failed negotiations between the two companies. Foxconn has made several attempts to acquire the struggling electronics giant, or large pieces of it, with the latest offer of $5.3 billion coming in January. Read More

 

SwiftKey acquired by Microsoft for $250 million

By Cody Lee on Feb 2, 2016

Microsoft is buying out software keyboard maker SwiftKey, according to a report from The Financial Times. The deal is said to be worth $250 million, and the two companies are expected to officially announce the acquisition later this week.

While Microsoft has shown interest in the mobile keyboard space, the report claims that the purchase is all about AI. SwiftKey uses artificial intelligence to predict the next word a user is going to type based on an analysis of their writing style. Read More

 

Zagg acquires battery case maker Mophie for $100 million

By Cody Lee on Feb 2, 2016

Zagg has acquired popular battery case maker Mophie, the two companies announced on Tuesday. The Utah-based accessory giant has agreed to pay $100 million for Mophie, plus any EBITDA adjustments over that amount for the next year, in cash and debt.

In a press release sent out this afternoon, Zagg said that the transaction will leverage the unique strength of two “industry leaders” in the mobile accessories sector to create a business with greater product diversification and improved operational capabilities. Read More

 

Apple acquires education startup LearnSprout

By Cody Lee on Jan 28, 2016

Apple has acquired education-technology startup LearnSprout, reports Bloomberg. The outlet has received confirmation of the buyout with the boilerplate statement, “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”

Terms of the deal are not known at this time, but we do know that the San Francisco-based LearnSprout has raised more than $4 million from investors. The company specializes in education tracking and analytical software, which it has rolled out to more than 2,500 US schools. Read More

 

Foxconn makes a $5.3 billion offer to buy ailing iPhone display supplier Sharp

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 21, 2016

The Wall Street Journal has it on good authority that Foxconn, the world’s biggest contract fabricator that assembles products for Apple and other companies, is buying Sharp, an iPhone display supplier.

Sharp has been in financial crisis for several years and banks have bailed it out twice in three years.

Foxconn has reportedly offered approximately ¥625 billion, or about $5.3 billion, to acquire Sharp. Back in 2013, Foxconn was supposed to buy a large stake in Sharp, but the deal quickly collapsed over share price dispute. Read More

 

Apple reportedly buys artificial intelligence startup Emotient

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 7, 2016

Apple has reportedly purchased Emotient, Inc., a privately held San Diego-based artificial intelligence startup, according to Dow Jones. No price was given for the deal. Emotient, according to its website, is the leader in emotion detection and sentiment analysis.

The company’s products are used for gauging emotional response by way of measuring facial expressions, allowing it to basically read people’s emotions from live video. Read More

 

Google acquires iPhone app-maker Fly Labs for its Photos team

By Cody Lee on Nov 6, 2015

Fly Labs, the maker of popular photo and video editing apps for iOS, announced on Friday that it’s been acquired by Google. The company’s software library includes apps like Clips, Tempo, Crop, and Fly, which made Apple’s ‘Best of the App Store’ list in 2014.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but we do know that the folks at Fly Labs will be joining the Google Photos team and plan on pulling their apps from the App Store in 3 months. As a peace offering, they have made all of their apps free with no IAPs until then. Read More

 

Apple acquires AI startup Perceptio

By Cody Lee on Oct 5, 2015

Following news last week that Apple acquired UK-based voice technology startup VocalIQ, Bloomberg reports that the company has also recently picked up AI startup Perceptio. A spokesman for Apple has confirmed the buyout with the usual boilerplate statement of “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.” Read More

 

Apple acquires UK-based voice technology startup VocalIQ

By Cody Lee on Oct 2, 2015

Apple has acquired UK-based voice technology startup VocalIQ, according to a report from the Financial Times. A spokesman for the Cupertino company has confirmed the buyout with the usual boilerplate statement of “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.” Read More

 

Apple acquires mapping visualization startup Mapsense

By Cody Lee on Sep 16, 2015

Apple has acquired Mapsense, a San Francisco-based startup that specializes in tools for analyzing and visualizing location data, Recode reports. A spokesperson confirmed the buyout, saying “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”

The deal is said to be worth anywhere between $25 million and $30 million, and it includes Mapsense’s 12-person team and technology. That tech includes a cloud-based tool that allows users to manipulate graphical models of maps that hold huge sums of data, and a recently launched platform for developers. Read More

 

Apple believed to have acquired motion capture firm Faceshift

By Cody Lee on Sep 4, 2015

Apple may have bought Swiss real-time motion capture firm Faceshift in recent weeks, reports MacRumors. The site points to a company registry filing that shows all three of their original corporate directors stepped down in mid-August, and were replaced by a mergers and acquisitions attorney from Baker & McKenzie—a firm Apple frequently uses.

Faceshift has some interesting technology that can quickly and accurately capture facial expressions using 3D sensors. They’ve worked with both game and animation studios, and even built their own software. More recently, the company has been working on a Skype plugin that allows users to transform into avatar characters during real-time video chats. Read More

 

Adidas buys fitness app maker Runtastic for $239 million

By Cody Lee on Aug 5, 2015

Runtastic has been acquired by sportswear giant Adidas, the company’s CEO and co-founder Florian Gschwandtner announced in a blog post on Wednesday. The deal is said to be worth somewhere in the neighborhood of 220 million euros (or $239 million).

For those unfamiliar with Runtastic, it develops and maintains a number of fitness apps for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry. It has also dabbled in hardware with a GPS watch, a heart rate monitor, and the recently-released Orbit fitness tracker. Read More

 
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