Vendor News

Logitech Buys More Audio With Jaybird

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Logitech Buys More Audio With Jaybird

Accessories vendor Logitech acquires more audio capabilities as it pays $50 million in cash for Jaybird, a company best known for "active" style wireless headphones.

The deal makes Jaybird the second Logitech-owned audio company following the 2008 acquisition of speaker maker Ultimate Ears. As Logitech puts it, the buy allows it to expand further into the wireless audio and wearables market.

Jaybird's most recent product is the X2, a pair of wireless headphones designed for active users. It also offers the Reign, a wearable fitness tracker described as an "advanced active recovery band."

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Recycling Brings Apple $40 Million in Gold

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Recycling Brings Apple $40 Million in Gold

Apple has good reason to push the recycling of old mobile devices and computers-- the annual Apple environmental responsibility report reveals such efforts recovered over 1 ton of gold during 2015.

Such an amount of the precious mineral is worth around $40 million according to Business Insider.

But where does that impressive amount of gold come from? While Apple does offer a gold-plated Watch, we doubt anyone actually dumped a smartwatch worth over $100000. Instead, according to activist group Fairphone, the average smartphone carries 30 milligrams of gold spread across circuit boards and internal components. And since Apple recycles millions of devices, the numbers add up.

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France Sues Apple for €48.5 Million

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France Sues Apple for €48.5 Million

The DGCCRF, the French competition, consumer and fraud agency, launches a court case against Apple, BFM TV reports-- one claiming strict carrier contracts unfairly benefit the iPhone maker.

Specifically, the agency states Apple contracts violate French competition laws in no less than 10 ways. For instance, Apple forces carriers to buy a minimum number of iPhones over 3 years, pay part of customer repair costs, stick with strict order rules, finance any in-store iPhone displays and to contribute to an Apple-run advertising fund. Apple also forbids carriers to make any iPhone contract or payment plans.

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Belkin Puts HomeKit Compatibility "On Hold"?

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Belkin Puts HomeKit Compatibility

Back in January 2015 Belkin announced the WeMo connected device portfolio was to get HomeKit compatibility "in the near future"-- but the company has put such plans "on hold," at least according to MacRumours.

A statement given to the news website by a "WeMo Facebook representative" states the Belkin has not managed to integrate WeMo products with HomeKit as per Apple requirements. Why? Apparently HomeKit integration requires "a specific hardware component," demanding the creation of a separate line of HomeKit-enabled WeMo products.

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Chief Product Officer Marc Whitten Leaves Sonos

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Chief Product Officer Marc Whitten Leaves Sonos

The recently announced layoffs at Sonos claim at least one exec-- chief product officer Marc Whitten leaves the speaker maker after little more than 2 years, the company confirms to Tech Insider.

A Microsoft veteran with a 14-year history working on the Xbox console, Whitten joined Sonos in 2014. He oversaw the release of the flagship Play:5 wireless speaker, as well as the TruPlay audio-tuning smartphone app.

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Reuters: Sharp, Foxconn to Sign Deal Soon

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Reuters: Sharp, Foxconn to Sign Deal Soon

Reuters reports this week should see an end to the delays affecting the Foxconn acquisition of Sharp-- only the takeover will involve a "smaller bailout" for the ailing Japanese company.

How smaller is Foxconn offer for Sharp? According to a pair of anonymous sources Foxconn slashed the price tag by ¥100 billion (around $884 million). In addition the sources say the two companies are to hold board meetings on Wednesday to approve the deal before signing the deal on the following day.

Predictably neither company has commented on the Reuters story.

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Sony Shows Off Future Labs Products at SXSW

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Sony Shows Off Future Labs Products at SXSW

Sony shows off the first results of the recently unveiled Future Lab program at SXSW 2016, with prototypes including a curious wearable device, interactive projectors and an advanced haptic controller.

The Future Lab initiative has Sony fishing for consumer feedback on in-development projects. Should a prototype garner enough interest the finalised product will leverage on input from the user community, making it (hopefully) better.

The first of such prototypes seen at SXSW is "Concept N"-- a wearable device best described as a sort of audio-based Google Glass. Designed for hands-free operation, the N is worn around the neck and features 4 microphones complete with noise-cancelling features. Stating a command phrase ("Listen up Arc!") switches the device on before users ask it for location-based info gathered from a connected smartphone.

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Apple Confirms 21 March Event

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Apple Confirms 21 March Event

Apple confirms earlier rumours as it announces 21 March 2016 as the date for its next event-- one revealed through rose gold-hued press invites bearing the cryptic slogan "let us loop you in."

The event takes place at the Apple 1 Infinite Loop campus in Cupertino, California. It is expected to involve a number of devices, such as a smaller 9.7-inch iPad Pro, a 4-inch iPhone (dubbed the SE) and a variety of new Apple Watch band options (rumours suggest a nylon band a Space Black Milanese Loop). Some sources also say Mac refreshes will make a showing, although the grapevine gives no fruit on that regard as yet.

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Samsung Wins Patent Appeal Against Apple

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Samsung Wins Patent Appeal Against Apple

A US appeals court overturns the 2014 decision accusing Samsung of infringing a number of Apple smartphone patents-- meaning the iPhone maker will not receive $119.6 million from the S. Korean giant.

According to the ruling, two Apple patents covering slide-to-unlock and auto-correct features are invalid. To other patents, covering universal search and background syncing, were not actually infringed. As such, Samsung is free to continue including such features in its smartphones, and does not need to change any older models.

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The Week of 21 March for Next Apple Event?

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The Week of 21 March for Next Apple Event?

According to Re/code and BuzzFeed News the next Apple product launch will not take place on 15 March-- instead the company has delayed the event to the week of 21 March 2016.

The date change rumour was actually first suggested by Korean website KG News. If it's actually the case then the choice of date is pretty significant, since 22 March has Apple clash with the US government over whether it should help the FBI unlock the iPhone owned by one of the San Bernardino terrorists.

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VTech Buys LeapFrog

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VTech Buys LeapFrog

VTech acquires struggling rival in education toys LeapFrog for around $72 million, following years of declining sales in part caused by more grown competition such as the Apple iPad.

Founded in 1995, Leapfrog was best known for the LeapPad. Initially an interactive digital book, the device was turned into a rugged mini-tablet in 2011, following the launch of the first iPad. The tablet-style LeapPad was popular at first, but sales started waning as Apple and other vendors started launching smaller, lower-cost tablets.

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