Vendor News

France Sues Apple for €48.5 Million

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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.

Orange FranceSpecifically, 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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Apple Locks Horns With FBI Over iPhone Encryption

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An encrypted iPhone stands in the way of the FBI investigation over the 2 December 2015 San Bernardino mass shooting-- one Apple refuses to unlock in the name of protecting user data.

Apple securityTo put a long story short, following the discovery of ISIS involvement in the San Bernardino attack the FBI found an iPhone belonging to one of the attackers. As law enforcement agencies tend to, the FBI wants to go through the data inside the device, but it requires a means to break the iPhone's built-in encryption, specifically by modifying iOS security to allow unlimited unlocking attempts, as well as allowing "brute force" attacks to discover the correct PIN.

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VTech Buys LeapFrog

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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.

Leapfrog 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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Zagg Buys Mophie

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Mophie case In a move bringing the start of a phone accessory making empire Zagg acquires Mophie for $100 million-- creating a "diversified leader" in battery cases, external batteries, screen protectors and tablet keyboards.

Zagg makes products ranging from smartphone cases to keyboards. On the other hand Mophie is best known for iPhone and Android smartphone battery cases and external batteries packs. The deal creates a company with combined 2015 net sales of around $470m, as well as increased product creation capability and expanded global distribution channels.

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Sony to Buy Toshiba Sensor Business?

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Sony reportedly plans to take advantage of another company's misfortunes, as Reuters, the Japan Times and Bloomberg report the company plans to buy the Toshiba camera sensor business.

Toshiba StorefrontCurrently cash-strapped, Toshiba is looking to sell assets in order to help rebuild operations-- such as a CMOS image sensor production line at a plant in Oita prefecture. "People familiar with the negotiations" say Sony plans to cough up 20 billion yen ($165 million) for the plant, gaining further manufacturing facilities (adding 100000 units a month in production capacity) and essentially eliminating a rival from the market. Hitting two birds with one stone, in other words.

"The purchase would be an economical way to flesh out [Sony's] CMOS sensor capacity, currently an area of concern,” analyst SMBC Nikko Securities says.

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