Vendor News

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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VentureBeat: Intel Works on iPhone Chips

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Intel is working on an iPhone version of the 7360 LTE modem chip, VentureBeat reports-- and if "all goes well" the company might even get to provide a "2016 iPhone" with both modem and system-on-a-chip (SoC).

Chip manufactureAccording to unnamed sources Chipzilla is "pulling out the stops" to supply modems for at least "some" iPhones manufactured in 2016 (possibly the iPhone 7), since Apple apparently plans to dual-source LTE modems from Intel and current iPhone modem supplier Qualcomm. Apple business is Very Important Business, and as such Intel reportedly has 1000 people are already working on the account.

The VentureBeat sources add Apple still has to sign Intel as a supplier, but it will if Intel proves to be up to it. Should the modem collaboration prove successful the next step would be an SoC combining the the Apple-designed iPhone Ax processor with Intel's LTE modem and manufacturing prowess.

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Foxconn to Buy Sharp LCD Business With Apple Investment?

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The Nikkei Asian Review reports Taiwanese electronics maker Foxconn (aka Hon Hai Precision Industry) is in talks to buy the Sharp LCD business, with part of the investment coming from Apple.

Foxconn The Sharp LCD business is currently in the red, with operating losses reaching 13.7 billion yen in the April-June quarter. A deal with Foxconn would provide the troubed Japanese company much needed funds, while allowing it to remain involved in the business and retain Japanese staff in domestic production bases.

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Microsoft Reveals Devices on 6 October

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Microsoft sends out invites for a 6 October 2015 event involving "exciting news about Windows 10 devices"-- meaning the company will (probably) launch a new Surface tablet and a couple of Windows 10 Mobile devices.

Microsoft October eventsA number of news sources claim to know what Microsoft has in store for the event. For instance The Verge says the company will not only launch the Surface Pro 4, but also the Lumia 950/950 XL smartphones and even a Band wearable sequel.

Reportedly the Surface Pro 4 retains the same form factor and charging mechanism as the Pro 3, but might include features such as Windows Hello support and a higher display resolution. Other rumours suggest the possibility of a larger, 14-inch version of the device.

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The Next Apple Event: 9 September 2015

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Apple sends out media invites for the now traditional September launch event, this time around bearing the legend "hey Siri, give us a hint" together with the familiar company logo.

Apple event As per the slogan, one can actually ask Siri for hints on the event, if only to get snarky replies such as "I bet you were one of those kids who snuck downstairs to open presents early, weren't you?" and "you're cute when you're desperate for information."

A lot of hearsay surrounds the event, although one can be certain of a few things-- such as the next generation of iPhone, one the grapevine suggests features body construction in stronger 7000 series aluminium, Force Touch capability, A9 processor, 2GB RAM and an improved camera.

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