European and U.S. officials just released new details regarding their trans-Atlantic data transfer agreement. “As part of the new agreement -- known as the E.U.-U.S. Privacy Shield -- companies will face stricter rules over how they move people’s digital data from the European Union to the United States,” The New York Times notes.
As Yahoo considers buyout bids, Fortune and its sources think Verizon is the most likely buyer. “This is Verizon’s deal to lose,” a longtime tech banker tells the magazine. Why? “For starters, Verizon can afford to be that bidder,” Fortune notes. “Second, CEO Lowell McAdam has been unusually public about his interest in buying Yahoo, perhaps in an effort to discourage other bidders.”
Google parent Alphabet, Facebook and Microsoft reportedly plan to file a joint motion supporting Apple in its fight against the Justice Department on the matter of unlocking iPhones. “At least one other tech company plans to be included in a joint amicus brief next week generally supporting Apple’s position,” The Wall Street Journal reports.
To date, Apple has shipped 11.6 million Apple Watches, research firm IDC estimates in a new report. “That puts Apple at third place in the industry with 14.9% of the market, just behind Xiaomi. Fitbit is still far and away the leader, however, with 21 million shipments in 2015,” The Verge reports. “The worldwide wearable tech market … grew a staggering 172% last year, shipping 78.1 million units.”
Apple is reportedly developing new security measures that would make it impossible for the government to break into a locked iPhone. “If Apple succeeds in upgrading its security -- and experts say it almost surely will -- the company will create a significant technical challenge for law enforcement agencies,” The New York Times reports.
Apple has booted Famous -- formerly known as Stolen -- from the App Store because of its aversion to apps that assign people numerical values. “That decision, which may not be reversed anytime soon, will have the startup focusing on building its web and Android versions instead,” TechCrunch reports. When it was named Stolen, the app let users buy and sell Twitter profiles as if they were trading cards.
Google just added AMP-enabled pages in its mobile search results. “And one of the first companies supporting the new Instant Article-like format is an important one -- Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com,” TechCrunch reports. “AMP (also known as Accelerated Mobile Page) is an open-source project that borrows some ideas from Facebook’s Instant Articles.”
Bringing Apple’s fight with the government to a head, the Justice Department is reportedly pursuing court orders to force the tech giant to help investigators extract data from iPhones in several terrorist-related cases. “Privacy advocates are likely to seize on the cases’ existence as proof the government aims to go far beyond what prosecutors have called the limited scope of the current public court fight over a locked iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters,” The Wall Street Journal reports.
Apple Watch remained the most popular smartwatch through the fourth quarter of 2015 -- capturing 63 percent global market share based on an estimated 5.1 million sales in the three-month period – Mac Rumors reports, citing the latest data
from Strategy Analytics. “Samsung trailed in second place with 16 percent market share and an estimated 1.3 million sales.”
Shine -- which makes ad blockers for mobile networks -- has enlisted its first European carriers to roll out its tech. “Three UK and Three Italy are implementing Shine’s technology … paving the way for other brands in the Three Group to follow,” TechCrunch reports. “It’s not clear when exactly either carrier will launch a consumer ad block service.”