SoftBank buys into Line’s mobile service in Japan

 SoftBank is partnering up with messaging app Line to help develop its Line Mobile telecom service. Line announced that it has agreed to allow SoftBank to take a 51 percent in the business via an issuance of new shares. The deal is expected to close by March. From the documents, its mobile business is valued at around $ 15 million (1.7 billion JPY) but a company spokesperson told TechCrunch… Read More
Mobile – TechCrunch

Samsung topples Intel to become the world’s largest chipmaker

 Samsung has ended Intel’s 25-year run as the world’s biggest seller of chipsets after it posted its 2017 end of year financials. The Korean tech giant’s chipset division — which has long been its biggest hitter — grossed total revenue of $ 69 billion in 2017, eclipsing the $ 62.8 billion Intel reported for last year. That was a record year for Intel — and… Read More
Mobile – TechCrunch

Appeals court rules that Tinder’s pricing violates age discrimination laws

 A California appeals court has sided with Allan Candelore, a man suing Tinder over the pricing for its premium service, Tinder Plus. Specifically, Candelore and his lawyers argued that by charging $ 9.99 per month if a user is under 30, versus $ 19.99 per month if you’re 30 or older, Tinder is discriminating based on age. Read More
Mobile – TechCrunch

Apple reportedly under investigation by SEC and DOJ for phone slowdown

 The U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission are jointly investigating Apple’s communications about the software update that slowed down older models of the iPhone, Bloomberg is reporting. Citing sources familiar with the matter, the government has reportedly requested details on the company’s communications about the software update. The Bloomberg… Read More
Mobile – TechCrunch

Pinterest hires a new head of computer vision

 As Pinterest increasingly tries to sell itself as a startup specialized in computer vision that it plugs into visual discovery, it’s continuing to pick up additional pieces to help continue to build that out. Today, the company said it is hiring former Google computer vision research lead Chuck Rosenberg. Read More
Mobile – TechCrunch

Snapchat enhances Bitmoji with 1.9 septillion avatar options

 Now you can customize your Snapchat Bitmoji avatar with 40 skin tones, 50 hair colors, 50 hair treatment options and more so it looks just like you no matter what you look like. Today Snapchat launches Bitmoji Deluxe, a more configurable version of its cartoony avatars that embraces the growing diversity of its users. The feature offers an easier front-end builder that instantly previews… Read More
Mobile – TechCrunch

Mammoth Media, the startup behind chat fiction app Yarn, raises $13M

Hack'd Mammoth Media has raised a $ 13 million Series A funding to create what it calls “entertainment experiences for the mobile-first generation.” Mammoth isn’t not the first startup to pitch itself as reinventing entertainment for smartphones, but for the most part, that message has come from gaming companies. Co-founder and CEO Benoit Vatere said he wanted to take the… Read More
Mobile – TechCrunch

BrowserStack hauls in $50 million Series A from Accel

 It’s not often you see a single venture capital firm investing $ 50 million in a Series A round. These usually involve a much smaller number spread across a variety of investors, but Accel saw something in BrowserStack, a mobile and browser testing platform, that’s a bit too successful to warrant the usual early-round startup label. BrowserStack has built a huge market with over… Read More
Mobile – TechCrunch

Google completes its $1.1B deal to buy a chunk of HTC’s smartphone division

 Google has announced the completion of its $ 1.1 billion deal to buy a large slice of HTC’s hardware business. The acquisition was announced back in September 2017 but now it has passed the requisite approvals and is finalized. Beyond the transfer of over 2,000 engineers from HTC — that’s around one-fifth of HTC’s engineering team — Google will also receive… Read More
Mobile – TechCrunch

Instagram won’t comment on rumored video calling feature

 Instagram copied the ‘Snap’ and now it might be going after the ‘chat’. A video calling feature was spotted in a non-public version of Instagram by WhatsApp industry blog WABetaInfo. It would let users who’ve begun an Instagram Direct message thread to video chat with each other. That could let people spend even more time in the app, but by actively… Read More
Mobile – TechCrunch