Qualcomm Antitrust Lawsuit to Proceed, US Judge Rules

The Federal Trade Commission’s antitrust lawsuit against Qualcomm can proceed, a federal judge ruled late on Monday, meaning the iPhone chip supplier must now wage a fight with US regulators even as it contests a separate $1 billion lawsuit filed by Apple.

US District Judge Lucy Koh of the Northern District of California in San Jose denied Qualcomm’s motion to dismiss the FTC’s lawsuit, saying the agency’s allegations would amount to anticompetitive behaviour on Qualcomm’s part if proved true.

In response, Qualcomm said the case is still in its early stages. “FTC will have the burden to prove its claims, which we continue to believe are without merit,” Don Rosenberg, executive vice president and general counsel of Qualcomm, said in a statement on Tuesday.

The FTC sued Qualcomm in January, alleging the company engaged in anticompetitive tactics to maintain a monopoly on the chips that let cell phones connect to mobile data networks.]

The FTC highlighted Qualcomm’s “no licence, no chips” policy under which the San Diego company refuses to sell chips unless customers also sign a patent licence agreement and pay Qualcomm fees. Qualcomm refused to grant licenses to its rivals in order to keep a monopoly, the FTC alleged.

Qualcomm asked Koh to throw out the case, arguing that even if all the FTC’s allegations were true, they would not amount to wrongdoing.

Qualcomm, the largest independent maker of chips used in smartphones, is a major supplier to Apple and Samsung Electronics for modem chips that connect phones to wireless networks.

Qualcomm Antitrust Lawsuit to Proceed, US Judge Rules
Intel and Samsung, which are not parties to the case, filed briefs opposing Qualcomm’s attempt to the have the case dismissed.

Koh rejected Qualcomm’s arguments, ruling that the FTC had “adequately alleged” anticompetitive behaviour.

“We look forward to further proceedings in which we will be able to develop a more accurate factual record,” Qualcomm’s Rosenberg said in the statement.

Separately, Apple sued Qualcomm for $1 billion in January. Last week, Apple argued Qualcomm’s chip licenses are invalid under a ruling last month from the US Supreme Court. Apple’s contract manufacturers such as Foxconn stopped paying Qualcomm as that case proceeds, which in turn prompted Qualcomm to sue the contract manufacturers.

In addition to the complaint from the FTC, Qualcomm has faced a series of antitrust rulings and investigations from regulators across the globe, including China and South Korea.

The FTC’s case is No. 5:17-cv-00220 in the Northern District of California.

US Government Websites Restored After Pro-Islamic State Hack

Ohio officials have restored 11 government websites that were hacked with a message purporting to be supportive of the Islamic State terrorist group.

The Department of Administrative Services says affected websites were restored by Monday. They’d been hacked Sunday with a message that included: “I love the Islamic state.”

The Department of Public Safety says the FBI and US Department of Homeland Security are investigating the hacking.

US Government Websites Restored After Pro-Islamic State Hack
It affected websites for the governor and his wife, the lieutenant governor and the inspector general, as well as Ohio’s Medicaid and prisons agencies. The list also included sites for Ohio’s casino and facilities commissions, the offices of Health Transformation and Workforce Transformation, and the government streamlining effort LeanOhio.

The same message infiltrated government websites in Brookhaven, New York, and Howard County, Maryland.

 

US Government Websites Restored After Pro-Islamic State Hack

Ohio officials have restored 11 government websites that were hacked with a message purporting to be supportive of the Islamic State terrorist group.

The Department of Administrative Services says affected websites were restored by Monday. They’d been hacked Sunday with a message that included: “I love the Islamic state.”

The Department of Public Safety says the FBI and US Department of Homeland Security are investigating the hacking.

US Government Websites Restored After Pro-Islamic State Hack
It affected websites for the governor and his wife, the lieutenant governor and the inspector general, as well as Ohio’s Medicaid and prisons agencies. The list also included sites for Ohio’s casino and facilities commissions, the offices of Health Transformation and Workforce Transformation, and the government streamlining effort LeanOhio.

The same message infiltrated government websites in Brookhaven, New York, and Howard County, Maryland.

 

Nokia 6 to Go on Sale in the US in Early-July, HMD Global Confirms

HMD Global, the company which currently owns the right to manufacture and sell Nokia-branded smartphones, has now confirmed that its flagship Android handset – Nokia 6 – will be made available for purchase in the US starting early July. HMD Global has announced that the Nokia 6 will be available at $229 (roughly Rs. 14,800) in the US through Amazon.

The Nokia 6 will initially be available in Matte Black and Silver colour variants, but will also be made available in Tempered Blue and Copper colours later this Summer, as per HMD Global. While T-Mobile will be fully supporting the smartphone, AT&T will provide partial 4G LTE support as bands 29 and 30 will not be supported. Other carriers including Sprint and Verizon will not be supporting the Nokia 6 when it will be made available in the country.

Nokia 6, the best-specced of the Nokia Android phones released so far, runs Android 7.0 Nougat and sports a 5.5-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) display with Corning Gorilla Glass protection and a fingerprint sensor right below the display. The smartphone is powered by Snapdragon 430 processor coupled with Adreno 505 GPU and 3GB of RAM. In terms of optics, Nokia 6 comes with a 16-megapixel rear sensor and an 8-megapixel camera at front for taking selfies.

Nokia 6 to Go on Sale in the US in Early-July, HMD Global Confirms
The US variant of the Android phone from Nokia comes with 32GB inbuilt storage, which is expandable via microSD card (up to 256GB). The Nokia 6 houses a 3000mAh battery, features a 6000 series aluminium body, and has inbuilt dual speakers and Dolby Atmos support. Connectivity options on the smartphone include Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, NFC, USB OTG, FM, 3G, and 4G.

To recall, the Nokia 6 was launched in India earlier this month and while the company has not announced when the smartphone will be made available for purchase in the country, the registrations for the first sale will start on July 14.

US Government Websites Hacked With Pro-Islamic State Rant Attacking Trump

Government websites, many of them in Ohio, were hacked Sunday with a message that purports to be supportive of the Islamic State terrorist group.

A message posted on the website of Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich said, “You will be held accountable Trump, you and all your people for every drop of blood flowing in Muslim countries.”

The message, left by “Team System Dz,” also ended, “I love the Islamic state.”

The same message also infiltrated government websites in the town of Brookhaven, New York, according to news reports in that state, as well as the website for Howard County, Maryland. In the past, the group also claimed responsibility for similar hacks in the past in Richland County, Wisconsin, and in places such as Aberdeen, Scotland, and Sweden.

Several other government websites were hacked in Ohio, including that of first lady Karen Kasich, Medicaid, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction and the Casino Control Commission.

Tom Hoyt, chief communications officer for Ohio’s Department of Administrative Services, was among Ohio officials who confirmed the hack.

“All affected servers have been taken offline and we are investigating how these hackers were able to deface these websites,” he said. “We also are working with law enforcement to better understand what happened.”

US Government Websites Hacked With Pro-Islamic State Rant Attacking Trump
He said the hacking in Ohio happened at about 11am EDT (8:30pm IST). He hoped the websites would be up and running sometime Monday.

The websites in Brookhaven and Howard County also remained down on Sunday. When asked about the outage on the Brookhaven site, a spokeswoman who answered the phone at the New York town’s police department simply offered a “no comment.”

The hack is part of ongoing cyber-terrorism that has impacted governments and corporations across the globe.

Some see these types of hacks – sometimes called “defacement” – as simply a nuisance, though in some instances, they have been disruptive to work and government life.

But others see cause for alarm. “Wake up freedom-loving Americans. Radical Islam infiltrating the heartland,” Josh Mandel, the Ohio treasurer and a Republican candidate for US Senate, said in a tweet Sunday.

Authors of the website Cryptosphere, which tracks hackers worldwide, have detailed dozens, if not hundreds, of similar hacks in recent years by the so-called Team System DZ, which they called a “pro-ISIS hacker crew” and claim are based in Algeria.

Impacted websites, they said, have included those for a synagogue in Florida, the student union at the University of New Brunswick in Canada, for UK Rugby and a number of websites on WordPress.

 

Trump Calls For Removal Of Barriers For US Exports To India

Washington: US President Donald Trump said he is keen to work with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on creating a “fair and reciprocal” trading relationship between the two nations and called for the removal of “barriers” for the export of US goods into Indian markets.

“I look forward to working with you to create jobs in our countries, to grow our economies and to create a trading relationship that is fair and reciprocal,” Trump said in his remarks at the White House Rose Garden following his meeting with Modi.

Trump said it was “important” that barriers be removed to export US goods into Indian markets, “and that we reduce our trade deficit with your country.

“Referring to the GST reform to be implemented across India starting next month, Trump said it was “the largest tax overhaul in your country’s history”.

Trump Calls For Removal Of Barriers For US Exports To India

“We’re doing that also, by the way. Creating great new opportunities for your citizens. You have a big vision for improving infrastructure, and you are fighting government corruption, which is always a grave threat to democracy,” he said.

Trump expressed pleasure about an order by an Indian airline company for 100 new American planes, calling it one of the largest orders of it is kind, which will support thousands and thousands of American jobs.

“We’re also looking forward to exporting more American energy to India as your economy grows, including major long-term contracts to purchase American natural gas, which are right now being negotiated, and we will sign them. Trying to get the price up a little bit,” he said.

US Exports To India Support 2,60,000 Jobs In America: Report

Washington: American exports to India support more than 260,000 jobs directly and indirectly in the US and the cumulative investment from the country into India reached $28.3 billion in 2015, a new report said on Monday.

India’s foreign direct investment (FDI) in the US totalled $9.2 billion as of 2015, up more than 500 per cent since 2006, said the report ‘India Matters for America/America Matters for India’, which was released by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and East-West Centre at an event on the sidelines of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit here.

“Every US state exports to India, these exports support more than 260,000 jobs directly and indirectly,” the report said.

Thirty-one states have more than 1,000 jobs dependent on exports to India, while an additional six states have 10,000 jobs or more,” said the report, adding that the cumulative investment from the US into India reached $28.3 billion in 2015.

Noting that the US is one of the largest sources of investment into India, the report said since 2000, the US invested over $20 billion in India, more than six per cent of India’s total inflow of investment.

According to the US Trade Representative, India’s direct investment in the US is led by professional, scientific, and technical services; depository institutions and manufacturing.

Among the Asia Pacific countries, India is the 7th largest investor in the US, it said.

“The study clearly brings out the multi-faceted relationship between India and the US and which has only been strengthening with time. Be it trade, investments, tourism, student exchanges or engagement in strategic sectors like defence, India and the US have continued to contribute a lot to each other’s economy,” said Pankaj Patel, FICCI president.

Stating that the defence trade between the US and India increased from $1 billion to over $15 billion, it notes that India was named a ‘Major Defence Partner’ of the United States in 2016, a status which was created to facilitate technology sharing with India to a level at par with that of the United States’ closest allies and partners.

US Exports To India Support 2,60,000 Jobs In America: Report

The signing of defence agreements such as the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) and the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) furthered cooperation.

India conducts more bilateral exercises and personnel exchanges with the US than with any other country, 50 formal events annually, it said.

According to the report, the two-way trade between the US and India increased nearly 200 per cent since 2005, with total value from $37 billion in 2005 to $109 billion in 2015.

US exports amounted to $21.5 billion in goods and $18.1 billion in services to India in 2015.

The US is the top destination for Indian goods, 14 per cent of India’s export.

Also the US is India’s 2nd largest trading partner while India is the 9th largest goods trading partner of the US.

Further US goods imports from India increased from $1 billion in 2000 to almost $45 billion in 2015, a fourfold increase, it said.

Nearly 2,000 American multinational enterprises (MNEs) operate in India, more than from any other foreign country, and employ over a million people, according to US Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) estimates, it said adding that sales by these companies amounted to $76.7 billion in 2014.

There are also over 200 Indian companies in the United States. These companies have invested over $15.6 billion across 37 states and employ over 100,000 people. Sales by Indian MNEs totalled $25 billion in 2014, the report said.

More than 1.2 million US tourists visited India in 2015, accounting for over 15 per cent of all international visitors, and contributing over $3 billion to the Indian economy, it said.

In the same year, over 1 million Indians traveled to the United States.

As the 7th largest source of visitor spending in the United States, Indian tourists contributed $11.4 billion to the US economy.

Thirty-one US states saw an economic impact of $100 million or greater from spending by Indian visitors, the report noted.

The United States is also the top destination for Indian students studying abroad, with US schools hosting half of all Indian international students.

Almost 166,000 Indian students studied in the United States during the 2015/16 academic year, a 25 per cent increase over the previous year, and contributed over $5 billion to the economy.

Indian students make up 16 per cent of all international students in the US.

A majority of Indian students study at the graduate level, and 35 per cent study in a math or computer science field.

American students in India numbered over 4,000 during the 2014/15 academic year.

India is the 4th most popular destination for US students studying abroad in the Asia Pacific, it said.

 

Asus ZenPad Z8 2017 coming to the US soon

From smartphones to laptops, 2016 is proving to be a busy year for Asus. Now, a press render of a new Asus ZenPad tablet has surfaced online. Popular leakster Evan Blass has released the picture on his Twitter account.

He has also revealed that it will be launched in the US soon with Verizon. While the official confirmation is still pending, the tablet is none other the recently announced ZenPad Z8 2017. While none of the features and specs of the device has been revealed, we already know what will kit offer. If you remember, Asus announced the ZenPad Z8 2017 last month at Computex 2017.

On the specs angle, the Asus ZenPad Z8 2017 is driven by an Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 processor running at 1.8Ghz and topped with Adreno 510 GPU. There are two different memory variants available for the device; one with 3GB RAM and 32GB of inbuilt storage and another with 4GB RAM and 64GB of default storage. Moreover, the storage space can be expanded up to 128GB via a microSD card.

Asus ZenPad Z8 2017 coming to the US soon

Display-wise, the tablet flaunts a 7.9-inch IPS LCD Capacitive touchscreen with the resolution of 2048×1536 pixels. Powering the device is a non-removable 4680mAh battery unit.

On the optics front, the Asus ZenPad Z8 2017 features a 13MP rear-facing camera with autofocus as well as a 5MP front-camera for selfies. As for software, it runs on Android 7.1.1 Nougat OS.

Connectivity suite of the tablet offers Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS, Type-C USB port etc. It is likely that the Verizon’s will ZenPad Z8 2017 differ a bit from the International version in terms of specs.

US Cellular Offers Free iPhone 7 With Trade-In For Switchers

In its latest bid to boost its subscriber base, U.S. Cellular if offering a free iPhone 7 to switchers who trade in a qualifying smartphone.

U.S. Cellular generally caters to budget-conscious shoppers looking for affordable devices, but it’s not shying away from flagships either. And for those looking for a deal to get a flagship smartphone for free with trade-in, the carrier is currently offering a promotion that might seem appealing.

U.S. Cellular Free iPhone 7 With Trade-In

For a limited time, U.S. Cellular is offering a free iPhone 7 to customers who agree to switch to its network and turn in a qualifying phone in working condition and without damage.

“At U.S. Cellular, we provide a better value through a better experience – from our strong network, to top-of-the-line devices, to unmatched customer service,” says Grant Leech, U.S. Cellular VP of brand marketing. “Combined with this current deal, now is the perfect time to get iPhone 7 and experience U.S. Cellular for yourself.”

Qualifying smartphones that switchers can turn in to get a free iPhone 7 from U.S. Cellular include the iPhone 5, the Samsung Galaxy S6, or better. U.S. Cellular will cover the cost of the iPhone 7 by offering 30 monthly bill credits of $18.28 per month, as well as a $100 promo card.

U.S. Cellular Deals For Existing Customers

For existing customers, meanwhile, U.S. Cellular has another deal. Those who upgrade to a new iPhone will get a $100 U.S. Cellular promo card they can use to buy accessories, while those who purchase the 9.7-inch iPad Pro get $200 off the regular price.

U.S. Cellular Total Line

The carrier also touts that its Total line of service plans come with no monthly device connection charges, no activation fees, no data overage fees, and no phone upgrade fees.

These plans offer unlimited talk and text with 2 GB, 6 GB, or unlimited data. The carrier also offers family discounts, with various perks for adding extra lines.

“[C]onsumers and businesses who switch can get unlimited data for as low as $40 per line/month with four lines, proving that the only thing better than a free iPhone, is a free iPhone at U.S. Cellular,” further touts the carrier.

Lastly, U.S. Cellular also has a referral program in place, where a current customer can refer someone to the network and if that person agrees to activate a smartphone one of the available Total Plan options, they both get $50 promo cards.

The carrier regularly offers various promotions to attract more customers, but the free iPhone 7 with trade-in is among the most attractive deals it has offered yet. The flagship smartphone is not entirely free since you still have to turn in a qualifying smartphone, but getting the iPhone 7 for and old iPhone 5 nonetheless sounds like a good deal. The iPhone 7 is currently Apple’s flagship smartphone, as the next-generation iPhone 8 is not expected for another few months.

As a reminder, the iPhone 7 sports a 4.7-inch display with a resolution of 750 x 1334 pixels, a quad-core Apple A10 Fusion processor, 32/ 128/ 256 internal storage configurations, 2 GB of RAM, a 12-megapixel rear camera, and a 7-megapixel front shooter. The smartphone doesn’t have a headphone jack.

Would you be interested in switching to U.S. Cellular and trading in a qualifying smartphone to get an iPhone 7? Let us know in the comments section below.

 

Solar Red HTC U11 Hits US, Summer Sale Knocks $200 Off Other HTC Smartphones

HTC has a new Solar Red color option for the HTC U11 in the United States, as well as a summer sale shaving $200 off other select smartphones.

In an increasingly competitive smartphone market, HTC is still trying to get back at the top after losing significant ground to rivals. Its latest flagship raised some interest, and the company is now looking to boost excitement by offering a bold, new color option.

Solar Red HTC U11

The HTC U11 made its debut back in May as the company’s flagship smartphone for 2017, boasting advanced specs and features all around. HTC has announced a new Solar Red avatar, available now in the United States.

Other than the new color option, nothing else is different with this HTC U11 version. The smartphone has the same metal-and-glass construction with a sleek glass back panel that looks quite attractive in red.

The handset costs $649 in the United States and it’s available unlocked, compatible with AT&T, Verizon Wireless, and T-Mobile.

As a reminder, the HTC U11 features a 5.5-inch QHD display (2,560 x 1,440 pixels), a 64-bit octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, Adreno 540 graphics, 4 GB of RAM, and 64 GB of internal storage space.

Other specs include a 12-megapixel rear camera with optical image stabilization, a 16-megapixel selfie cam, a front-mounted fingerprint scanner, a 3,000 mAh battery, and Android 7.1 Nougat on board out of the box, with the company’s proprietary Sense UI on top.

 

HTC Summer Sale

HTC is also running a summer sale with notable discounts on select smartphones, albeit the sleek new HTC U11 is not included in this promotion. Customers can get up to $200 off the HTC U Ultra, HTC 10, and HTC Bolt.

The HTC 10, for instance, is available at 29 percent off, which shaves $200 off its regular price tag for a discounted price of $41.58 per month for 12 months. The handset is available unlocked and will play nice with T-Mobile and AT&T’s networks, but not Sprint and Verizon. It’s HTC’s flagship from last year, but it still has solid specs even by today’s standards.

The HTC Bolt, meanwhile, is available at $100 off under this promo, taking a 17 percent price cut for a final price of $500. Among the highlights, the HTC Bolt features a 5.5-inch QHD display, a Snapdragon 810 processor, and water resistance. The smartphone works with Sprint and Boost Mobile.

Lastly, the HTC U Ultra launched earlier this year is available at $629 after a 16 percent discount, and interested customers can grab the handset in 18 monthly installments of $34.94. The U Ultra is compatible with AT&T and T-Mobile.

HTC is throwing in free shipping with all three smartphones on offer, as well as a free gift and 50 percent off accessories. The summer sale is a limited-time deal set to expire at midnight EDT on June 29, so interested customers might want to take advantage of it while it still lasts.

Are you interested in the Solar Red HTC U11 or one of the three discounted HTC smartphones? Let us know in the comments section below.