AWT News Update: April 13, 2016

Motor Trend's tweet today:

Motor Trend's tweet today:

News of some possible Apple Car details coming tomorrow:

  • Motor Trend says they'll have a report on the Apple Car tomorrow
  • The House is moving forward on the Email Privacy Act, which is designed to require a warrant for law enforcement agencies to get their hands on old emails and other communications
  • New York's MTA will accept proposals in June for a new contactless payment system, but will it accept Apple Pay?
  • Logitech buys Jaybird for its wireless audio wearables

The text version of this podcast is below.

Text Version

Hi, I’m Steve Sande from Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for April 13, 2016.

Motor Trend magazine is sending out tweets today to get Apple fans quite interested. They’re supposedly doing a report on the Apple Car tomorrow, so the tweets are designed to stir up interest. Already some investment sites are saying that the report — which hasn’t been released yet — will have a negative impact on shares of electric car rival Tesla. We’ll see…

The US House of Representatives Judiciary Committee today voted to unanimously move forward on the Email Privacy Act, designed to update an old law and mandate federal authorities to get a warrant to access emails and other digital communications over 180 days old. All it takes now for law enforcement agencies to get that information from a service provider is to have a subpoena, which doesn’t get as much judicial oversight as a warrant. The bill has received sponsorship from 315 of 435 House lawmakers, and a similar bill in the Senate has almost a quarter of all senators endorsing it. During this election year, it’s uncertain if the bill will advance and become law.

Many transit systems around the world now allow payments using tap-to-pay smart cards or mobile devices, but there’s one major holdout - New York City’s Metropolitan Transit Authority. That’s due to change, as the MTA will start accepting proposals in June for a new fare payment system as a successors the swipe-to-pay MetroCard for subway and bus fares. The plan is expected to start implementation in mid 2018 and take until 2021 to complete. What’s not known is whether or not the new system will be required to accept Apple Pay, which is available on all of Apple’s latest iPhones. Apple is a member of the NFC Forum, a group that’s working to make contactless payments the standard for US public transit. Considering that Apple’s phones are wildly popular in the United States, it would be insane for a new MTA payment system to not have support for Apple Pay. Then again, it’s New York City we’re talking about.

There’s some merger and acquisition news today. Big accessory manufacturer Logitech has announced that it will be buying Jaybird for about $50 million in cash. Jaybird has been quite hot in the wireless audio wearables market, particularly for people participating in sports and active lifestyles. The purchase follows a number of similar consolidations in the accessory industry in the past few years, including ZAGG’s purchase of Mophie, Incipio’s purchase of Incase, and of course the acquisition of LifeProof by Otterbox.

We’ll be back tomorrow with another edition of the AWT News Update.