iPhone 6 16GB Variant Available for as Low as Rs. 9,990 on Flipkart With New Exchange Offer

In what can be considered as the biggest discount yet, Apple’s iPhone 6 Space Grey Variant is available for as low as Rs. 9,990 on Flipkart. The e-commerce site is offering an exchange offer that can provide up to Rs. 22,000 discount on the 16GB Space Grey variant, making it possible to buy the device under Rs. 10,000 when one includes the Rs. 5,000 flat discount being offered alongside.

iPhone 6 16GB Variant Available for as Low as Rs. 9,990 on Flipkart With New Exchange OfferThe iPhone 6 Space Grey exchange discount is accompanied with an extra 5 percent instant discount on Axis Bank Buzz Credit Cards as well. As we mentioend, Flipkart is offering a flat Rs. 5,000 off (13 percent) on the iPhone 6 Space Grey 16GB variant, and is selling it for Rs. 31,990. The exchange offer listed offers up to a maximum of Rs. 22,000 discount on exchange of old phones. This discount varies depending on the model, but we discovered that exchanging the iPhone 6s garners the maximum discount. However, it is unlikely that anyone would exchange their 3D Touch-enabled iPhone 6s for a two-year-old iPhone 6 unit.The company is also touting an additional Rs. 2,000 off on regular exchange value.

The iPhone 6 16GB Silver variant has not got the Rs. 5,000 price cut, and is available for Rs. 36,990. However, the exchange offer is applicable offering a maximum of up to Rs. 20,000 discount. The iPhone 6 was launched in 2015, while the latest phone from Apple is the iPhone 7. Flipkart is offering an exchange discount of up to Rs. 20,000 on all of iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models.

The big highlights of the iPhone 7 are that the base variant has been bumped up to 32GB, the physical press of the Home Button and the 3.5mm audio jack have been removed. The larger iPhone 7 Plus also introduced a dual camera setup for the first time.

US DoJ Calls Apple Refusal to Unlock iPhone a ‘Marketing Strategy’

US DoJ Calls Apple Refusal to Unlock iPhone a 'Marketing Strategy'

The US Department of Justice filed a motion on Friday seeking to compel Apple Inc to comply with a judge’s order to unlock the encrypted iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino shooters, portraying the tech giant’s refusal as a “marketing strategy.”

In response, a senior Apple executive, speaking with reporters on condition of anonymity, characterized the Justice Department’s filing as an effort to argue its case in the media before the company has a chance to respond.

The back and forth escalated a showdown between the Obama administration and Silicon Valley over security and privacy that ignited earlier this week.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is seeking the tech company’s help to access shooter Syed Rizwan Farook’s phone by disabling some of its passcode protections. The company so far has pushed back and on Thursday won three extra days to respond to the order.

Another senior Apple executive said Congress is the right place for a debate over encryption, not a courtroom.

The executive said Apple was stunned that such a legal request had come from the US government rather than a country with weaker traditions of protecting privacy and civil liberties.

The motion to compel Apple to comply did not carry specific penalties for the company, and the Justice Department declined to comment on what recourse it was willing to seek.

In the order, prosecutors acknowledged that the latest filing was “not legally necessary” since Apple had not yet responded to the initial order.

The clash between Apple and the Justice Department has driven straight to the heart of a long-running debate over how much law enforcement and intelligence officials should be able to monitor digital communications.

A federal court hearing in California has been scheduled for March 22 in the case, according to Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the US Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.

The Justice Department said its Friday motion was a response to Apple CEO Tim Cook’s public statement Wednesday, which included a refusal to “hack our own users and undermine decades of security advancements that protect our customers.”

“Rather than assist the effort to fully investigate a deadly terrorist attack … Apple has responded by publicly repudiating that order,” prosecutors wrote in the Friday filing.

“Apple’s current refusal to comply with the court’s order, despite the technical feasibility of doing so, instead appears to be based on its concern for its business model and public brand marketing strategy,” prosecutors said.

ID change poses hurdle
The two senior Apple executives said the company had worked hard to help investigators and tried multiple avenues including sending engineers with FBI agents to a WiFi network that would recognize the phone and begin an automatic backup if that had been enabled.

They criticized government officials who reset the Apple identification associated with the phone, which closed off the possibility of recovering information from it through that automatic cloud backup.

San Bernardino County reset the password on the iCloud account at the request of the FBI, said county spokesman David Wert.

The government first disclosed the identification change in a footnote to its filing Friday. The Apple executives said that the reset occurred before Apple was consulted. The Justice Department declined to comment on that contention.

The two sides have been on a collision course since Apple and Alphabet Inc’s Google began offering default end-to-end encryption on their devices in 2014, a move prompted in part by the surveillance revelations from former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

But the Justice Department struggled to find a compelling case where encryption proved to be an insurmountable hurdle for its investigators until the Dec. 2 shooting rampage by Farook and his wife in San Bernardino, California, which killed 14. Authorities believe the couple was inspired by the Islamic State.

Some technology experts and privacy advocates backing Apple suggest Farook’s work phone likely contains little data of value. They have accused the Justice Department of choreographing the case to achieve a broader goal of gaining support for legislation or a legal precedent that would force companies to crack their encryption for investigators.

The case has quickly become a topic in the US presidential race. Republican frontrunner Donald Trump on Friday called for a “boycott” against Apple until the company complied with the court order.

The two Apple executives said they felt in good company, noting that Trump has faulted many other groups and individuals.

The debate will also play out on Capitol Hill. Bipartisan leaders of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee late Friday invited Apple’s Cook and FBI Director James Comey to testify at an upcoming hearing on encryption, though a date was not set.

The House Judiciary Committee is also planning an encryption hearing for March and has invited Apple to attend, according to a congressional source.

Donald Trump Calls for Apple Boycott Until Firm Unlocks Shooter’s iPhone

Donald Trump Calls for Apple Boycott Until Firm Unlocks Shooter's iPhone

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump called on Friday for a boycott of Apple Inc products until the tech company agreed to help the US government unlock the cellphone of one of the killers in last year’s San Bernardino, California, shooting.

“Boycott Apple until such time as they give that information,” Trump said at a campaign event in Pawleys Island, South Carolina. “It just occurred to me.”

Trump, front-runner for the Republican nomination ahead of the November 8 presidential election, made the off-the-cuff comment at a town hall-style event at a country club, a day before the state’s nominating contest.

Even as he was still speaking, Trump’s campaign posted on his Twitter handle (@real Donald Trump) from an iPhone, with the timestamp labeled “via Twitter for iPhone.”

Trump later posted on Twitter that he used both an iPhone and a Samsung device.

In response, senior Apple executives, on a call with reporters on Friday, said they felt they were in good company given the other groups and people Trump has criticized in the past. They defended encryption as a way to protect Apple customers’ rights.

It was not the first attack on the world’s best-known technology company by the real estate mogul and reality TV personality. Trump has previously been critical of Apple, which has its headquarters in Cupertino, California, for not producing enough of its products in the United States.

“We’re gonna get Apple to start building their damn computers and things in this country, instead of in other countries,” Trump said in a January speech at Liberty University in Virginia.

Apple is resisting US government demands that it unlock an iPhone used by Rizwan Farook, who along with his wife, Tashfeen Malik, shot and killed 14 people and wounded 22 others at a holiday party in San Bernardino last December.

Trump made his comments as the US Department of Justice filed a motion seeking to force Apple to comply with a judge’s order for the company to unlock the phone, portraying the tech company’s refusal as a “marketing strategy.”

The filing increased tension in a showdown between the Obama administration and Silicon Valley over security and privacy. The government has said the couple were sympathizers of Islamic State militants and wants to open the phone to find out more about possible connections and contacts.

“If Apple doesn’t give the information to the authorities on the radical Islamic terrorists, I’ll only be using a Samsung – until such time as they give the information,” Trump tweeted.

“Hopefully others will follow suit. Our country needs and should demand security. It is time to get tough and be smart!”

It was not the first time Trump has called for a boycott. In November, he lobbied for a Starbucks Corp boycott because the coffee chain’s red holiday cups lacked Christmas-related decorations.

He has repeatedly urged people not to shop at Macy’s after the department store dropped his signature business clothing line because of comments he made about Mexicans.

Apple Says Debate Over iPhone Encryption Should Be Decided by Congress

Apple Says Debate Over iPhone Encryption Should Be Decided by Congress

Senior Apple executives said on Friday that the right place to find a solution to the encryption debate was in the US Congress, rebuffing the Justice Department’s successful pursuit of a court order to unlock an iPhone linked to one of the San Bernardino shooters.

The executives, speaking to reporters on a press call, said they were stunned that the request to write software code to disable the passcode protections on the phone was happening in the United States and not another country with lesser traditions of privacy and civil liberties.

The US Department of Justice also filed a motion on Friday seeking to compel Apple Inc to comply with a judge’s order to unlock the encrypted iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino shooters, portraying the tech giant’s refusal as a “marketing strategy.”

In response, a senior Apple executive, speaking with reporters on condition of anonymity,characterized the Justice Department’s filing as an effort to argue its case in the media before the company has a chance to respond.

The back and forth escalated a showdown between the Obama administration and Silicon Valley over security and privacy that ignited earlier this week.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is seeking the tech company’s help to access shooter Syed Rizwan Farook’s phone by disabling some of its passcode protections. The company so far has pushed back and on Thursday won three extra days to respond to the order.

Worldwide Protests Supporting Apple in Encryption Fight With FBI Planned By Internet Rights Group

Worldwide Protests Supporting Apple in Encryption Fight With FBI Planned By Internet Rights Group

Protesters are preparing to assemble in more than 30 cities to lash out at the FBI for obtaining a court order that requires Apple to make it easier to unlock an encrypted iPhone used by a gunman in December’s mass shootings in Southern California.

The protests organized by the Internet rights group Fight for the Future are scheduled to occur Tuesday outside Apple stores in the US, the U.K., Hong Kong and Germany.

The US protests will be in cities scattered across more than 20 states, including in New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Washington, where protesters plan to express their discontent outside the FBI’s headquarters.

The gatherings will come a week after the FBI went to court to force Apple to weaken the security built into most iPhones to help a terrorism investigation in San Bernardino, California. The FBI wants Appleto remove a feature that erases the information stored on an iPhone after 10 unsuccessful attempts to enter a password, preventing unauthorized users from accessing the device.

The iPhone that the FBI is trying to examine was used by Syed Farook, who along with his wife killed 14 people in December.

Apple is fighting the court order issued in the case, arguing that the special software sought by the FBI could be used to break into millions of other iPhones. The FBI contends Apple is exaggerating the security risks of complying with the court order in a marketing ploy aimed at selling more iPhones.

Fight for the Future believes Apple’s concerns are warranted and is hoping the protests will persuade the Obama administration to take a stand against the way the FBI is trying to break into Farook’s iPhone, said Evan Greer, the group’s campaign director.

The White House so far has stood behind the FBI in its battle with Apple Inc.

FBI Asked for Password Reset on Shooter’s iPhone

FBI Asked for Password Reset on Shooter's iPhone

In the chaotic aftermath of the shootings in San Bernardino, California, in December, FBI investigators seeking to recover data from the iPhone of one of the shooters asked a technician in the California county to reset the phone’s iCloud password.

But that apparent fog-of-war error foreclosed the possibility of an automatic backup to the AppleiCloud servers that might have turned up more clues to the origins of the terrorist attack that killed 14 people.

“The county and the FBI were working together cooperatively to obtain data, and at the point when it became clear the only way to accomplish the task at hand was to reset the iCloud password, the FBI asked the county to do so, and the county complied,” David Wert, a spokesman for San Bernardino County, said in an email.

The Justice Department disclosed the misstep in a court filing Friday, which is part of a larger, high-stakes battle over whether the government can use the courts to force Apple to create software to help it unlock a customer’s iPhone – in this case, one used by Syed Rizwan Farook. Farook, a county health worker, and his wife were killed in a firefight with police hours after the December 2 attack.

“This was happening hours after the worst terror attack since 9/11, and there were still credible reports of a third shooter,” said a federal law enforcement official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation. “It was a very dynamic time, and the number one priority was figuring out what happened and if there were more attacks coming.”

According to senior Apple executives, the FBI’s first call to Apple for help came on Saturday, December 5, at 2.46 a.m. With a subpoena, the bureau obtained subscriber data and other details. On Sunday, the FBI, with a warrant, obtained data from Farook’s iPhone that had been backed up to iCloud. That backup contained information only through October 19, six weeks before the attack.

The same Sunday, the FBI asked the county for help in retrieving data from the phone, Wert said in an interview. “So the county said we could get to the information on the cloud if we changed the password or had Apple change the password,” he said. “The FBI asked us to do that, and we did.”

It is not clear why the FBI needed to reset the password if it was able to obtain the backed-up data from Apple. The FBI did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Nonetheless, by resetting the password, the county, which owned Farook’s phone, and the FBI eliminated the possibility of seeing whether additional data beyond Oct. 19 might be recovered from the phone through the auto-backup feature, experts said.

The FBI in a court filing said Farook “may have disabled” the auto-backup. But, tech experts said, there might be other reasons the phone did not back up: It was not near a WiFi network it was familiar with, such as his home or workplace, or it was not turned on long enough to back up. With the password changed, it is impossible to know.

“Even though it has been reported that the iCloud backups were disabled, there still is data that may have been recoverable,” said security expert Dan Guido, chief executive of Trail of Bits. Depending on the phone’s settings, it might have synched notes, emails, address books – perhaps geolocation data – with the company’s network.

“This could have resulted in nothing,” Guido said. “Or it could have resulted in all the data on the phone.”

The showdown between Apple and the government arises out of the FBI’s inability to recover data from Farook’s phone, especially for the weeks prior to the attack. The Justice Department on Tuesday got a federal judge to order Apple to build software to override an auto-wipe feature on the phone that deletes data after 10 failed tries to enter a password. The FBI could then try to crack the phone’s password by “brute force,” making many attempts without risking the wiping of the data.

Apple chief executive Tim Cook said the firm would challenge the order, warning that it would set a “chilling” precedent that could lead to more invasive requests for data. On Friday, the Justice Department fired back, charging that Apple’s stance was motivated by “marketing”concerns as it promotes itself as a protector of consumer privacy.

US Says Will Let Apple Keep Software to Help FBI Hack iPhone

US Says Will Let Apple Keep Software to Help FBI Hack iPhone

The Obama administration told a US magistrate judge on Friday it would be willing to allow Apple Inc. to retain possession of and later destroy specialized software it has been ordered to design to help the FBI hack into an encrypted iPhone used by the gunman in December’s mass shootings in California.

The government made clear that it was open to less intrusive options in a new legal filing intended to blunt public criticism by Apple’s chief executive, Tim Cook, who said the software would be “too dangerous to create” because it would threaten the digital privacy of millions of iPhone customers worldwide.

“Apple may maintain custody of the software, destroy it after its purpose under the order has been served, refuse to disseminate it outside of Apple and make clear to the world that it does not apply to other devices or users without lawful court orders,” the Justice Department told Judge Sheri Pym. “No one outside Apple would have access to the software required by the order unless Apple itself chose to share it.”

Meanwhile, the legal fight continued to reverberate on the presidential campaign trail as Republican candidate Donald Trump called on Americans to boycott Apple until it complies with the court order.

Trump made the comment during a question-and-answer session in Pawleys Island, South Carolina, where he’s campaigning ahead of Saturday’s first-in-the-South Republican presidential primary. Trump says Cook wants to prove “how liberal he is” and told the crowd to “boycott Apple until such time as they give up that security.”

In the latest volley between the federal government and one of the world’s most respected companies, the Justice Department argued that Apple has the technical ability to comply with a court order issued this week – but won’t do so because of its marketing strategy.

“Apple has attempted to design and market its products to allow technology, rather than the law, to control access to data which has been found by this court to be warranted for an important investigation,” the filing states.

The Justice Department’s motion, which seeks to force Apple to comply with Pym’s order, appears aimed at rebutting some of the key objections of Apple and its supporters. It says that the software the government seeks, contrary to Apple’s assertions, is not akin to a “master key, capable of opening hundreds of millions of locks.” And it also rejects the idea that the court order placed an unreasonable burden on the company, saying Apple already has the technical wherewithal to satisfy it.

“To the extent that Apple claims that the order is unreasonably burdensome because it undermines Apple’s marketing strategies or because it fears criticism for providing lawful access to the government, these concerns do not establish an undue burden,” the government wrote.

Apple’s written objection, already signaled by Cook in a message to Apple customers, is due next Friday.

Apple executives said during a call with reporters Friday that the company had worked with federal officials and investigators to try to gain access to Syed Farook’s iPhone. The executives, who insisted on anonymity to speak freely amid ongoing legal proceedings, said they went to the FBI in early January with four suggestions, including a workaround using iCloud. Prosecutors noted the four methods and their “deficiencies” in a footnote in their Friday court filing.

The magistrate on Tuesday ordered Apple to provide the FBI with highly specialized software that could be loaded onto the work-issued iPhone 5C used by Farook, who died with his wife in a gun battle with police after killing 14 people in December in San Bernardino, California. The US has said the attacks were partly inspired by the Islamic State terror group.

Although the judge instructed Apple to create the software for the FBI, she said it could be loaded onto the phone at an Apple facility.

But the Justice Department made explicit Friday that Apple could retain custody of the software at all times.

The specialized software would bypass a security time delay and self-destruct feature that erases all data after 10 consecutive, unsuccessful attempts to guess the unlocking passcode. This would allow the FBI to use technology to rapidly and repeatedly test numbers in what’s known as a brute force attack. In their filing Friday, prosecutors explained that investigators would be willing to work remotely to test passcodes, while Apple retained both possession of the phone and the technology itself.

That’s a good “compromise position” because “they’re giving all the power to Apple,” said Jason Healey, a former director on cyber policy at the White House.

“They’re telling Apple, ‘You hold the software, we’re not asking you to put a backdoor in the encryption, we just want to be able to brute force this thing,'” Healey said. “If the precedent is this, that they deliver the phone to Apple and Apple does it, I think that’s a pretty good precedent that can’t be done en masse on the next thousand iPhones.”

The government said the county-owned phone could be valuable as evidence because Farook appeared to use the device to communicate with his wife in the months before the shootings as well as with some of his co-workers who were killed in the attacks.

Two other personal phones were found crushed beyond investigative value in the trash behind the couple’s home.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee on Friday invited Cook and FBI Director James Comey to appear before it to discuss encryption technologies and issues of privacy and national security, asking both to tell Americans how they plan to move forward.

A hearing in the federal case has been set for March 22 in Riverside, California.

Japan Sees Drop in iPhone Shipments

Japan Sees Drop in iPhone Shipments: Report

Shipments to Japan of Apple Inc.’s iPhones dropped 10.6 percent in 2015 from a year earlier, marking the first drop in Japan since the ubiquitous smartphone went on sale in 2008, MM Research Institute said on Saturday.

According to the research institute, shipments totalled 14.73 million units, with the notable slump attributable to sluggish sales of iPhone 6s and 6s Plus versions of its handsets, that went on sale in autumn last year, Xinhua reported.

The institute noted that while Apple remains the market leader for smartphone sales in Japan, it has given some way to Sony and Sharp who have both gained ground.

Apple saw its market share trimmed to 41.2 percent from 43.1 percent in 2014, with Sony in second place with a market share of 13.9 percent followed by Sharp who captured 11.9 percent of the market in the recording period.

The institute believes that Apple may continue to lose market share in the lucrative smartphone market, as the government is leaning on domestic mobile carriers to review their discount policies, including those that have seen Apple benefit from customers switching from another brand or to Japan’s favourite brand of smartphone in the first place.

While the total number of smartphones shipped in the recording period came in at 27.58 million units in 2015, edging down 0.4 percent compared to the previous year, shipments of regular phones plummeted 22.6 percent to 8.19 million units in 2015, the institute said.

Sales of smartphones with Android OS were up 15 percent to 12. 85 million units in 2015, from a year earlier.

Now Control Your Dumb, AA-Battery Powered Devices With Your iPhone

Now Control Your Dumb, AA-Battery Powered Devices With Your iPhone

You can now utilise your iPhone to control your TV’s remote, toys, and other devices that are powered by AA batteries. A company has found a way to utilise HomeKit, the home automation frameworkApple introduced with iOS 8 to control a range of devices.

HomeKit is a framework for communicating with and controlling connected accessories in a user’s home. The feature enables an iPhone with iOS 8 and above to discover HomeKit accessories around them and control their actions.

Controlling a dumb device, such as the one that is powered by AA batteries, is tough. But a company called Tethercell has found a way to leverage on Apple’s technology to make such devices dance on your iPhone’s tune as well.

The company has created a device called Tethercell AA Smart Battery Adapter which enables HomeKit. A user is required to replace one of the device’s AA batteries with this adapter. Once done, you will be able to switch on and off that gadget with your iPhone or iPad. You will have to use the company’s app to do so, however. Tethercell is selling a pair of such AA cell adapters for a sum $20 (roughly Rs. 1,380) on Amazon.

There’s a limitation in it, however. The Tethercell AA Smart Battery Adapter utilises Bluetooth LE and not Wi-Fi, which means that you have to within 50 or 60 feet of your iPhone. Do note that when you order the device from India, you might have to a few extra bucks for shipping and customs fees. The good news is that it is likely many more companies will now be looking at this technology, and soon, we might have a plenty of them available in our retail stores as well.

iPhone 5se to Sport Apple A9 SoC; iPad Air 3 to Sport Apple A9X

iPhone 5se to Sport Apple A9 SoC; iPad Air 3 to Sport Apple A9X: Report

Apple, as rumoured back in December last year, is now once again tipped to include the A9 SoC in its upcoming 4-inch iPhone 5se smartphone. The report also talks about the SoC on the unannounced iPad Air 3.

In a report, Bloomberg adds that the Cupertino-based firm intends to launch the 4-inch iPhone 5se and the updated iPad (likely the iPad Air 3) with A9 and A9X processors in March. It is worth mentioning that the A9 and the A9X (tablet) SoCs for now reside only in iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPad Pro models.

A recent report had also indicated Apple will for the first time opt for EMI (electromagnetic interference) shield technology to be used on a variety of its chips on the upcoming iPhone 7. Also tipped is that Wistron along with Foxconn will be the primary suppliers of Apple’s long-rumoured iPhone 5se. Apple is reportedly intending to separate its orders to different ODMs to “avoid risks.” Wistron is said to get small portion of the 4-inch iPhone orders from Apple this year.

The iPhone 5se is said to house hardware guts and design similar to the iPhone 6s. Also tipped is that the handset will also support always-on Siri feature. Other features of the iPhone 5se include 16GB and 64GB inbuilt storage options, an 8-megapixel iSight camera, and a 5-megapixel FaceTime camera.

As for the rumoured iPad Air 3, the tablet is said to feature a 4K display sans 3D Touch capability. A leaked case of the iPad Air 3 suggests that the upcoming tablet will have a four-speaker setup and Smart Connector, two features previously seen on the iPad Pro. The case also suggests that the iPad Air 3 will be 0.05mm thicker than the iPad Air 2, and 0.1mm wider.

However, these leaks should be taken with a pinch of salt as Apple has not mentioned anything about the upcoming devices and their legitimacy remains questionable.