Apple Has Discussed Investing Up to $1 Billion in SoftBank’s Global Technology Fund

Apple has held talks with SoftBank about investing up to $1 billion in the Japanese telecommunication giant's global technology fund, according to The Wall Street Journal. A deal has not been finalized, while the current status of the talks could not be determined, according to the report.

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President-elect Donald Trump and Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son (Image: LA Times)

The so-called "SoftBank Vision Fund," expected to launch next year, will be valued at up to $100 billion, which will be invested into emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and connected internet devices. SoftBank itself will invest at least $25 billion in the fund, while the Saudi Arabian government will pledge up to $45 billion.

Apple's own investment would allow it to gain insight on emerging technologies, according to the report.
Such a move also would reflect a shift in Apple’s investment strategy, which until recently focused on small stakes in young technology companies. Earlier this year, Apple invested $1 billion in Didi Chuxing Technology Co., China’s homegrown ride-sharing competitor to Uber Technologies Inc. SoftBank is also an investor in Didi.
Last week, SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son said he would invest $50 billion of the fund in the United States and create 50,000 new jobs in the country following a meeting with President-elect Donald Trump. SoftBank is the parent company of U.S. carrier Sprint, which employs about 30,000 people.

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These ‘Star Wars’ phones are the Androids you’re looking for

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A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… there were no smartphones. But if there were, they probably would’ve looked something like this.

SoftBank, a Japanese telecom, debuted a slick duo of Star Wars-themed Android phones Friday. They come in “Dark Side” and “Light Side” flavors (of course)…

Image: SOFTBANK

… with Imperial and Rebel icons emblazoned on the back of each device:

Image: Softbank

They’re loaded with Star Wars wallpapers referencing the original trilogy, with a nifty starship overlay depending on the phone (the black “Dark Side” version shows the lock screen through a TIE fighter window, while the white “Light Side” variant goes with an X-Wing cockpit): Read more…

More about Softbank, Android, Star Wars, and Tech