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The absolute best iPhone deals for January 2019

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Want to buy an iPhone without spending too much money? 

Normally, we’d say that’s impossible, but you’re in luck: Apple recently issued its first profit warning since 2002. While that sounds gloomy for investors, it’s good news for those of you who want to buy Apple products, as ZDNet’s Adrian Kingsley-Hughes explained here.

Also: Meet the new Diet iPhone: Could a fresh formula boost Apple’s bottom line?

He’s predicted a downward effect on pricing. Don’t expect Apple to cut its iPhone prices by half or anything dramatic like that, but you could see some models getting decent discounts over the next few months. In fact, there are great deals to be found already. 

Here are the best iPhone sales we’ve spotted for January 2019.

Best iPhone deals: Major carriers

AT&T

  • AT&T is holding an iPhone BOGO sale — where you buy an iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, or iPhone XR, and you’ll get a free iPhone XR with your purchase. See AT&T’s iPhone BOGO deal here.
  • Alternatively, as part of the same BOGO sale above, you can buy an iPhone and get up to $750 in credit toward the purchase of an iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max. See AT&T’s iPhone BOGO deal here.

Sprint

Also: This is why Apple doesn’t want you fixing your smartphone

T-Mobile

  • Buy the iPhone XS and trade in an eligible device, and then you’ll get $390 back (via 36 monthly bill credits). Eligible trade-ins include the iPhone 7 through iPhone 8 Plus; Samsung Galaxy S8 and Note 8, Google Pixel through Pixel 2 XL, and LG V30 and LG G). For instance, if you trade in an Phone 7, you’ll get $300 in credit. See T-Mobile’s iPhone XS deal here.
  • Buy an iPhone XR, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone X, iPhone 8 Plus, or iPhone 8 on a monthly payment plan, add a new line of service (so, two total), and trade in an eligible device, and then you’ll get up to $750 back (via 24 or 36 monthly bill credits). Eligible trade-ins include the iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6s, and iPhone 6s Plus. For instance, if you trade in an iPhone 7, you’ll get $300 in credit. See T-Mobile’s iPhone deal here.

Verizon

  • Got an old phone laying around? Verizon is offering a minimum $100 credit ( to your account over 24 months) when you upgrade and trade-in select models (ranging from the iPhone SE to the Samsung Galaxy S4). See Verizon’s trade-in deal here.
  • You can add a new line of service at Verizon and then get $300 off the purchase of a new iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, or iPhone XR.  See Verizon’s iPhone deal here.

Also: Apple: Beginning of the end, or a new beginning?

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Best iPhone deals: Prepaid carriers

Boost Mobile

  • Boost Mobile is offering one of the best prices we’ve seen on the iPhone XR. You can get the 64GB version for $649.99 with free shipping and no service contract. That’s $99 off.The 128GB option is also available, but for $699.99, and the 256GB is $799.99, with  free shipping and no contract. They’re both $99 off. See Boost Mobile’s iPhone XR deal here.

MetroPCS

Virgin Mobile

Also: What would Steve Jobs think of the 2019 Apple?

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Best iPhone deals: Retailers

Amazon

  • If you don’t mind buying a refurbished iPhone, there’s an iPhone 8 (unlocked, 64GB) for $473 on Amazon. That’s $117 less than the same refurbished model at Best Buy. It’s also backed by Amazon’s 90-day guarantee. See Amazon’s iPhone 8 deal here.

Best Buy

  • Get the iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max (with activation), and you’ll receive up to $400 as a Best Buy gift card — if you trade in an old iPhone. You can estimate your iPhone trade-in value here. An iPhone 7 (128GB) will fetch you around $170. This is an in-store only offer. See Best Buy’s iPhone XS/XS Max deal here.
  • Best Buy is offering the same deal above for the iPhone XR (with activation). Again, you’ll receive up to $400 as a Best Buy gift card — if you trade in an old iPhone. This is an in-store only offer. See Best Buy’s iPhone XR deal here.

eBay

  • BuySpry (via eBay) has a refurbished iPhone 7 Plus (unlocked, 256GB) in Black for $384.78 with free shipping. A 60-day BuySpry warranty is included. It also comes with an MFi-certified cable and power adapter. See eBay’s iPhone 7 Plus deal here.
  • BuySpry (via eBay) has a refurbished iPhone 8 Plus (unlocked, 256GB) in Space Grey for $574.99 with free shipping. Again, a 60-day BuySpry warranty is included. See eBay’s iPhone 8 Plus deal here.

Target

  • Target has $35 off the Phone SE (prepaid from Simple Mobile), making it $124.99. To be clear, this phone works on a prepaid service, but there’s no contract, and it’s a 22 percent savings on a model just two years old. See Target’s iPhone SE deal here.

Walmart

  • Walmart has the iPhone 6 32GB (prepaid from Straight Talk) in Space Gray for $99. Again, this phone works on a prepaid but service, but this is the best deal for any carrier by at least $50. See Walmart’s iPhone 6 deal here.

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Best iPhone deals: Apple Store

  1. Apple sells refurbished iPhone models, too. It has the iPhone 7 Plus (unlocked, 32GB) for $479, a $99 savings. You can also get it in 128GB for $569 (a $100 savings) or 256GB for $649 (a $220 savings). See Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus deal here.
  2. Apple has a dedicated online storefront for active military personnel and veterans — complete with a 10-percent discount offer on Apple products, including the iPhone. The new iPhone XR, for instance, is just $674. See Apple’s military storefront here.

For more great deals on devices, gadgetry, and technology for your enterprise, business, or home office, see ZDNet’s Business Bargain Hunter blog. Affiliate disclosure: ZDNet earns commission from the products and services featured on this page.

Previous and related coverage:

iPhone XS Max: The iPhone’s future is big and bright

Apple’s iPhone XS Max is as big as it gets.

iPhone XS: Everything Apple has to offer, but in a smaller package

The iPhone XS is the smallest of Apple’s 2018 iPhone lineup, but don’t discount it.

Apple iPhone XR: Lower cost comes with camera, reception compromises

Apple switched up release strategies a bit in 2018 with the two high end $1,000+ models released initially, followed by one priced $250 to $350 less. The iPhone XR arrives in six color options and honestly it may be the best option for the masses.

Apple iPhone X: This is as good as it gets

Face ID, an impressive display, new interaction methods, and solid performance put the iPhone X on top.

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Cymulate snaps up $70M to help cybersecurity teams stress test their networks with attack simulations – TechCrunch

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The cost of cybercrime has been growing at an alarming rate of 15% per year, projected to reach $10.5 trillion by 2025. To cope with the challenges that this poses, organizations are turning to a growing range of AI-powered tools to supplement their existing security software and the work of their security teams. Today, a startup called Cymulate — which has built a platform to help those teams automatically and continuously stress test their networks against potential attacks with simulations, and provide guidance on how to improve their systems to ward off real attacks — is announcing a significant round of growth funding after seeing strong demand for its tools.

The startup — founded in Tel Aviv, with a second base in New York — has raised $70 million, a Series D that it will be using to continue expanding globally and investing in expanding its technology (both organically and potentially through acquisitions).

Today, Cymulate’s platform covers both on-premise and cloud networks, providing breach and attack simulations for endpoints, email and web gateways and more; automated “red teaming”; and a “purple teaming” facility to create and launch different security breach scenarios for organizations that lack the resources to dedicate people to a live red team — in all, a “holistic” solution for companies looking to make sure they are getting the most out of the network security architecture that they already have in place, in the worlds of Eyal Wachsman, Cymulate’s CEO.

“We are providing our customers with a different approach for how to do cybersecurity and get insights [on]  all the products already implemented in a network,” he said in an interview. The resulting platform has found particular traction in the current market climate. Although companies continue to invest in their security architecture, security teams are also feeling the market squeeze, which is impacting IT budgets, and sometimes headcount in an industry that was already facing a shortage of expertise. (Cymulate cites figures from the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology that estimate a shortfall of 2.72 million security professionals in the workforce globally.)

The idea with Cymulate is that it’s built something that helps organizations get the most out of what they already have. “And at the end, we provide our customers the ability to prioritize where they need to invest, in terms of closing gaps in their environment,” Wachsman said.

The round is being led by One Peak, with Susquehanna Growth Equity (SGE), Vertex Ventures Israel, Vertex Growth and strategic backer Dell Technologies Capital also participating. (All five also backed Cymulate in its $45 million Series C last year.) Relatively speaking, this is a big round for Cymulate, doubling its total raised to $141 million, and while the startup is not disclosing its valuation, I understand from sources that it is around the $500 million mark.

Wachsman noted that the funding is coming on the heels of a big year for the startup (the irony being that the constantly escalating issue of cybersecurity and growing threat landscape spells good news for companies built to combat that). Revenues have doubled, although it’s not disclosing any numbers today, and the company is now at over 200 employees and works with some 500 paying customers across the enterprise and mid-market, including NTT, Telit, and Euronext, up from 300 customers a year ago.

Wachsman, who co-founded the company with Avihai Ben-Yossef and Eyal Gruner, said he first thought of the idea of building a platform to continuously test an organization’s threat posture in 2016, after years of working in cybersecurity consulting for other companies. He found that no matter how much effort his customers and outside consultants put into architecting security solutions annually or semi-annually, those gains were potentially lost each time a malicious hacker made an unexpected move.

“If the bad guys decided to penetrate the organization, they could, so we needed to find a different approach,” he said. He looked to AI and machine learning for the solution, a complement to everything already in the organization, to build “a machine that allows you to test your security controls and security posture, continuously and on demand, and to get the results immediately… one step before the hackers.”

Last year, Wachsman described Cymulate’s approach to me as “the largest cybersecurity consulting firm without consultants,” but in reality the company does have its own large in-house team of cybersecurity researchers, white-hat hackers who are trying to find new holes — new bugs, zero days and other vulnerabilities — to develop the intelligence that powers Cymulate’s platform.

These insights are then combined with other assets, for example the MITRE ATT&CK framework, a knowledge base of threats, tactics and techniques used by a number of other cybersecurity services, including others building continuous validation services that compete with Cymulate. (Competitors include the likes of FireEye, Palo Alto Networks, Randori, AttackIQ and many more.)

Cymulate’s work comes in the form of network maps that detail a company’s threat profile, with technical recommendations for remediation and mitigations, as well as an executive summary that can be presented to financial teams and management who might be auditing security spend. It also has built tools for running security checks when integrating any services or IT with third parties, for instance in the event of an M&A process or when working in a supply chain.

Today the company focuses on network security, which is big enough in itself but also leaves the door open for Cymulate to acquire companies in other areas like application security — or to build that for itself. “This is something on our roadmap,” said Wachsman.

If potential M&A leads to more fundraising for Cymulate, it helps that the startup is in one of the handful of categories that are going to continue to see a lot of attention from investors.

“Cybersecurity is clearly an area that we think will benefit from the current macroeconomic environment, versus maybe some of the more capital-intensive businesses like consumer internet or food delivery,” said David Klein, a managing partner at One Peak. Within that, he added, “The best companies [are those] that are mission critical for their customers… Those will continue to attract very good multiples.”

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Open-source password manager Bitwarden raises $100M – TechCrunch

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Bitwarden, an open-source password manager for enterprises and consumers, has raised $100 million in a round of funding led by PSG, with participation form Battery Ventures.

Founded initially back in 2015, Santa Barbara, California-based Bitwarden operates in a space that includes well-known incumbents including 1Password, which recently hit a $6.8 billion valuation off the back of a $620 million fundraise, and Lastpass, which was recently spun out as an independent company again two years after landing in the hands of private equity firms.

In a nutshell, Bitwarden and its ilk make it easier for people to generate secure passwords automatically, and store all their unique passwords and sensitive information such as credit card data in a secure digital vault, saving them from reusing the same insecure password across all their online accounts.

Bitwarden’s big differentiator, of course, lies in the fact that it’s built atop an open-source codebase, which for super security-conscious individuals and businesses is a good thing — they can fully inspect the inner-workings of the platform. Moreover, people can contribute back to the codebase and expedite development of new features.

On top of a basic free service, Bitwarden ships a bunch of paid-for premium features and services, including advanced enterprise features like single sign-on (SSO) integrations and identity management.

Bitwarden

It’s worth noting that today’s “minority growth investment” represents Bitwarden’s first substantial external funding in its seven year history, though we’re told that it did raise a small undisclosed series A round back in 2019. Its latest cash injection is indicative of how the world has changed in the intervening years. The rise of remote work, with people increasingly meshing personal and work accounts on the same devices, means the same password is used across different services. And such poor password and credential hygiene puts businesses at great risk.

Additionally, growing competition and investments in the management space means that Bitwarden can’t rest on its laurels — it needs to expand, and that is what its funds will be used for. Indeed, Bitwarden has confirmed plans to extend its offering into several aligned security and privacy verticals, including secrets management — something that 1Password expanded into last year via its SecretHub acquisition.

“The timing of the investment is ideal, as we expand into opportunities in developer secrets, passwordless technologies, and authentication,” Bitwarden CEO Michael Crandell noted in a press release. “Most importantly, we aim to continue to serve all Bitwarden users for the long haul.”

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downgrade the ‘middle-men’ resellers – TechCrunch

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As well as the traditional carbon offset resellers and exchanges such as Climate Partner or Climate Impact X the tech space has also produced a few, including Patch (US-based, raised $26.5M) and Lune (UK-based, raised $4M).

Now, Ceezer, a B2B marketplace for carbon credits, has closed a €4.2M round, led by Carbon Removal Partners with participation of impact-VC Norrsken VC and with existing investor Picus Capital. 

Ceezer ’s pitch is that companies have to deal with a lot of complexity when considering how they address carbon removal and reduction associated with their businesses. Whie they can buy offsetting credits, the market remains pretty ‘wild-west’, and has multiple competing standards running in parallel. For instance, the price range of $5 to $500 per ton is clearly all over the place, and sometimes carbon offset resellers make buyers pay high prices for low-quality carbon credits, pulling in extra revenues from a very opaque market.

The startup’s offering is for corporates to integrate both carbon removal and avoidance credits in one package. It does this by mining the offsetting market for lots of data points, enabling carbon offset sellers to reach buyers without having to use these middle-men resellers.

The startup claims that sellers no longer waste time and money on bespoke contracts with corporates but instead use Ceezer’s legal framework for all transactions. Simultaneously, buyers can access credits at a primary market level, maximizing the effect of the dollars they spend on carbon offsets.

Ceezer says it now has over 50 corporate customers and has 200,000 tons of carbon credits to sell across a variety of categories.
 and will use the funds to expand its impact and sourcing team, the idea being to make carbon removal technologies more accessible to corporate buyers, plus widen the product offering for credit sellers and buyers.

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