The European Commission has ruled Apple must pay back US $14.5 billion in owed taxes from 2003-2014, plus interest. Bloomberg’s question-and-answer style report says the Commission ruled that Ireland provided Apple will an illegal favourable tax arrangement, and although Apple can easily afford to pay the bill, both Ireland and Apple will be appealing the decision.
Apple has issued press invites for an event on the 7th of September, featuring the tagline “See you on the 7th”. The event will be live-streamed as per recent Apple events, and MacRumors writes up everything we know. It’s a given that we’ll see new iPhones, but what else Apple will announce at the event is anyone’s guess, given the fact that almost every product in the Apple product lineup could do with an update.
Bloomberg kicks us off this morning with a rumour about Apple working on iPhone for the Japanese market. They say a future iPhone will include a FeliCa chip, a Sony-developed technology that is essentially Japan’s version of tap-to-pay technology that works on Japanese public transport systems. Like other payment tech, the passes would be stored inside Apple’s Wallet app just like credit cards are now, and FeliCa can also store money to be used at vending machines and convenience stores.
A new type of iPhone malware reportedly jailbreaks the device with one click, taking advantage of three zero-day exploits all at once. The malware, discovered and reported on by Motherboard, originates from an Israeli security firm called NSO Group, which silently steals all of the information on the target device. Every call, every text message, every email, contact, all the information contained within apps, everything. It’s very bad news for iPhone security, with the only good news being that these kinds of exploits are extremely rare.
Coles, the Australian Payments Clearing Association, and the Australian Retailers Association have all expressed support for CBA, NAB, and Westpac to collectively negotiate with Apple before agreeing to accept Apple Pay. Coles says it’s against the “technical lockout” that many consumers didn’t realise would be the case when they purchased their device, while the APCA has said that allowing the banks to negotiate will encourage greater innovation and enhance competition, as reported by ZDNet.
AppleInsider reports there’s an issue affecting the touch controller in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, that manifests as a patterned band across the top of the display. Over time, touch sensitivity and response times get progressively worse. A display replacement doesn’t appear to fix the issue, leading to speculation about a logic board issue, possibly due to a solder break on the touch controller chip.
Since we’re not getting three new models of iPhone this year, new rumours say we’ll be getting three new models next year, instead. The successor to this year’s iPhone will mark the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, and now we’re hearing rumours that there may be a larger, more expensive version of the 5.5-inch iPhone, possibly even with a curved OLED display.
The ACCC has decided not to grant interim authorisation to the Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank, and Westpac, who recently filed for approval to collectively bargain over Apple Pay. The banks say they want to bring their own mobile payment systems to the iPhone before they will allow Apple Pay, but the ACCC has said that they will not be granting authorisation at this time due to the complexity of the issues and the limited time available. A draft or final authorisation is still to be made.
A report from Bloomberg says that although Apple are attempting to free the Apple Watch from its ties to the iPhone, they are running into roadblocks in the form of hardware limitations. Giving the Apple Watch its own mobile data connection is not an option due to the already limited battery life of the wearable, and all signs currently point to a hardware refresh later this year, one that will feature GPS for more accurate health and workout tracking.
An Apple press release tells us about the company’s environmental progress in China, where one of its main glass suppliers has committed to run its Apple-related operations on completely renewable energy by the end of 2018. In addition, all of Apple’s final manufacturing sites — numbering 14 in all — are now zero waste compliant, while Apple continues to power its US and China operations on 100% renewable energy.