Wednesday Morning News

pasted_image_at_2016_08_30_08_22_amThe 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 CEO Tim Cook’s open letter, published on the Apple website, opens with a story about an Apple facility in Cork, Ireland. His letter says Apple is the largest taxpayer in Ireland, the United States, and the world, and all the European Commission is trying to do is ignore Ireland’s tax laws and upend the international tax system. According to Cook, Ireland gave no special treatment to Apple in regards to tax, and Apple now finds itself in “the unusual position of being ordered to retroactively pay additional taxes to a government that says we don’t owe them any more than we’ve already paid”.

An additional letter published to Apple investors says that the recent ruling by the European Commission is unlikely to have any near-term effects on Apple’s financial results, with guidance for the upcoming quarter remaining unchanged.

Meanwhile in Australia, Apple has filed a lengthy submission to the ACCC over the bank’s request to collectively boycott Apple Pay until negotiations can be had. Apple writes that a boycott would harm consumers and hinder innovation, due to the banks being notorious slow for adopting new features. What makes the banks think they’ll be able to bring contactless payments to a mobile platform when they can’t even offer apps which have Touch ID integration, or even optimised for the iPhone 6 screen?

Bloomberg has the skinny that Apple is working on updated iPads and Macs. Updated iPad features include better Apple Pencil support in all areas, including apps where it’s currently not supported very well or at all. New Macs, on the other hand, will feature the rumoured “dynamic function row” that was recently shown off in concepts as a customisable row above the keyboard based on the current context.

Six Colors says people are getting restless for new Macs, and if they aren’t going to be released in September, then when? We’re quickly running out of months in the year — September is for new iPhones, October may bring an iPad event of its own, and then there’s just November and December left.

A bunch of Russian patents for “AirPods” and new iPhones and Apple Watch models have been discovered, greatly upping the possibility of new products later this year. For now, it’s just a matter of waiting and seeing what Apple unveils next week.

The latest versions of VMware Fusion 8.5 for Mac and Workstation Pro 12.5 for PC come at no cost to end-users, provided you already a copy of Fusion 8 or Workstation Pro 12. Although they may be point upgrades, Fusion adds support for macOS Sierra hosts and guests, and will be available next week.

Jessica Alba has joined an advisory team for Apple’s upcoming “Planet of the Apps” reality show. The actress says she’s looking forward to meeting people addressing problems with innovative solutions.

A super-sketchy photo of a set of SIM card trays suggests the next iPhone may come in a total of five colours, including a glossy black option, but it’s hard to tell due to the terrible image quality. I mean, any iPhone since the iPhone 4 can take a better photo than that.

Notable Replies

  1. OK, yes, it’s Wednesday. But I published before realising and I can’t change the title.

    Also, it’s laughable that the banks think they can roll out their own mobile payments on iOS, but maybe I’m just ignorant in this department. Anyone know if CBA/NAB/Westpac have mobile payments up and running on Android devices, either within their own apps or supported by Android Pay?

  2. I’m sorry if I’m coming across a bit cynical about Apple’s fee structure but they’ve gone into a number of industries and set fees and charges well above established industry practice.

    I’m happy to change my mind if given evidence otherwise but until them I’m going to continue to think it’s more likely that Apple are doing what they’ve done in the past" (with other industries and fee structures).

  3. I’m the biggest cynic and I think you’re right on the money (pun intended) there.

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