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Following recent changes to American tax rules, Apple will pay about $38 billion in tax on the roughly $250 billion cash pile it holds outside the US.

The sum is expected to be the biggest payment under the reforms, which slash the US corporate tax rate.

Apple also plans to build a new campus and create 20,000 new jobs in the US.

The tech giant said its plans would contribute more than $350 billion to the US economy over the next five years.

It has not said how much of its cash abroad would be brought back to the US.

CEO Tim Cook said Apple is “focusing our investments in areas where we can have a direct impact on job creation”.

The company employs about 84,000 people in the US and expects to spend $55 billion with domestic suppliers and manufacturers this year.

Image source Flickr

Senate Passes Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Bill

Paradise Papers Reveal Apple’s Secret Tax Bolthole

Apple has data centers in seven states. On January 17, it broke ground on an expansion of its operations in Reno, Nevada.

The company plans to spend more than $10 billion on data centers over five years, as part of a $30 billion capital spending plan for the US.

The location of Apple’s new campus, which will house technical support staff, will be announced later in 2018.

The company had earlier said it planned $16 billion in capital expenditures in 2018, up from about $15 billion in the prior year.

Apple is the latest company to promote plans to invest in America following the overhaul of the US tax code.


According to new rules, the corporate rate has been cut from 35% to 21%. They also stopped applying the corporate rate to profits that companies make overseas, in exchange for a one-off tax payment.

President Donald Trump had argued the cuts would make the US more competitive and spur domestic companies to invest at home.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, a Republican congressman who spearheaded the tax overhaul, celebrated Apple’s plans to invest in a post on Twitter.

He said: “This is great news for the American economy and for America’s workers.”

Opponents to the new tax law predicted much of the money companies saved from the cuts would go to share buybacks and higher dividends.

Apple has spent $166 billion already to repurchase shares under a plan to return $300 billion to shareholders by March 2019.

It has previously called for simplification of the tax rules, amid criticism of its large overseas cash holdings and investigation by US tax authorities.

Apple reported nearly $230 billion in sales and more than $48 billion in profit for the 12 months ended September 30.

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The Paradise Papers have revealed that Apple has a secretive new structure that would enable it to continue avoiding billions in taxes.

The leaked documents also show how the world’s most profitable company sidestepped a 2013 crackdown on its controversial Irish tax practices by actively shopping around for a tax haven.

Apple then moved the company holding most of its untaxed offshore cash, now $252 billion, to the Channel Island of Jersey.

The company said the new structure had not lowered its taxes.

Apple said it remained the world’s largest taxpayer, paying about $35 billion in corporation tax over the past three years, that it had followed the law and its changes “did not reduce our tax payments in any country”.

Image source Flickr

Queen Elizabeth’s Private Money Invested in Offshore Funds, Paradise Papers Reveal

What Are Paradise Papers?

Panama Papers Posted Online

The Paradise Papers is the name for a huge leak of financial documents that is throwing light on the world of offshore finance.

Up until 2014, Apple had been exploiting a loophole in tax laws in the US and the Republic of Ireland known as the “double Irish”.

This allowed Apple to funnel all its sales outside of the Americas – currently about 55% of its revenue – through Irish subsidiaries that were effectively stateless for taxation purposes, and so incurred hardly any tax.

Instead of paying Irish corporation tax of 12.5%, or the US rate of 35%, Apple’s avoidance structure helped it reduce its tax rate on profits outside of the US to the extent that its foreign tax payments rarely amounted to more than 5% of its foreign profits, and in some years dipped below 2%.

The European Commission calculated the rate of tax for one of Apple’s Irish companies for one year had been just 0.005%.

The tech giant came under pressure in 2013 in the US Senate, when CEO Tim Cook was forced to defend its tax system.

After the EU announced in 2013 that it was investigating Apple’s Irish arrangement, Ireland’s government decided that companies incorporated there could no longer be stateless for tax purposes.

In order to keep its tax rates low, Apple needed to find an offshore financial center that would serve as the tax residency for its Irish subsidiaries.

In March 2014, Apple’s legal advisers sent a questionnaire to Appleby, a leading offshore finance law firm and source of much of the Paradise Papers leak.

They asked what benefits different offshore jurisdictions – the British Virgin Islands, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Mauritius, the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey – could offer Apple.

The questionnaire included key questions such as was it possible to “obtain an official assurance of tax exemption” and could it be confirmed that an Irish company might “conduct management activities… without being subject to taxation in your jurisdiction”.

The document also asked whether a change of government was likely, what information would be visible to the public and how easy it would be to exit the jurisdiction.

With the increase in iPhone demand all over the world, the iPhone accessories market has also become inundated with hundreds of phone cases in different shapes and sizes making it easy for consumers to find the right one for themselves. Among the best mobile-case stores online, www.casehaven.com.au provides its consumers a wide range of smartphone cases to suit their needs and lifestyle. I am listing here some of the latest iPhone cases that are stylish as well as user-friendly. Whether you are looking for a waterproof case or want to go all glitz and glamour, you can find the right iPhone case for yourself.

Image result for iPhone Cases

Source: www.cnet.com

iPhone 6/6S Signal Amplifier Case

Available for iPhone 6 and 6S, Mjoose smart case boosts your phone reception with the help of its active antenna technology. It reduces radiation by up to 70% and extends your phone’s battery life. It is a must have smartphone accessory protecting it against drops and other damages.

Palmo iPhone Case

This Ultra-light and fall protection award winning case gives you single handed control and increased safety with your iPhone. Its flexible silicone material allows your finger to be gripped between the phone and the case reducing the risk to fall off your hand and damage to the phone corners. The minimalistic X-form design of the case efficiently dissipates heat and reduces the unconscious stress of dropping the phone.

FYY’s Wallet iPhone Case

Made of high premium PU leather, FYY iPhone 6S wallet case is among the most selling cases available in the market. With three internal card slots for keeping valuables and a kickstand feature for movie watching or video chatting, this lightweight phone case feels like a full wallet.

JOTO Cellphone Dry Bag

IPX8 certified JOTO Cellphone Dry Bag case is waterproof and can handle a depth of 100 feet. Perfect for all sorts of water activities, the phone case features a simple snap and lock access, and is easy to keep out water, snow and dust. This bulky phone case offers waterproof protection to your smartphone while maintaining full touch screen functionality. It is designed for iPhone 6S, 6, 6S Plus.

Trianium ArmTrek Sports Exercise Armband

Ideal for jogging, running and workouts, this case is made of stretch resistant neoprene, so it easily bends, twists and folds without wrapping. Its comfort-grip with head phone and charger cutouts keeps the phone firmly on your arm during exercise and reduces fall risk. Its water resistant design protects against water and sweat. The protective screen cover gives you full liberty to use your iPhone 6/ 6S, and the built in key pocket provides space for storing your home key.

Apple Spring iPhone Leather and Silicone Cases

As of 2017, Apple has launched its new six leather and silicone cases in beautiful colors. The silicone case colors are pale blue Azure, muted brown pebble and pale pink Camellia. The colors in leather include Berry, Taupe and Sapphire. These colorful cases fit 4.7-inch iPhone 7 and 5.5-inch iPhone 7. These shades give you option to color match your Apple devices.

Supvin Flowing Liquid Glitter Case

Easy to put on and clad in bling-enhanced fluid, this hard plastic glittery case protects the screen from fingerprints and scratches as well as provide easy accessibility to the productive apps on your device.

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As of last year, 90.1 million Americans had an iPhone. They have changed the way modern life is lived in so many different ways. For instance, before smartphones and apps and the internet, people used to actually write in to newspapers with a message about how lonely they were and how much they’d like to meet someone. It was published and then that person would start getting calls and going on dates. Maybe they’d find someone and maybe they wouldn’t. If not, they could try something else or put another ad in the newspaper for everyone to read. It was a slow, somewhat inconvenient system that has all but disappeared today. If it had one use it was to leave us with a wealth of witty reflections on the human condition that were no more than a few sentences long, and this was long before Twitter was invented too (check out these from the London Review of Books). In any case, you can now try to find your soulmate on a variety of free apps that inundate you with ads so that they can continue to match the next generation of Romeos and their Juliets.

Not content with changing the way we date, iPhones have taken it upon themselves to change all sorts of other things too. Uber, for all its controversy, has made a massive impact around the world and it was only set up in 2012. Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter owe a lot of their popularity to the fact that people can use them wherever they are (this is especially true in the case of Twitter, which was cited as a contributing force behind the recent Arab Spring) and smartphones now facilitate over 40% of ecommerce sales. For all of its innovations, it is not stopping there and will continue to change things in the future. Here are a few things that you may not have heard is now possible with smartphone technology:

Whatever your political opinions about the NHS, you may find that it takes longer than you’d like to speak to a doctor. Companies like Babylon have developed artificial intelligence that can help you figure out what might be wrong with you and they can also set up a video chat with a GP if you need one. You can also get your prescription delivered to your house, all without leaving your phone. In terms of checking up on your health, you can use your phone to do all sorts of odd things now such as measure your own heartbeat and find out how well you are sleeping by detecting movement and noise throughout the night.

However, not all of the innovation in apps are geared towards helping people. The Global Shark Tracker app lets you track the location of sharks around the world that have been tagged for conservation purposes. If space is more your speed, there are now apps that let you track the International Space Station so you can look out for it as it passes over you. In any case, Apple’s 2009 advertising slogan ‘There’s an app for that!’ is becoming truer every day.

Donald Trump has praised tech giants’ “incredible innovation” during a summit at Trump Tower.

Hosting with three of his children – Donald Jr., Eric and Ivanka – the president-elect told the executives he would make trading across borders “a lot easier”.

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg, Apple’s Tim Cook and Tesla’s Elon Musk attended the meeting.

Paypal founder Peter Thiel, a member of Donald Trump’s team, was also at the December 14 meeting.

Peterr Thiel, who has been a vocal Trump ally and spoke about his nomination at the Republican National Convention this summer, is expected to act as the bridge between the new administration and tech leaders.Donald Trump hails Brexit referendum result

Throughout his campaign to be elected president, Donald Trump put technology companies and their executives in the firing line, with calls for boycotts and accusations of tax-dodging.

Donald Trump told his guests he was “here to help you folks to do well”.

The president-elect said: “We want you to keep going with the incredible innovation. There’s nobody like you in the world.

“You’ll call my people, you’ll call me, it doesn’t make any difference. We have no formal chain of command around here.”

Donald Trump also told the group that technology companies benefited from a “bounce” after his election, adding “everybody in this room has to like me at least a little bit”.

He struck a positive tone with industry leaders despite bashing companies like Apple and Amazon throughout his campaign for sending jobs offshore and their stance on encryption.

Earlier this year, more than 140 tech leaders from Silicon Valley signed an open letter arguing against Donald Trump’s candidacy, warning the Republican “would be a disaster for innovation”.

Notably absent from this meeting was Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.

Apple’s newly unveiled iPhone 7 will not have a traditional headphone jack.

The company said its lightning connector could be used instead, which would make room for other components. It will also promote the use of wireless earphones, and has released a set of its own called AirPods.

Apple said it had taken “courage” to take the step.

However, the company risks annoying users who will now require an adapter for existing headphones.

Apple has unveiled its latest handsets at an event in San Francisco following a year in which its phone sales and market share shrank.iphone-7-launch-2016

Other new features include:

  • the home button can now detect how firmly it is being pressed and provide vibration-based feedback, but no longer moves into the phones
  • the handsets can be submerged in water up to depths of 3.2ft for 30 minutes at a time
  • the larger iPhone 7 Plus model gets a two-lens camera on its rear, allowing it to offer a choice of focal lengths

The iPhone 7 launch comes a week after the European Commission demanded Apple pay up to €13 billion in back taxes to Ireland – a ruling the company is appealing.

The 3.5mm headphone jack was made popular by Sony’s Walkman cassette players, but was first introduced in one of the Japanese company’s transistor radios in 1964.

Apple has repeatedly been willing to ditch connectors and other ageing tech from its products earlier than its rivals.

The company suggests there are advantages to using its Airpods, which will cost $255.

It demonstrated that the wireless headphones could be paired with the phone much more quickly than is normally the case with Bluetooth sets.

The Airpods also contain infrared sensors to detect when they are in the user’s ears. This allows them to automatically stop music when they are taken out.

Motion sensors in the buds also allow Apple’s virtual assistant Siri to be activated for voice commands by double-tapping their sides.

Users will, however, have to get used to charging another device.

Apple said the Airpods would last “up to five hours” on a charge, and come with a recharging case that can extend their life up to 24 hours before a plug socket is required.

Another related change is the introduction of stereo speakers – one at each end of the handset – which Apple said meant the iPhone 7 could deliver twice the volume of the iPhone 6S.

The iPhone 7 Plus has both a wide angle and telephoto lens on its back, both using their own 12 megapixel sensor.

This allows the owner to quickly switch to a tighter shot without sacrificing image quality, and also allows the device to offer 10x zoom – double the amount than before – by digitally cropping the photo in the camera app.

A similar feature is already available on LG’s G5 phone.

Apple says it will also be able to combine data gathered by both camera sensors to simulate an effect associated with larger DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) cameras.

It said software would be able to automatically pick people’s faces out from the background, keeping the humans in focus while blurring the rest of the shot in order to enhance the portraits.

The feature will not, however, be available at launch but will rather be provided as an update later on.

The iPhone 7 ranges from $955 to $1,275, depending on the amount of storage. The iPhone 7 Plus ranges from $1,150 to $1,470.

That marks an increase on 2015 prices, when the entry-level iPhone 6S was $862 and the iPhone 6S Plus was $990, albeit with less storage. US consumers have not seen such significant increases.

The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are available to buy from September 16.

Apple is expected to unveil the new iPhone 7 at its annual launch event held on September 7.

The iPhone 7 launch comes just as rival Samsung has recalled its flagship Galaxy Note 7 over battery explosion.

Many commentators expect Apple to have ditched the headphone jack, leaving only one port.

According to a new research, the iPhone 6S was the world’s bestselling handset.

Image source Flickr

Image source Flickr

The study, by Strategy Analytics, said 14.2 million copies of the iPhone 6S shipped between April to June, accounting for 4% of the market. By contrast, the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge shipped 8.3 million units over the same period.

However, both fell short of the earlier iPhone 6, which shipped 26.3 million units over the same months in 2015.

Dropping the headphone jack in the iPhone 7 would encourage consumers to use Bluetooth headphones or buy those compatible with Apple’s Lightning port, which is also used for charging.

However, old gear would not be completely obsolete, as Apple is expected to include an adapter jack.

Camera quality is expected to be improved and this time round the upgrade might mean a two-lens clicker for some of the bigger models.

Other handsets’ dual-lens camera can take pictures with two different exposures, then combine the two images for improved picture quality – but it is unknown how Apple would implement the feature.

Other expected change includes increased storage and better speakers.

The iPhone 7 is also said to be water resistant, handling submersion for up to 30 minutes – a feature already offered by several of Apple’s Android competitors from the likes of Samsung or Sony.

Apple is thought to be sticking with its two sizes, meaning there would be an iPhone 7 and an iPhone 7 Plus.

Neither is the design thought to be changing much, giving it the same overall look as the current models.

Rumor has it there will be more colors available, for instance reintroducing black as an option.

While the new models will be revealed to the world at the launch, consumers will have to wait a few weeks before they are shipped. Pre-orders are expected to open on September 9.

Samsung beat Apple by releasing its Galaxy Note 7 in August. The phone was well received by users and critics alike and started selling well.

But then reports about batteries heating up and sparking some fires prompted Samsung to launch an embarrassing recall last week – just days before the iPhone 7 launch.

While Samsung’s battery problems might tilt some prospective buyers toward the iPhone 7, Apple depends on the ongoing success of its smartphones as they have become its biggest source of revenue.

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Apple could be forced to pay billions of dollars in back taxes in the Republic of Ireland by EU competition officials.

The final ruling, expected on August 30, follows a three-year probe into Apple’s Irish tax affairs, which the EU has previously identified as illegal.

According to the Financial Time, the bill will be for billions of euros, making it Europe’s biggest tax penalty.

Apple and the Irish government are likely to appeal against the ruling.

Under EU law, national tax authorities are not allowed to give tax benefits to selected companies – which the EU would consider to be illegal state aid.Apple patent infringement case University of Wisconsin

Rulings made by the Irish government in 1991 and 2007 allowed Apple to minimize its tax bill in Ireland, EU authorities said.

Apple’s company structure enabled it to legally channel international sales through Ireland to take advantage of that tax deal.

On August 30, EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager is expected to give an estimate of how much Apple will have to pay back.

However, it will be up to Irish authorities to calculate the exact amount.

The investigation into Apple and similar probes into other US companies have been criticized by US authorities.

Last week the US Treasury Department said the European Commission was in danger of becoming a “supra-national tax authority” overriding the tax codes of its member states.

Brussels was using a different set of criteria to judge cases involving US companies, the US Treasury warned, adding that potential penalties were “deeply troubling”.

Tax laws are currently based on the movements of physical goods, leaving large loopholes that modern companies can exploit, he said.

Apple is not the only the company that has been targeted for securing favorable tax deals in the EU.

In 2015, the commission told the Netherlands to recover as much as €30 million from Starbucks and Luxembourg was ordered to claw back a similar amount from Fiat.

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iPhone sales dropped for a second consecutive quarter, Apple has reported.

However, the 15% drop was not as bad as analysts had feared.

Apple sold 40.4 million iPhones in its third quarter, slightly above forecasts of 40.02 million.

CEO Tim Cook said the results reflected “stronger customer demand… than we anticipated”.

Apple said it expected sales to fall again in Q4 to between $45.5 billion and $47.5 billion.

Demand for Apple’s flagship product has been slowing since the second quarter when the company reported the first drop in iPhone sales since their 2007 launch.

The iPhone makes up for around two-thirds of Apple’s sales and accounts for even more of its profits.apple-iphone-smartphone

The slowdown in iPhone sales sent profit down 27% to $7.8 billion in the three months to June 25, while revenues fell 14.6% to $42.4 billion.

Apple’s sales in Greater China – defined by the company as China, Hong Kong and Taiwan – plunged 33%.

The company blamed economic uncertainty and people not upgrading their phones as often for the drop.

China accounts for almost a quarter of Apple’s sales, more than all of Europe combined.

Apple chief financial officer Luca Maestri said: “It is very clear that there are some signs of economic slowdown in China, and we will have to work through them.

“We understand China well and we remain very, very optimistic about the future there.”

Results were also hit by the impact of a stronger dollar.

Nonetheless, shares, which have fallen almost 20% over the past year, rose over 7% in after-hours trading because Apple’s overall performance was not as bad as analysts had expected.

Luca Maestri said comparisons to the second quarter of 2015, when iPhone 6 sales surged 35%, made its performance seem worse than it was.

He also pointed to its services business, which includes the App Store, Apple Pay, iCloud and other services, as a bright spot.

The division made nearly $6 billion in revenue, up 18.9% from the same time last year, and is now Apple’s second-largest sales generator after the iPhone.

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Warren Buffett has revealed that his investment company, Berkshire Hathaway, has bought a $1 billion stake in Apple.

In a regulatory filing, Berkshire Hathaway disclosed a holding of 9.81 million shares in Apple.

Warren Buffett, who has traditionally shied away from tech stocks, is known for buying “value stocks”, so it is being seen as significant for Apple.

Apple’s shares have fallen almost 30% over the past year but rose on May 16 and closed the trading session 3.7% higher at $93.88.

Slowing iPhone sales have led investors to question whether the company can maintain Apple’s huge profit levels.

Last week Apple temporarily lost its place as the world’s most valuable company after a fall in shares pushed its total market value below that of Google parent Alphabet.Apple patent infringement case University of Wisconsin

Warren Buffett did not make the actual investment himself, meaning the order would have been placed by his stock-picking team Todd Combs and Ted Weschler, the Wall Street Journal reports. The paper says they are willing to invest in areas that Warren Buffett himself wouldn’t.

They are each thought to manage a $9 billion portfolio and usually make the smaller investments, while Warren Buffett makes the big bets.

The Apple holding makes Berkshire Hathaway the 56th largest shareholder.

Apple is not Berkshire Hathaway’s only technology investment. It is also the biggest shareholder in IBM and increased its holding in the first quarter.

However, Warren Buffett admitted at Berkshire’s annual meeting last month that his investment firm had been slow to get involved the new tech industry. He has always said he would not invest in companies he doesn’t understand.

On May 16, Warren Buffett also told CNBC that he would consider helping Dan Gilbert, chairman of Quicken Loans, finance a bid for Yahoo.

Apple has unveiled smaller versions of the iPhone and iPad Pro – the iPhone SE and iPad Pro 9.7-inch – at an event hosted in San Francisco and streamed online.

The company said the iPhone SE has the same processing and graphics performance of the larger Apple 6S and can capture 4K video.

The new iPad Pro will have a 9.7 inch screen – the same size as the original iPad.

The iPhone SE will be available in 110 countries by the end of May.

Photo Apple

Photo Apple

With a starting price of $399/$499, the new iPhone is the “most affordable” handset Apple has ever released, the company said.

Apple also said the new iPad Pro would be available in three different storage sizes with an extra large 256GB version.

Pricing will begin at $599 for the smallest version and will ship in the US at the end of the month.

Apple said it sold 30 million four-inch handsets in 2015; however, its handset sales have slowed in recent months in line with the overall smartphone market.

Some analysts are predicting up to a 15% decline in shipments in the first quarter of 2016 alone.

Apple also showed off a recycling robot called Liam which can strip down old iPhones into their components for reuse.

The Apple Watch is to come down in price to $299 from its launch price of $349, CEO Tim Cook also announced.

Apple has apologized to iPhone customers whose phones were disabled after third-party repairs, and issued a fix for the problem.

Some customers found that their iPhone stopped working following servicing by a non-Apple technician and saw an “error 53” message in iTunes.

Previously, Apple had said the error was a “security measure” taken to prevent fraudulent transactions.iPhone error 53

Now, Apple has released a software update to fix the error.

In a statement, Apple said that “error 53” occurs when a device fails a standard security test designed to ensure that the Touch ID fingerprint scanner is working correctly.

However, the company added: “We apologize for any inconvenience, this was designed to be a factory test and was not intended to affect customers.

“Customers who paid for an out-of-warranty replacement of their device based on this issue should contact AppleCare about a reimbursement.”

A software update has now been released so that iPhone customers with disabled phones may restore their device via iTunes on a PC or Mac.

Apple had even faced a class action lawsuit led by a Seattle-based company over error 53-disabled phones.

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The Italian subsidiary of tech giant Apple has agreed to pay €318 million ($348 million) following an investigation into tax fraud allegations, Italy’s tax office says.

Italy’s tax authorities say Apple failed to pay €880 million in tax between 2008 and 2013, according to La Repubblica.

The settlement follows an investigation by prosecutors in Milan.

The tech giant has not commented on the deal. It has previously denied attempting to escape paying tax owed on profits made around the world.

Apple Italia is part of the company’s European operation which is headquartered in Ireland, a country with one of the lowest levels of corporation tax in the EU.

A spokesman for the tax agency confirmed the newspaper’s report was accurate but would not divulge further details.

Ireland taxes corporate earnings from normal business activities at a rate of 12.5% compared with 27.5% in Italy.Apple Italia tax fraud

Investigators in Italy say they found a huge gap between the company’s revenues in Italy of over €1 billion between 2008 and 2013 and the €30 million that was paid in tax in the country.

The settlement comes amid a European Commission investigation into the tax arrangements of numerous multinational companies accused of using cross-border structures to reduce their tax bills, sometimes with the help of secret and potentially illegal “sweetheart” deals.

The issue of Apple’s Irish arrangements is separate from but related to the broader one of multinational companies “parking” revenues and profits in low-tax countries.

Apple’s activities in the Republic of Ireland are currently subject to that investigation, which is due to announce soon whether tax breaks designed to secure the company’s extensive investment in Ireland amounted to illegal state aid.

Apple’s European operations have been headquartered in Cork since 1980.

The company is expanding its workforce there to 6,000 and it has been joined in Ireland by other tech companies including Twitter, Microsoft and Google.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has rejected accusations that the company has been sidestepping US taxes by stashing cash overseas, insisting: “We pay every tax dollar we owe.”

Tim Cook said on a visit to Ireland in November that he was confident the Dublin government and his company would be found to have done nothing wrong.

Who would have thought that one fine day an innovation by the name of Apple Watch will change the way we look at traditional wristwatches which have been around for decades. It was a typical case of “coming and conquering” which as per International Data Corporation has catapulted Apple to be the second largest manufacturer of wearables in the world. However, Android Wear with the launch of Samsung Gear 2 in October 2015 gave a fresh turn to this rivalry. The wearable comes with a comparatively lower price than Apple Watch and can be paired with a wide range of hardware including the iPhone itself.


The basic purpose of a smartwatch other than being a time piece is to push notifications and alerts, and this is where Apple Watch and Google Android Wear do fairly well. The former does better with the visuals while the latter has an edge in providing business related push notifications including emails, calendar markings and text messages by easily synchronizing with the handset. Also, users of Android Wear can receive QR codes directly on the watch once a trip is planned in Google Calendar. Having said that, Apple Watch has features such as mobile payments, health tracking etc, which are sufficient to keep it on the top.

Comparing the performance of both wearables, Apple Watch uses S1 processor and is far more responsive than its competitor. The Android Moto 360 features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor which lags in performance, and the loading time is also quite slow.
When it comes to the design, Apple Watch has a polarized square dial compared to Android Moto 360, which is circular and goes down well with the typical design associated with a classy wristwatch. Add to this, the Android Wear also offers Swiss Watch Face combining technology and style. This surely means something, since in 2012 Apple paid $21 billion to Swiss Federal Railway just as to use its popular design in the iOS6 clock icon.

Having done the basic comparison, Google is eyeing to score big time with Project Ara – expected to be launched in 2016 – where it aims to enable exchanging of components from its Smartphones . The idea here is to replace any module from a device which has started to become obsolete; for example, an older camcorder can be replaced with a HD one without having to change the handset. Google might incorporate this technology into its Android Wear making it a product you can use for the lifetime without it getting outdated.

As with the pricing, Android Wear offers some budget friendly solutions compared to Apple Watch. The standard Apple Watch is priced at $349, while the Android’s Moto 360 2015 is available for $299. While we have to wait to find out which brand becomes the favorite in the coming days, check out techspooks for latest updates on software, android apps, smartphones, gadgets and lot more.

Apple is launching its larger tablet iPad Pro, a TV box with its own app store and new iPhones that can detect how firmly their screens are being pressed.

The tech giant suggested the iPad Pro was suited to work tasks, video games and both editing and watching movies.

Sales of Apple’s earlier iPads had been on the decline.

The company said the “3D touch” feature of its new phones “transformed” the experience of using them by making it easier to use and switch between apps.

Huawei demonstrated its own version of the feature – which it called “force touch” – at its own launch event last week.

The iPad Pro has a 12.9in display, making its shortest edge the length of its earlier iPad Air 2’s height.iPad Pro tablet

Apple sold 19% fewer iPads over its last three quarters than over the same nine months a year earlier.

The tech giant said the new device offered the similar processing power as 80% of the portable PCs sold over the past six months.

It will be sold alongside an optional magnetically-connected keyboard – which resembles a similar accessory for Microsoft’s Surface tablet.

In addition, Apple announced a stylus called the Apple Pencil, which has sensors in its tip to help mimic the effect of using a real pencil on paper.

The announcement is notable since Steve Jobs had said: “If you see a stylus, they blew it”, when he announced the original iPad.

Apple said the iPad Pro should run for 10 hours of use between charges and would be available in November and range from $799 to $1,079 depending on its level of storage and 4G connectivity. The Pencil costs $99 and the keyboard $169.

Apple CEO Tim Cook also unveiled a new set top TV box with its own app store and new operating system.

The device is controlled by a remote control that features a touch-sensitive panel and a microphone that allows the device to be voice-operated.

The TV box uses Apple’s Siri virtual assistant to let users request shows or movies based on a desired theme or favorite actor. In addition, it can play video games.

“The future of TV is apps,” declared Tim Cook.

Apple had previously described its TV boxes as a “hobby”.

Apple was one of the first tech companies to offer an internet-connected TV box, but Amazon, Roku and several smart TV-makers beat it to offering an app-focused experience.

Tim Cook acknowledged it had taken his company several years to introduce a TV app store.

Apple did not unveil a rumored TV shows and movies subscription package of its own for the box.

Much of the Apple TV presentation was dedicated to the video games it can play. The remote is motion sensitive, and works in a similar fashion to Nintendo’s Wii controllers.

Apple has already had huge success with video game sales on its iPhones. But one industry watcher questioned how disruptive the new box would be in the living room.Apple Tv box

The TV box will cost either $149 or $199 depending on how much storage the user wants.

The idea behind the new iPhone’s 3D Touch feature is that users can call up different functions by pressing the handsets’ screens firmly.

Examples of how it can be used include pressing the screen to preview an email or photo, swap weapons in a video game, and quickly switch into selfie photo mode.

The handsets also gain the ability to shoot 4K videos – which means four times the amount of pixels of 1080p high definition video.

In addition, the back camera has been upgraded to offer 12 megapixels rather than eight – Apple said it had ensured the extra resolution had not come at the cost of more noise

The iPhones also get a processor boost. They will go on sale in a fortnight’s time.

Apple also announced an upgrade to its smartwatch operating system that will be released on September 16.

Watch OS2 will allow third-party apps to run natively on the device rather than relying on a linked smartphone’s processor.

In addition to loading faster, the apps will also gain the ability to play video and access the Watch’s microphone and sensors.

GoPro is taking advantage of this to allow users to see live streams from its action cameras on Apple’s wearable.

Facebook also revealed it is bringing its Messenger app to the platform.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook has announced he is donating most of his wealth to charity before he dies.

The boss of the world’s most profitable company is worth over $800 million.

Tim Cook told Fortune Magazine that he would leave his wealth to philanthropic causes but not before paying for his 10-year-old nephew’s college education.

He joins a growing number of the world’s super-rich who are giving away their wealth, including Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.Tim Cook to donate his wealth to charity

Five years ago, billionaire investor Warren Buffett and Microsoft founder Bill Gates launched the campaign The Giving Pledge. It aims to convince billionaires to give at least half of their fortunes to charity.

Mark Zuckerberg and over 100 others have so far signed up to the “moral commitment”.

Tim Cook’s base salary went up by 43% in February 2014, rising to $9.2 million a year.

According to Fortune Magazine, Tim Cook holds $120 million worth of Apple shares and a further $665 million of restricted stocks.

Apple has posted the biggest quarterly profit ever made by a public company.

The giant tech reported a net profit of $18 billion in its fiscal first quarter, which tops the $15.9 billion made by ExxonMobil in Q2 2012, according to Standard and Poor’s.

Record sales of iPhones were behind the surge in profits.

Apple sold 74.5 million iPhones in the three months to December 27 – well ahead of most analysts’ expectations.

In a conference call with financial analysts Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook said that demand for phones was “staggering”.

However, sales of the iPad continued to disappoint, falling by 18% in 2014 from a year earlier.

The demand for Apple’s larger iPhone 6 Plus model appeared to help boost profits and increase the iPhone’s gross profit margin – or how much Apple makes per phone – by 2% to 39.9%.Apple biggest profit in history

However, Apple did not give a breakdown of sales for the iPhone 6 and other models.

Apple shares rose more than 5% in trading after the US markets had closed.

Apple’s revenue grew to $74.6 billion in 2014 – a 30% increase from a year earlier.

However, on a conference call to discuss earnings, Tim Cook complained of “fierce foreign exchange volatility”, which added Apple to a growing list of US firms who have been hurt by the strong dollar abroad.

Apple said that currency fluctuations shaved 4% from its Q1 2015 revenue.

Sales in greater China hit $16 billion in 2014 – a 70% increase from a year earlier, and almost equaling the $17 billion in sales the company recorded in Europe last year.

A report by research firm Canalys released on Tuesday said that Apple had overtaken competitors to become China’s number one seller of smartphones by units shipped in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Apple also said that its newest product, the Apple Watch, was still on schedule and would begin shipping in April.

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Two iOS 8 users are suing Apple for not telling about the amount of memory required by its flagship operating system.

The legal complaint revolves around iOS 8 and the amount of memory it reserves for itself on iPods, iPhones and iPads.

The complaint alleges that it takes up so much space that far less than advertised is left for people to store their own data.

Apple has yet to issue any official comment on the lawsuit.

The complaint has been filed in California by Miami residents Paul Orshan and Christopher Endara who say that iOS 8 can occupy up to 23.1% of the memory available on some Apple devices.

In addition, upgrading devices from the earlier iOS 7 to 8 can cause people to lose up to 1.3 gigabytes of memory, said papers filed in support of the legal action.iOS 8 too big for iPhone or iPad

The amount of memory taken up by iOS 8 can mean users run out of storage and, Paul Orshan and Christopher Endara allege, this is helping Apple force people to sign up for its fee-based iCloud storage system.

The lawsuit is seeking millions of dollars in damages for those using Apple devices facing the storage squeeze.

So far, Apple has not responded to requests for comment on the lawsuit.

The latest upgrade to iOS 8 was released in late September but Apple was forced to withdraw and then re-issue it because the first version meant a lot of iPhone 6 and Plus handsets could no longer make calls.

Apple issued a public apology over the botched update but said only 40,000 people were affected by it.

Apple has unveiled its newest tablets, iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3.

The iPad Air 2 is said to be the thinnest device of its kind on the market.

It is 6.1mm (0.24in) thick and also adds a Touch ID fingerprint sensor.

The device also gains an anti-reflective coating and a new chip, the A8X – a faster version of the processor in the company’s latest iPhones.

However, some analysts have questioned whether the upgrade will be enough to turn around iPad sales.

The iPad Mini 3 gains Apple’s fingerprint recognition component.

Some of the details were published by Apple, reportedly by mistake, on October 15.

Apple’s last earnings release revealed that it had sold 13.3 million iPads in the April-to-June quarter. That marked a 9% fall on its tally for the same period in 2013, despite the fact the company saw sales of iPhones and Mac computers rise.

It also contrasted with an 11% rise in the number of tablet shipments across the market as a whole – with Lenovo and Asus making some of the biggest gains – according to data from IDC.

According to the market research company, the iPad remained the bestselling tablet brand, but that its market share had dropped over the year from 33% to 26.9%.

One expert suggested that the recent launch of the 5.5in-screened iPhone 6 Plus, which shares most of the new iPads’ features, could further temper demand.

The iPad Air 2 is said to be the thinnest device of its kind on the market

The iPad Air 2 is said to be the thinnest device of its kind on the market

Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook has told investors he still believes that the tablet market will eventually surpass that of PCs, and has pointed to a recent deal with IBM – involving the two firms co-developing business-centric apps – as a way to get iPad sales on “a faster trajectory”.

Other new features of the iPad Air 2 include an eight megapixel rear camera that can capture timelapse and slow-mo videos. The front camera has also been upgraded to allow in more light and take a rapid succession of selfies.

In addition the machine includes a new type of Wi-Fi chip that supports faster data speeds, including downloads at up to 866 megabits per second (Mbps).

The new tablets will become available to buy next week.

Apple also introduced a new model of its all-in-one iMac computer featuring what it said was the highest resolution display on the market.

The computer has a 27in display that has a resolution of 5K – 5210 by 2880 pixels – offering about five times the detail of a 1080p “full HD” television.

The basic model will cost $2,499 and is now available for sale.

Lenovo already sells the N308 – an all-in-one Android-powered desktop PC with a 19.5in screen offering slightly lower 4K resolution, while Panasonic has the Toughpad MB5025 – a 20in 4K computer that runs Windows 8.

Intel and Samsung have also announced plans to manufacture 4K screens for other all-in-one PCs.

But for now, large ultra-high definition screens are still a rarity in the computing sector beyond the use of separate monitors, which may aid sales of the new iMac.

Apple said the extra detail made it a superior option for editing photos and other visual tasks.

Apple also announced an upgraded version of its screenless computer, the Mac Mini, but there was no mention of an update to its Apple TV set top box, which last received a hardware refresh in March 2012.

The company also said that the latest version of its operating system for Mac computers – OS X Yosemite – was being made available for download this Thursday. The software is designed to allow data to be swapped back and forth with iOS-powered iPhones and iPads more easily than before.

It added that Version 8.1 of iOS, which introduces support for its near field communication (NFC)-powered payment service Apple Pay, would be released on Monday, October 20.

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Apple has finally responded to claims that its new handsets iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are prone to bending by saying such damage would be “rare” during normal use.

Media outlets across the globe had reported that several iPhone 6 users had complained of handsets becoming misshapen after being carried in trousers pockets without a case.

Several of Apple’s rivals have also helped publicize the claims.

Apple said nine customers had told it their iPhone 6 Plus phones had bent.

In a statement the company noted that the handsets’ shells had been constructed out of “anodized aluminum, which is tempered for extra strength” and also featured stainless steel and titanium parts to reinforce the areas of the phones likely to experience the most stress.

“We chose these high-quality materials and construction very carefully for their strength and durability,” it added.

“We also perform rigorous tests throughout the entire development cycle.

“iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus meet or exceed all of our high quality standards to endure everyday, real life use.

“With normal use a bend in iPhone is extremely rare and through our first six days of sale, a total of nine customers have contacted Apple with a bent iPhone 6 Plus. As with any Apple product, if you have questions please contact Apple.”

Several iPhone 6 users had complained of handsets becoming misshapen after being carried in trousers pockets without a case

Several iPhone 6 users had complained of handsets becoming misshapen after being carried in trousers pockets without a case

One of the checks that Apple had carried out before launching the models was a “sit test”, which is designed to simulate the effects of a user sitting down on a hard surface with the phone in their back pocket thousands of times over the course of several years.

Apple also carried out a torsion test, which involved clamping a phone at both ends and then applying a twisting force 8,000 times.

The company’s share price has fallen following the publicity generated by users posting photos of bent iPhones to the internet.

News that Apple had also pulled an iOS 8 operating system update after iPhone 6 users complained it made their phones unable to make or receive calls had also caused concern.

However, one analyst highlighted that Apple had been much quicker to respond to reports about bending than it had back in 2010, when customers complained about the iPhone 4 dropping calls when gripped on its left-hand side.

Apple’s competitors have taken advantage of its troubles.

The official Twitter accounts of LG, HTC and Samsung have all posted messages alluding to the controversy, with LG going so far as to use the hashtag “bendgate”, which other members of the public had used to refer to the claims.

Apple had previously announced that it had sold more than 10 million units of the iPhone 6 and its larger sibling the iPhone 6 Plus.

“While our team managed the manufacturing ramp better than ever before, we could have sold many more iPhones with greater supply and we are working hard to fill orders as quickly as possible,” Apple’s CEO Tim Cook said in a press release on September 22.

It highlighted the “all-new dramatically thin” design of the handsets – a factor some users had speculated might be the cause of them bending.

However, it has also been pointed out that handsets by Sony, Samsung, Blackberry and others have also bent in the past, and several analysts have cautioned that it was too early to say if the incidents involving the new iPhones were more widespread.

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Apple has issued an apology after an update to its iOS 8 left some iPhones users unable to make or receive calls.

Users who had installed iOS 8.0.1 on the iPhone 6 models also complained it had caused problems for the handsets’ Touch ID fingerprint facility.

The update had been released less than a week after the phones had gone on sale in order to fix other issues.

Apple said it was working on a new version.

“We have a workaround for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users who lost cellular service and Touch ID functionality today after updating to iOS 8.0.1,” it said.

“Affected users can reinstall iOS 8 through iTunes.

“We apologize for the great inconvenience experienced by users, and are working around the clock to prepare iOS 8.0.2 with a fix for the issue, and will release it as soon as it is ready in the next few days.”

Apple has also published a support document that lists the steps affected users can take to revert their devices to the previous version of the operating system.

Apple has issued an apology after its iOS 8 update left some iPhones users unable to make or receive calls

Apple has issued an apology after its iOS 8 update left some iPhones users unable to make or receive calls

The iOS 8.0.1 update had been made available online for less than an hour before it was pulled on September 24.

MacRumors reported that within that time the iOS 8.01. had caused connectivity problems for subscribers to networks including EE in the UK, Vodafone in Germany, AT&T and Verizon in the US and Rogers in Canada.

Apple had said the update was intended to fix other bugs including:

  • An issue that could cause unexpected data usage when receiving a text message
  • A bug that had prevented apps designed to work with its HealthKit software from being made available
  • An issue that prevented some apps from accessing photos on the iPhone or iPad’s library

While it is common for tech companies to issue bug fixes shortly after the release of a major new version of software, it is not usual for them to have to recall the code.

The mistake comes at a time when Apple has suffered a series of setbacks.

Last week Apple released a tool to remove the new U2 album from iTunes users’ libraries – which it had given away for free – after complaints that its songs had automatically been downloaded to devices without their owners’ permission.

On September 23, claims were made that some of the new iPhones had bent after being placed in users’ pockets – it is as yet unclear whether this is a major problem or not.

One day later it emerged that a bug in OS X could leave the company’s Mac computers open to attack.

The Shellshock bug also affects computers powered by Linux.

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More and more Apple users claim that the company’s new iPhone 6 handsets are prone to bend when carried in trouser pockets.

Several members of the public have posted photos to the MacRumors site that appear to show the problem. A reporter for the Geek.com news site also reported his phone had warped.

Other mobiles have bent in the past.

It is not yet clear if the iPhones 6’s aluminum shells make them particularly vulnerable.

Even so, the claims have been reported across tech blogs as well as mainstream media including the Independent, the Washington Post, India Today and the Sydney Morning Herald.

Apple’s new iPhone 6 handsets are prone to bend when carried in trouser pockets

Apple’s new iPhone 6 handsets are prone to bend when carried in trouser pockets

Twitter users have also posted thousands of comments about the claims, using the hashtag Bentgate.

Apple is marketing both the iPhone 6 and the larger iPhone 6 Plus as the thinnest smartphones it has released – with both models less than 0.3in (0.76cm) thick.

Some iPhone owners have posted comments to the company’s own website about the earlier models becoming misshapen, and the Cult of Mac site notes that owners of Samsung, Blackberry and other handsets have also reported instances of bent devices.

However, it is unusual for the issue to be given so much attention so soon after a launch – the new iPhones went on sale only on September 19.

Insurer Square Trade had declared the new iPhones “more durable” than their predecessors after carrying out tests, but did not carry out “bendability” checks.

YouTube show Unbox Therapy’s own stress test – which involved an unusual amount of pressure being applied – suggested that the iPhone 6 Plus was easier to bend than the plastic-coated Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

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Apple users have taken to social media to express their frustration over installing the company’s latest software update, iOS 8.

Many iPhone and iPad users have resorted to deleting photos, videos and other files in order to free up space for the new version of Apple’s mobile operating system, iOS 8, which requires up to 5.8GB of storage.

Apple has also removed apps for its new health software because of a bug.

One expert said Apple’s updates were often prone to “teething problems”.

Some vexed Apple users took to Twitter to express their annoyance.

Apple users have taken to social media to express their frustration over installing the latest update iOS 8

Apple users have taken to social media to express their frustration over installing the latest update iOS 8 (photo Apple)

This is not the first time Apple users have had trouble with iOS updates.

In 2012, the iOS 6 update caused some users to lose their apps, and others lost photos and messages when updating to iOS 7 in 2013.

As well as requiring a lot of storage, the latest version, iOS 8, does not include apps that run with Apple’s new HealthKit service, which is designed to work with third-party wearable health devices.

The software was originally scheduled for release in iOS 8, but has been pulled while Apple works on fixing a bug.

Apple users can avoid the need to free up storage space for the latest update by upgrading their software via iTunes on a Mac or PC, instead of through the phone or tablet itself.

Additionally, much of the free space required by the update is made available again once the installation process has completed.

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U2’s first album in five years has been offered for free to the 500 million users of Apple’s iTunes service.

The surprise announcement was made at a California event where Apple CEO Tim Cook unveiled the firm’s latest iPhone and new smartwatch Apple Watch.

U2 also performed live at the event.

The band’s lead singer Bono described the release of the 11-track album, Songs of Innocence, as “kind of mindblowing”.

“The most personal album we’ve written could be shared with half a billion people – by hitting send,” Bono said.

“If only songwriting was that easy.”

U2 performed live at Apple event in California

U2 performed live at Apple event in California

U2’s last album, No Line on the Horizon, hit the top spot in the UK charts in 2009 and eventually surpassed the five-million-sales mark worldwide.

The Irish band is famed for producing some of the landmark albums of the 1980s and early 1990s, including The Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby.

There had been some speculation this year that U2 was planning a new album. However, the free release at the Apple event had not been anticipated.

Several prominent artists – including Beyonce – have released surprise albums recently, although the practice remains a novelty.

Free album releases by major artists are a rarity.

Radiohead initially released In Rainbows in 2007 as a pay-what-you-want download.

The same year, Prince’s album Planet Earth was given away free to readers of the Mail on Sunday in the UK.

U2 have collaborated with Apple in the past. The terms of the deal for the iTunes release are not known.

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Tech giants Apple and Samsung have agreed to withdraw all patent suits against each other outside the US.

The two rivals have sued each other over a range of patent disputes in nine countries outside the US, including the UK, South Korea, Japan and Germany.

A joint statement said the agreement “does not involve any licensing arrangements”, and they would continue to pursue existing cases in US courts.

Apple and Samsung are the biggest players in the smartphone and tablet PC market.

They have been involved in a bitter legal battle, spread across various countries, which has escalated in recent years.

Apple and Samsung have agreed to withdraw all patent suits against each other outside the US

Apple and Samsung have agreed to withdraw all patent suits against each other outside the US

The legal wrangling between the two companies began in 2011 after Apple sued Samsung in the US.

Apple claimed that Samsung’s Galaxy range of phones and tablets “slavishly” copied its iPhone and iPad.

Samsung has since taken Apple to court in various countries, accusing it of infringing its patents.

These included patents on a way to synchronize photos, music and video files across several devices, and a method to capture and send video over the internet.

For its part, Apple filed counter claims in some of those countries – disputes which the two firms have now agreed to withdraw.

However, the main legal battle between the two companies is being fought in the US courts.

Apple has won two verdicts in the US against Samsung in recent years.

In May, a US court ordered Samsung to pay $119.6 million to Apple for infringing two of its patents. The amount was way less than the $2.2 billion that Apple had sought.

The court also ruled that Apple infringed Samsung’s patents and awarded $158,000 in damages.

However, Samsung denied any wrongdoing and sought $6 million after arguing Apple infringed two of its smartphone patents related to camera use and video transmission.

Two years ago, a separate jury ordered Samsung to pay Apple $1.05 billion in damages for infringing intellectual property.

The jury decided several Samsung devices had infringed iPhone-maker Apple’s software and design patents, but rejected counter-claims by Samsung. That verdict is still being challenged by Samsung.

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