posted 29 days ago on mac rumors
When Steve Jobs stepped down from his position as Apple CEO on August 24, 2011 due to illness, he didn't intend to leave the company. Instead Jobs told Recode's Walt Mossberg he planned work on an Apple-branded television set to re-invent the television industry. Recode today shared a full recounting of Jobs' conversation with Mossberg, which took place on the same day that Jobs left the company. The two discussed his plans for television experience that would be "fantastic." "He was going to still be involved. Their press release made some vague nod toward that. But he wanted me to know that he was going to be involved in big strategic things, and also that he was going to reserve one particular thing for himself." "I said, 'well, what's that?'" "He said, 'Well, it's television ... I think we figured out a way to do it, and it's going to be fantastic. I want you to come out, in a few months, and I want to show it to you.'"According to Mossberg, Jobs didn't share in-depth information about his television ambitions, offering no details on hardware or programming, but Mossberg believes he was talking about a full integrated television set and software experience. Mossberg says Jobs was "really excited" about the project and he came away with the sense that Jobs was going to "reinvent the whole TV set" at the conclusion of the conversation. Unfortunately, Jobs didn't get a chance to further pursue the television project because he passed away from pancreatic cancer on October 5, 2011, less two months after stepping down as CEO. Jobs famously made similar statements on TV to biographer Walter Isaacson. He told Isaacson that he wanted to develop an integrated television set that's "completely easy to use," syncing seamlessly with iCloud. "It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine," Jobs is quoted as saying. "I finally cracked it." Since Jobs' death, Apple has tried to gain a stronger foothold in the television industry, but it has failed time and time again to establish the deals that would allow it to create the full integrated television programming experience and television set that Jobs envisioned. Most recently, Apple wanted to create a streaming television bundle of approximately 25 channels at a cost of $30 to $40 per month, but negotiations fell through. There were also rumors for many years suggesting Apple was pursuing a full television set, but those plans are said to have been shelved because Apple couldn't find untapped features that would give it a clear edge in the television market. Instead, Apple has focused on its Apple TV set-top box, introducing a new version with a full App Store and Siri support last October. Apple CEO Tim Cook has said several times that "the future of TV is apps," with Apple working to position the Apple TV as a platform that allows other content providers to distribute their content instead of offering a streaming service itself. Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 29 days ago on mac rumors
Just a week ahead of Apple's planned September 7 event, Samsung today unveiled its latest smart watch, the Gear S3. Samsung's newest wearable device comes in two varieties - a "Classic" model with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi and "Frontier" model that features LTE support. GPS, a new feature, is built into each model. An always-on Super AMOLED display is included and with LTE, the Frontier model, positioned as the more rugged, outdoor Gear S3 watch, can load data quickly enough to stream songs from music services like Spotify. Both Gear S3 models look similar, with a 46mm solid steel case and a rotating bezel (adopted from the Gear S2) that's used to swap between watch faces and select apps. The Gear S3 uses standard 22mm watch bands that are compatible with a wide range of third-party band options, and its larger body houses a 380 mAh battery that's able to last up to four days between charges.Samsung Gear S3 is available in two bold designs to suit different users' lifestyles: frontier and classic. Inspired by the active explorer, the Gear S3 frontier evokes a rugged outdoor look with an enduring style that blends form and function. The frontier was designed to perform in any setting or environment - whether business or leisure. The Gear S3 classic pays homage to the minimalist, elegant style found in the most iconic timepieces. The classic was designed with meticulous attention to detail -- with its size and shape chosen to attain the same consistency and balance of a well-crafted luxury watch.Other features built into both the Gear S3 Classic and the Gear S3 Frontier include the same activity tracking options available in all Gear smart watches, IP-68 water resistance, miltary-level durability, barometer/speedometer, support for Samsung Pay and MST/NFC payment transactions, and speakers. The Gear S3 also uses Corning's new Gorilla Glass SR+, said to be super scratch resistant. The Gear S3 continues to use Samsung's Tizen operating system. Software updates being introduced today will also be brought to the Gear S2, Samsung's previous generation Smart Watch that will continue to exist in the Gear lineup. Samsung has not yet unveiled pricing or a specific release date for the Gear 3 smart watch, but it is expected to be released in the U.S. later this year. Apple may release details on its next-generation Apple Watch at its September event. Rumors suggest the device will include a faster processor, a better battery, and built-in GPS, but design changes are not expected.Tag: Samsung Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 29 days ago on mac rumors
Apple is planning to include iris scanning capabilities on the tenth-anniversary iPhone launching in 2017, according to a Chinese-language MoneyDJ report translated by DigiTimes. The latter website, citing supply chain sources, previously said the feature would not debut on iPhones until at least 2018. An iris scanner could complement or replace Touch ID as a way to verify a user's identity, enabling iPhone users to unlock their smartphone, make payments, and more by authenticating with their eyes. A person's iris, or the circular colored muscle of the eye, contains a complex and random pattern that is unique to each individual. Taiwan-based supplier Xintec, an affiliate of Apple manufacturer TSMC, will begin mass production of iris-recognition chips in 2017, likely in an effort to secure orders from Apple and other smartphone vendors next year:Xintec is expected to enter mass production for iris-recognition chips in 2017, which will boost the backend house's revenues for the year, the report cited market watchers as saying. New orders for iris-recognition sensors include those for the chips that will be embedded in the 2017 series of iPhone, the watchers were also quoted in the report.Xintec said the company does not comment on rumors or speculation about specific products or customer orders. Based on rumors, Apple's tenth-anniversary iPhone is shaping up to be a more significant upgrade compared to the iPhone 7 series expected at Apple's September 7 event. Other rumors surrounding the so-called iPhone 8 include a 5.8-inch curved OLED screen, glass casing, an embedded or completely removed home button, wireless charging, an enhanced Taptic Engine, and more.Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017) Tag: digitimes.com Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 29 days ago on mac rumors
Apple has updated its System Status page to reflect ongoing issues with all store services, including the App Store on iOS devices, Mac App Store, tvOS App Store on Apple TV, and app-related Volume Purchase Program for business customers. Apple notes that some users may be unable to access the aforementioned stores or services or make purchases in the United States, Canada, and other regions. The issues began around 5:00 a.m. Pacific Time.Tag: system status Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 29 days ago on mac rumors
A photo claiming to show a specification sheet for a 256GB-capacity iPhone 7 Plus has been circulating online today. Originally posted on Chinese microblogging site Weibo, the image is just the latest in a series of pictures of potentially dubious authenticity given how easy it is to digitally alter them. The photo in question appears to be of Hong Kong origin, and claims to show the inclusion of Lightning-equipped wired EarPods and a Lightning to Jack adapter in the box. Those details square with the widely held belief that Apple's upcoming iPhone 7 and 7 Plus won't have a headphone jack, and will instead rely on an all-in-one Lightning port for charging, listening, and connectivity. Yesterday, Apple added a 2TB storage tier to its iCloud service, which could be tied to the impending launch of a larger capacity handset or improvements to phone camera quality. Also yesterday, Apple was granted EAEC certificates for "AirPods" – wireless in-ear headphones which may be sold separately as accessories. With just a week to go before Apple's September 7 media event, leaks and rumors of varying quality will undoubtedly continue to emerge at an increasing pace. Pre-orders for the new iPhones are expected to begin on September 9 with a potential launch of September 16 or September 23.Related Roundup: iPhone 7 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 30 days ago on mac rumors
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge William Fahey today dismissed the key claims in a lawsuit that alleged that Beats co-founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre double-crossed former partner Noel Lee, founder of cable maker Monster, reports The Associated Press. The allegations were made in a lawsuit that was filed last year. Monster's lawsuit accused the Beats co-founders of orchestrating a "sham" deal with HTC that would terminate Monster's stake in Beats. Monster used to design and sell Beats by Dre headphones, but that changed when Beats sold 51 percent of the company to HTC in 2011, invoking a change-of-ownership clause in the Beats and Monster deal. Beats Electronics later repurchased HTC's stake in the company and convinced Lee to sell part of his 5 percent stake. Lee alleges that the moves were made to exclude Monster from Beats by Dre profits and, later, the Apple acquisition, which would have netted Lee more than $100 million if he had kept his stake. Judge Fahey concluded that Beats' actions were allowed under the contracts they had signed with Lee and Monster, and that Lee and his company had entered into business with Beats as sophisticated investors. Fahey also dismissed Monster's claims against HTC America. Last July, Apple revoked Monster's "Made for iPhone" license after the lawsuit. The trial is still scheduled to go on next week, but will be limited to Beats' effort to force Monster to pay its attorney fees.Tags: Beats by Dre, Monster, Beats Electronics Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 30 days ago on mac rumors
Apple today quietly added a new iCloud storage tier, offering customers 2TB of data storage space at a price of $19.99 per month in the United States. Apple now offers four iCloud storage tiers at prices that start at $0.99. The new 2TB iCloud storage option comes just over a week ahead of the company's September 7 event, where new versions of the iPhone and Apple Watch are expected to debut alongside new operating system updates. Rumors have suggested camera improvements could be one of the features coming to the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus, and that could be one of the reasons Apple is introducing more storage space. A dual-lens camera, as is rumored for the iPhone 7 Plus, could potentially produce images that are larger, resulting in customers who need more space to store their photos and other files. We've also heard rumors that the high-end iPhone models could offer up to 256GB of storage (perhaps limited to the iPhone 7 Plus), which could be another factor leading to Apple's decision to increase available iCloud storage space. Perhaps the biggest reason for the jump in iCloud space is a new desktop syncing feature coming to macOS Sierra. In the new operating system, all files stored on the desktop or in the Documents folder of a Mac are automatically uploaded to iCloud to make them available across a wide range of devices.Related Roundups: iPhone 7, macOS Sierra Tag: iCloud Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 30 days ago on mac rumors
In 2015, Corning announced "Project Phire," a new material that combines the strength of Gorilla Glass with the scratch-resistance of sapphire, and as of today, the result of that project is ready to launch. Now called "Gorilla Glass SR+," Corning's latest product is a composite material for wearable devices. It's been designed to cut down on visible scratches while continuing to deliver all of the features of the original Gorilla Glass. According to Corning, Gorilla Glass SR+ offers scratch resistance similar to sapphire but with 70 percent better damage resistance against impacts and 25 percent better surface reflection. Corning says these optical improvements enable better battery life and improved outdoor readability. "In early 2015, Corning launched Project Phire with the goal of engineering glass-based solutions with the scratch resistance approaching luxury cover materials, combined with the superior damage resistance of Gorilla Glass," said Scott Forester, director, innovation products, Corning Gorilla Glass. "Corning Gorilla Glass SR+ delivers a superior combination of properties that is not available in any other material today - it is in a class of its own."Corning is a long-time Apple Supplier, and its Gorilla Glass products have been used in the iPhone and the iPad for several years. For its wearable device, the Apple Watch, Apple currently uses Ion-X glass for the Sport model and sapphire glass for the stainless steel and Edition models. It is not clear if Apple will consider Corning's newest product for any future versions of the Apple Watch, but if it is superior to current technology, it is a possibility. Corning says Gorilla Glass SR+ is now commercially available and is expected to be in products from "leading global brands" starting later this year.Tags: Corning, Gorilla Glass Discuss this article in our forums

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posted 30 days ago on mac rumors
iOS 10 lets Siri work with third-party apps for the first time, enabling a whole range of features the personal assistant is able to help with, from summoning an Uber to sending cash to sending a message via WhatsApp. Ahead of the launch of the new operating system update, The Wall Street Journal's Nathan Olivarez-Giles was able to go hands-on with some of the apps that will support Siri and give a little more insight into how the feature will work in practice. After using the feature, Giles called Siri support for third-party apps "long-overdue" and a factor "important to making Siri more useful in everyday life." He was able to test apps for sending mobile payments, image search and messaging, but Siri will also support ride booking apps like Uber, VoIP calling apps like Skype, and workout apps. Giles says asking Siri to perform tasks was "quicker than launching the app" and carrying out the task himself. As has been previously described by Apple, Siri commands like "Siri, send Catherine $20 for lunch with Square Cash" or "Send Jim a Message in LinkedIn" work in iOS 10, and with the former, security is maintained with Touch ID authentication. Commands vary from app to app and Siri support can also be built into watchOS 3 apps.Strings can get even more specific. For instance: "Siri, show me photos of what Kanye West wore to the VMA awards this year in Looklive." This command pulled up pictures of the rapper's wardrobe, along with links to buy what he was wearing, in the celebrity shopping app. In most of these demos, Siri carried out the task without opening the app itself. Instead, a card, styled like the app, appeared with the details of the action.According to Giles, some of the first apps to integrate with Siri in the chat, mobile payments, and photos categories will include LinkedIn, WhatsApp, WeChat, Slack, Square Cash, Monzo, Pinterest, Vogue Runway, Looklive, The Roll and Pikazo. Apple has previously said apps like Lyft, Uber, and Fandango will be compatible with Siri, along with CarPlay-specific apps. Not all apps will work with Siri, but Apple has plans to expand the app types that can interface with the personal assistant in the future. When iOS 10 launches, the following app categories will have the option to enable Siri support: ride booking, messaging, photo search, payments, VoIP calling, and workouts. Apple has limited SiriKit to certain kinds of apps in order to keep a tight rein on privacy, control the Siri experience, and develop Siri's understanding of language and context. Apple has promised that third-party apps are only privy to the specific data necessary to perform a requested function, keeping user information locked down. Siri support for third-party apps is baked into iOS 10 and will be available as soon as the new operating system launches to the public in September. Apps will need to update to support the new feature, but many companies are undoubtedly planning launch day updates to be among the first to work with Siri.Related Roundup: iOS 10 Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Actress and businesswoman Jessica Alba has signed on to serve as a mentor on Apple's upcoming reality television show "Planet of the Apps," reports Variety. Alba joins actress Gwyneth Paltrow, hip hop artist will.i.am, and tech investor Gary Vaynerchuk, all of whom will also be acting as mentors and advisors to app developers. Jessica Alba has starred in a number of movies and television shows, including Sin City, Fantastic Four, and Into the Blue. In 2012, Alba moved beyond acting and founded The Honest Company, devoted to selling non-toxic household goods. The Honest Company has grown steadily since 2012 and is valued at $1 billion."I started The Honest Company because I saw an opportunity in the market for a brand that spoke to conscious consumers and created safe and effective products for every need," said Alba said in a statement. "As a mentor on 'Planet of the Apps,' I'm looking forward to meeting entrepreneurs looking to address a problem with an innovative solution, and to help them realize their vision. I can't wait to see the ideas the app developers bring to the table."Lightspeed Venture Partners, one of the initial investors in Snapchat, has also joined the show as a venture-capital partner. Lightspeed will spend $10 million to fund app development during the course of the show. "Planet of the Apps" is described on a casting website as an unscripted reality television series focusing on apps and the developers who create them. The exact format and content of the show remain a mystery ahead of its 2017 launch, but advisors will offer developers chosen for the show "hands-on guidance" and "funding from top-tier VCs" to improve their apps. Apple plans to use the show to promote iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS apps and its App Stores. Casting for "Planet of the Apps" began back in July and applications are still being accepted until September 21, with the series seeking up to 100 developers to participate. The inaugural season will take place in Los Angeles with filming beginning in late 2016.Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
After showing off the capabilities of its new 7th Generation Core, Kaby Lake, during the Intel Developer Forum earlier in the month, Intel corporate vice president Navin Shenoy today gave more details regarding the third "optimized" member of the 14 nm chip family following Broadwell and Skylake. In today's announcement -- focused on the speed and 4K UHD support the new CPUs provide -- Intel officially unveiled its first Y-Series and U-Series processors, which could be included in future Retina MacBook and MacBook Air updates, respectively. The new Kaby Lake processors (prepared as a mid-generation update ahead of Intel's Cannonlake processors) offer a moderate upgrade on earlier Skylake chips, with Intel focusing on the user benefits of its 7th Generation Core processors. These advantages namely include: 4K ultra-HD video streaming, 360-videos, and more intensive graphical performance for video games on smaller computers. In addition to gaining access to 4K content from services like YouTube and Netflix, Kaby Lake will grant users the power to create and edit their own 4K content with speeds up to 8x faster than a five-year-old PC. Kaby Lake was manufactured using an upgraded version of Intel's 14-nanometer process, referred to as 14nm+, which the company claims has produced a processor with 12 percent faster productivity performance and up to 19 percent faster web performance over previous generations. Everyday users will see these manifested in smooth app switching, even within performance-heavy apps like 4K video editing software, and basic battery life improvements. In this department, Kaby Lake will bring up to 9.5 hours of playback on 4K videos in any computer it's found in this fall. The release of Kaby Lake will mark Intel's first processor released after the company abandoned its tick-tock release cycle, where "ticks" represented shrinking chip fabrication processes and "tocks" introduced new architectures. Kaby Lake "Y-Series" chips appropriate for MacBook The three Kaby Lake Y-Series processors announced today are suitable upgrades for the MacBook, which was just updated to Skylake chips in April and thus is not expected to see another upgrade in the near future. The three U-Series chips could potentially make their way into future MacBook Air models, assuming graphics performance is sufficient for Apple's needs. The new U-Series chips include Intel HD "GT2" graphics, while Apple has historically preferred to use chips with relatively higher-performance "GT3" graphics in the MacBook Air. Kaby Lake "U-Series" chips possibly appropriate for MacBook Air Apple is rumored to be launching updated MacBook Air models as soon as October, but it is unclear whether the machines will use Skylake or these new Kaby Lake chips, as the current models continue to run on earlier Broadwell chips. More powerful mobile Kaby Lake chips with Iris graphics and desktop chips such as those appropriate for the MacBook Pro and iMac are expected to begin debuting in January, but Intel did not release a specific timeline or specs for those families.Related Roundups: MacBook Air, Retina MacBook Tags: Intel, Kaby Lake Buyer's Guide: MacBook Air (Don't Buy), MacBook (Neutral) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Following the European Commission's ruling that Apple received illegal state aid from Ireland, and must pay $14.5 billion in back taxes to the country, the company has published a new FAQ that addresses potential concerns investors may have about the decision and the effect on its bottom line. Apple started out by confirming the decision is not final and that it plans to appeal. The company is "confident" the ruling "will be overturned" by courts in the European Union, but it notes the process is "likely to take several years." In the meantime, Apple does not expect any near-term impact on its financial results.How does this decision impact Apple’s near-term financial results? Will you take a tax charge? Does this alter your previous guidance? We do not expect any near-term impact on our financial results nor a restatement of previous results from this decision. We have previously accrued U.S. taxes related to the income in question. The tax rate guidance for Apple’s fourth fiscal quarter that we provided on July 26, 2016 does not change as a result of this decision.Apple added that it does not currently expect the decision to have an impact on its tax rate or cash balance going forward, but the company anticipates it will place an unspecified amount of cash in an escrow account. Apple expects the amount will be reported as restricted cash on its balance sheet. The European Commission's ruling followed a three-year inquiry into Apple's tax arrangements in Ireland, where it paid between 0.005% and 1% in taxes from 2003 through 2014, compared to the country's headline 12.5% corporate tax rate. Apple insists it "follows the law and pays all of the taxes" it owes. Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.Tags: AAPL, corporate tax, European Commission, Europe, Ireland Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Japanese website Mac Otakara, which previously said Apple would introduce a darker color option to replace Space Gray for the upcoming iPhone 7 series, has shared a photo of an alleged SIM tray for the smartphone that suggests the color will be glossy black like the exterior of the 2013 Mac Pro. The website now believes the new glossy black option will be part of a five-color lineup, including Gold, Rose Gold, Silver, and Space Gray. It previously said the new color will be a "much darker" variant of Space Gray that is "close to black, though not quite black," and mockups of what an iPhone 7 in that color could look like, including the one above, quickly surfaced around the web. Apple has announced it will be holding a September 7 media event at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time, at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, where it is expected to announce the iPhone 7 series, Apple Watch 2, and possibly more. Apple will also likely provide an update on the prospective launch dates of iOS 10, macOS Sierra, watchOS 3, and tvOS 10 over the coming weeks.Related Roundup: iPhone 7 Tag: macotakara.jp Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Tim Cook has posted an open letter on Apple's website in response to the European Commission's ruling that Apple must pay 13 billion euros ($14.5 billion) in back taxes dating from 2003 through 2014. Cook's letter begins by discussing Apple's long history in Ireland, which dates back to a small facility that housed 60 employees in 1980. That statistic has now expanded to 6,000 employees across Ireland in total, benefiting both the company and local economies. As it's grown, Cook says that Apple has become "the largest taxpayer in the world," and that "Apple follows the law and we pay all the taxes we owe." Directly confronting the European Commission's ruling, Cook claims that the EC has "launched an effort to rewrite Apple's history in Europe." As responsible corporate citizens, we are also proud of our contributions to local economies across Europe, and to communities everywhere. As our business has grown over the years, we have become the largest taxpayer in Ireland, the largest taxpayer in the United States, and the largest taxpayer in the world. Over the years, we received guidance from Irish tax authorities on how to comply correctly with Irish tax law — the same kind of guidance available to any company doing business there. In Ireland and in every country where we operate, Apple follows the law and we pay all the taxes we owe. The Apple CEO points out that the claim -- stating Ireland gave Apple a "special deal" on its taxes -- is completely false and "has no basis in fact or in law." Cook thinks the commission's ruling also has the potential to set a dangerous precedent, because it is attempting to replace tangible Irish tax laws "with a view of what the Commission thinks the law should have been." The opinion issued on August 30th alleges that Ireland gave Apple a special deal on our taxes. This claim has no basis in fact or in law. We never asked for, nor did we receive, any special deals. We now find ourselves 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. Apple's next move is to appeal the Commission's ruling, which Ireland is said to be doing as well, with Cook remaining "confident" that the decision will ultimately be reversed and the company won't have to pay the 13 billion euros after all. Throughout all of the current drama and turmoil, Cook reiterates that Apple is "committed to Ireland" and that the company has no plans to stop investing in a future not only for its customers there, but its employees as well. Read Cook's full letter about the European Commissions' ruling here. Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.Tags: Tim Cook, corporate tax, European Commission, Europe, Ireland Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple must repay 13 billion euros ($14.5 billion) in back taxes dating back to 2003-2014, the European Commission has ruled (via BBC). The Apple tax ruling was confirmed this morning, after the judgement was leaked to the media yesterday. In unequivocal wording, the EU commissioner Margrethe Vestager said Apple's tax benefits in Ireland are "illegal". "The Commission has concluded that Ireland granted undue tax benefits of up to €13 billion to Apple. This is illegal under EU state aid rules, because it allowed Apple to pay substantially less tax than other businesses. Ireland must now recover the illegal aid." Vestiges said this selective treatment allowed Apple to pay an effective corporate tax rate of 1 percent on its European profits in 2003 down to 0.005 percent in 2014. Therefore in 2014 Apple paid 0.005 percent tax on EU profits, which means that "For every million euros in profits, it (Apple) paid just €500 in taxes," said Vestager. "This is based on an in-depth investigation, it's based on the facts. I also think and hope that if it goes to the courts that it will be upheld by the European Court." According to the EC's press release, the existing tax rulings endorsed a way to establish the taxable profits for two Irish incorporated companies of the Apple group (Apple Sales International and Apple Operations Europe), which did not correspond to economic reality: "Almost all sales profits recorded by the two companies were internally attributed to a 'head office'. The Commission's assessment showed that these 'head offices' existed only on paper and could not have generated such profits. These profits allocated to the 'head offices" were not subject to tax in any country under specific provisions of the Irish tax law, which are no longer in force."Ireland Finance Minister Noonan said the country "disagrees profoundly" with the back tax ruling by the European Commission. "The decision leaves me with no choice but to seek cabinet approval to appeal. This is necessary to defend the integrity of our tax system; to provide tax certainty to business; and to challenge the encroachment of EU state aid rules into the sovereign member state competence of taxation," he said. Apple shares fell more than 2 percent in pre-market trading following the ruling, which comes after a three-year investigation into Apple's tax arrangements in Ireland, where it was initially thought to have paid around 2 percent or less in taxes compared to the country's headline 12.5 percent corporate tax rate. Update: Apple has reacted to today's ruling with the following response: "The European Commission has launched an effort to rewrite Apple’s history in Europe, ignore Ireland’s tax laws and upend the international tax system in the process. The Commission’s case is not about how much Apple pays in taxes, it’s about which government collects the money. It will have a profound and harmful effect on investment and job creation in Europe. Apple follows the law and pays all of the taxes we owe wherever we operate. We will appeal and we are confident the decision will be overturned."Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.Tags: corporate tax, European Commission, Europe, Ireland Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
The Eurasian Economic Union (EAEC) has issued new certificates for Apple products that suggest the company is set to release wireless earphones and multiple new versions of Apple Watch alongside the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. Manufacturers are required to certify electronic devices for sale in countries that are signed up to the EAEC treaty (ratified last year), which includes Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Armenia. Russian website iPhones.ru found a reference to "AirPods" along with other Apple certificates added to the regulatory body's digital products registry yesterday. Last month, MacRumors revealed that an "AirPods" trademark filing discovered last October seemingly confirmed Apple's work on upcoming wireless earphones in lieu of a headphone jack on the iPhone 7. This latest regulatory certification appears to cement that finding, although whether Apple plans to bundle the AirPods with its new phones or sell them exclusively as a separate accessory is still unclear. Elsewhere, the documents list several new certificates for Apple Watch (although oddly these are labelled as running watchOS 2, not watchOS 3, as would be expected for new models) and two certificates for products running iOS 10, likely indicating Apple's upcoming iPhone 7 and 7 Plus expected to be announced in a special event next week. Apple may use the same event to debut its second-generation Apple Watch, said to include better waterproofing, better battery life, an improved processor, and a built-in GPS chip – but no cellular. Design changes are not expected for the next-generation Apple Watch, but new materials and new bands are always a possibility.Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 2, watchOS 3, iPhone 7 Tag: AirPods Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
VMware today announced Fusion 8.5, Fusion Pro 8.5, Workstation Player 12.5 and Workstation Pro 12.5, the latest versions of its visualization software for running Windows on a Mac without using Boot Camp. Fusion and Fusion Pro 8.5 come with macOS Sierra support while both Fusion and Workstation suites come with Windows 10 Anniversary support. Windows 10 Anniversary is a large upgrade to Microsoft's operating system, making Cortana smarter, allowing interactions with Android and Windows phones, more desktop apps and games in the Windows Store, a dark theme, Windows Edge extensions, click-to-play Flash and more. Both Fusion 8.5 and Workstation 12.5 include Windows 10 Anniversary support and Windows 10 server support in addition to various bug fixes and performance improvements. The Fusion suite's Sierra support includes Siri integration and support for tabbed VM windows. VMware also announced that it's giving away 20 Oculus Rift headsets to the general public. Entrants must tweet (using #FusionLove) a short video of themselves telling a story of how Fusion has helped them accomplished something. Meanwhile, registered attendees of VMworld 2016 will receive 18-months of Fusion or Workstation. Current VMware Fusion 8.0 and Workstation 12.0 users can receive the 8.5 and 12.5 upgrades for free. However, users of pre-8.0 versions of Fusion and Fusion Pro can upgrade for $49 and $119 respectively, while users of pre-12.0 versions of Workstation Player and Workstation Pro can upgrade for $79 and $149 respectively. Upgrade pricing eligibility extends back to users of Fusion 4 and Workstation 7. Fusion and Fusion Pro 8.5 are priced at $79.99 and $119.99 for new users while Workstation Player and Workstation Pro 12.5 have new-user prices of $149.99 and $249.99 respectively. Both Fusion and Workstation can be purchased at VMWare's online store. Related Roundup: macOS Sierra Tags: Windows 10, Cortana, VMware, Fusion, Fusion Pro, Workstation Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple today made a submission to the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC), arguing that Australia's "Big Three" banks' request to collectively negotiate over Apple Pay is ultimately harmful to consumers, would stifle innovation in mobile payments, and would avoid competitive dynamics (via AppleInsider). The Cupertino company argues that each of the big three banks (Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank (NAB) and Westpac) have resisted "serious engagement" with Apple on Apple Pay for the past two years. Apple claims that they have tried and failed to negotiate with all of the banks, save for one bank who refuses to sign a confidentiality agreement that would allow Apple to send over its initial terms. Apple says that collective bargaining would slow negotiations further, dragging the collective to the level of the least willing member. The collective, Apple argues, means that each of the banks has no fear of its competitors offering Apple Pay. Thus, the banks wouldn't fear a potential loss of consumers over the feature. This harms consumers by avoiding competitive dynamics, according to Apple. The move would also stifle innovation in mobile payments, erasing incentives for existing players in Australia to build on top of or compete with Apple Pay. However, a spokesman for the banks told AppleInsider that they, alongside Australia's merchants and payment processors, have been working on contactless payments before Apple Pay. The banks say that, unlike Android or Samsung, Apple blocks access to NFC payments and "wants to leave users with no choice but to use Apple Pay." They want to negotiate with Apple to offer other integrated wallets within Apple Pay. Last week, Australia's retailers and payment processors sided with the banks to collectively negotiate. Apple's submission comes 10 days after the ACCC denied interim approval of the collective negotiations. The banks first issued their joint application in late July. The ACCC will make a final decision in October. Most recently, Australian bank ANZ expanded support for Apple Pay to MasterCard, adding to the already-supported Visa and American Express.Related Roundup: Apple Pay Tag: Australia Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple is planning to refresh its Mac lineup, including the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air, as early as October, according to Bloomberg. The report also claims Apple is working on a standalone 5K display in partnership with LG Electronics, while it plans to update iMac models with an option for new graphics chips from AMD. The report reiterates that the new MacBook Pro will be thinner and include an OLED-based touchscreen strip along the top of the flatter keyboard, which will present functions that dynamically fit the current task or application, as well as integrate Touch ID to enable users to quickly log in using their fingerprint.For example, if a user is on their desktop, the screen will show a virtual representation of the standard function row, which includes brightness and media controls. When in an application, the virtual row will show options specific to the task at hand, but volume controls and a switch to show the default functions will always be present.Apple has reportedly named the feature "Dynamic Function Row" internally, but its official name may differ when announced. The tweaked MacBook Air models, meanwhile, are said to include multipurpose USB-C ports, which makes the inclusion of Thunderbolt 3 a possibility. No other details were shared about the planned MacBook Air and iMac refreshes. Apple's plans to work with LG on a standalone 5K display surface two months after it discontinued the five-year-old Thunderbolt Display. It remains unclear if the monitor will be based upon the Retina 5K iMac, and it is also unclear if the report's broad late 2016 timeframe for "some of the new Mac products" includes the display. The report makes it nearly certain that the focus of Apple's just-announced September 7 media event will be on the iPhone 7 and the second-generation Apple Watch, the latter of which has now been confirmed for the event. Apple will also provide updates about its software, including iOS 10, macOS Sierra, watchOS 3, and tvOS 10.Related Roundups: iMac, MacBook Air, Thunderbolt Display, MacBook Pro Tags: bloomberg.com, LG, USB-C, AMD Buyer's Guide: iMac (Don't Buy), MacBook Air (Don't Buy), Displays (Don't Buy), Retina MacBook Pro (Don't Buy) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple is planning new hardware and software features for iPad that cater to professional users, according to Bloomberg, including a a new iPad with faster display technology that allows for smoother on-screen zooming, panning, and scrolling. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo previously said Apple would release a 10.5-inch iPad Pro model next year alongside a 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2 and a "low-cost" 9.7-inch iPad model. The fate of the iPad mini remains uncertain, but it is presumable that Apple could discontinue the 7.9-inch tablet due to its lack of Apple Pencil support and relatively close proximity in size to 5.5-inch Plus-sized iPhones. The new hardware will be completed by wider iOS support for the Apple Pencil, the report adds. Apple is reportedly planning to introduce the new software features in a subsequent iOS 10 update in the first half of 2017, but may decide to hold back on the improvements until iOS 11 is released later in the year.Apple has considered allowing users to annotate objects in many applications across the whole operating system, including in Mail, the Safari web browser, and iMessage, similar to what Samsung Electronics Co. offers on its Note smartphones, the person said. Currently, Apple only supports Pencil functionality in specifically developed apps.Apple saw its iPad revenue grow slightly for the first time in 10 quarters in July, and these improvements could help the company continue that trend.Related Roundup: iPad Pro Tags: bloomberg.com, Apple Pencil Buyer's Guide: 12.9" iPad Pro (Neutral) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple today released the eighth beta of macOS Sierra, the newest operating system designed for the Mac, to developers. Public beta testers have also been provided with their seventh beta version. macOS Sierra beta 8 comes one week after the release of the seventh beta and more than two months after the software was first unveiled at Apple's 2016 Worldwide Developers Conference. Developers and can download today's update through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store or from the Apple Developer Center. macOS Sierra is a major update that brings Siri to the Mac for the first time, allowing users to conduct voice searches to quickly find files, look up information, and more. New Continuity features offer an "Auto Unlock" option for unlocking a Mac with an Apple Watch and a "Universal Clipboard" for copying text on one Apple device and pasting it on another. Deeper iCloud integration allows files stored on the desktop or the Documents folder of a Mac to be accessed on all of a user's devices, and Photos features deep learning algorithms for improved facial, object, and scene recognition. There's also a Memories feature for displaying photo collections, and Messages has rich links, bigger emoji, and "Tapback" response options. Apple Pay is coming to the web in macOS Sierra, with payments authenticated through an iPhone or Apple Watch, and new features like multiple tabs, Picture in Picture multitasking, optimized storage, and revamped emoji are also available. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. macOS Sierra is currently available to developers and public beta testers, and it will see a wider public release this fall, with Apple possibly announcing a release date at its September 7 media event. For full details on all of the new features included in macOS Sierra, make sure to check out our macOS Sierra roundup.Related Roundup: macOS Sierra Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Ahead of Apple's "See You on the 7th" special event next Wednesday, September 7 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time, Siri is now offering up some traditionally witty responses to users that mention the tagline for the upcoming event. iPhone users can test Siri themselves by saying "see you on the seventh." Apple sent out media invites earlier today for the event, to be held at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, California. There, Apple CEO Tim Cook and other senior executives are expected to announce the iPhone 7 and possibly a second-generation Apple Watch. Less likely is a new MacBook Pro, expected later in the year, but a September announcement cannot be ruled out entirely. Apple will also likely provide an update on the prospective launch dates of iOS 10, macOS Sierra, watchOS 3, and tvOS 10.Tags: Siri, September 2016 event Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
The European Commission on Tuesday will rule that Apple received illegal state aid from Ireland, according to a 130-page judgment seen by Financial Times.Competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager circulated the final ruling to her counterparts in the EU’s executive branch only on Monday morning, deploying a fast-track procedure in a bid to minimize leaks. The usual notice period is two weeks.The ruling follows a three-year investigation into Apple's tax arrangements in Ireland, where it has reportedly paid around 2% or less in taxes compared to the country's headline 12.5% corporate tax rate. The commission's ruling asks Dublin to raise a new tax assessment on Apple, which could have to restate its accounts as a result of the ruling, according to the report. One area of focus is Apple's tax arrangements for its intellectual property assets, which is "a hotly disputed area likely to lead to a large claim for back taxes." The ruling means Apple could owe several billions of euros in back taxes. JPMorgan estimated the company could be forced to pay up to 19 billion euros ($21.2 billion) in back taxes, although a previous study placed the figure around $8 billion, and some analysts believe the amount could be a comparatively lower $1 billion. Europe's competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager will provide an actual estimate of Apple's potential tax bill when the European Commission's findings are publicly released on Tuesday, according to the report. Apple declined to comment on the matter, reiterating that the company fully complies with international tax law and that it is the largest taxpayer in the world. Apple said last month that both the company and Ireland would appeal any unfavorable ruling in European courts. Apple joining the ranks of Starbucks, Fiat Chrysler, Amazon, Google, IKEA, and McDonald's as one of several large corporations accused of tax avoidance in Europe recently. Starbucks in particular is currently appealing its case in Netherlands, where it was ordered to pay as much as 30 million euros in back taxes. Last week, the U.S. Treasury department warned that an adverse ruling against Apple could "set an undesirable precedent." It also said the European Commission is becoming a "supranational tax authority," going beyond acceptable enforcement of competition and state aid law and singling out U.S. companies. Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.Tags: corporate tax, European Commission, Europe, Ireland Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Apple today sent out media invites for an iPhone-centric event that will be held on Wednesday, September 7 at 10:00 am at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, California. Media invites (via The Verge) offer up a first look at the theme of the event and feature the simple tagline: "See you on the 7th." The fall 2016 event is expected to see the debut of the next-generation iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, which are rumored to feature improved cameras, better processors, and improved water resistance, implemented through the removal of the headphone jack and the introduction of a new flush, pressure-sensitive home button. Both devices are said to look similar to the iPhone 6s, with the same general size and shape, but with relocated antenna bands that no longer span the back of the devices. Faster LTE and Wi-Fi speeds are rumored, as is a jump in storage space with 32GB positioned as the new minimum and a 256GB option rumored at the high end (possibility limited to iPhone 7 Plus). Display improvements first introduced in the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, including the True Tone feature able to adjust the display to match ambient lighting could be offered, and the larger iPhone 7 Plus is expected to have exclusive features like 3GB RAM and a dual-lens camera for crisper, brighter images. Apple may use the event to debut a second-generation Apple Watch, said to include better waterproofing, an improved processor, and a built-in GPS chip. Design changes are not expected for the next-generation Apple Watch, but new materials and new bands are always a possibility. Apple rotates its Apple Watch band offerings on a regular basis and we expect to see new designs this fall. Most of Apple's Mac lineup is due for an update, but the most highly anticipated machine, the MacBook Pro, will reportedly not be debuting at the event, coming later in the year instead. It's not known if other Macs will see a refresh announcement at the event, but it's unlikely, and we're also not expecting any iPad announcements at this time. We will, however, get an update on the prospective launch dates of iOS 10, macOS Sierra, watchOS 3, and tvOS 10. We're expecting to see iOS 10 and watchOS 3 launch shortly ahead of the release date of the next-generation iPhone (rumored to be September 16 or September 23), while macOS Sierra could come a bit later, perhaps towards the end of the month. tvOS 10, as a new operating system, could launch alongside iOS 10 or alongside macOS Sierra. In line with past events, the September 7 event will begin at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time. As it has done with several past events, Apple is likely to stream the event live on its website and on the Apple TV. MacRumors will also be providing full event coverage, both on MacRumors.com and through our MacRumorsLive Twitter account. Update: Apple has announced it will indeed be live streaming the event.Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 2, watchOS 3, iPhone 7 Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution) Discuss this article in our forums

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posted about 1 month ago on mac rumors
Thomas Davidson of Pennsylvania, Todd Cleary of California, and Jun Bai of Delaware have filed a class action lawsuit against Apple over an alleged defect that causes iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus touchscreens to become unresponsive and fail, according to court documents filed electronically this week. The class action complaint, filed with the U.S. District Court for Northern California, accuses Apple of violating California's consumer fraud statutes, through fraud, negligent misrepresentation, breach of implied warranty, unjust enrichment, and for violations of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act.Apple has long been aware of the defective iPhones. Yet, notwithstanding its longstanding knowledge of this design defect, Apple routinely has refused to repair the iPhones without charge when the defect manifests. Many other iPhone owners have communicated with Apple's employees and agents to request that Apple remedy and/or address the Touchscreen Defect and/or resultant damage at no expense. Apple has failed and/or refused to do so. As a result of Apple’s unfair, deceptive and/or fraudulent business practices, owners of the iPhones, including Plaintiffs, have suffered an ascertainable loss of money and/or property and/or value. The unfair and deceptive trade practices committed by Apple were conducted in a manner giving rise to substantial aggravating circumstances.The complaint, lodged by California law firm McCuneWright, LLP, seeks an order that requires Apple to repair, recall, and/or replace affected iPhones and to extend the warranties of those devices for a reasonable period of time. The plaintiffs also seek unspecified damages. A jury trial has been demanded. The lawsuit cites repair website iFixit, which last week shared a blog post and video about the defect, nicknamed "touch disease." The defect presents as a gray flickering bar at the top of the screen and a display that's unresponsive or less responsive to touch. The problem is said to be caused by the touchscreen controller chips soldered to the iPhone's logic board losing contact after a period of normal usage. The complaint specifically claims that Apple's failure to incorporate a "metal shield" or "underfill" over the logic board, as it did with the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c respectively, makes the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus "substantially less durable to foreseeable and reasonable use by consumers and ultimately causes the touchscreen defect." iFixit said the defect has affected a growing number of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus owners, citing its own repair shop colleagues and dozens of complaints on the Apple Support Communities. Multiple customers who brought their iPhones to Apple Stores were told that Apple doesn't recognize it as an issue and nothing could be done as their iPhones were no longer covered by warranty.Related Roundup: iPhone 6s Tag: lawsuit Buyer's Guide: iPhone (Caution) Discuss this article in our forums

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