The Convenient-Target Edition Monday, December 19, 2016

Apple To Appeal EU Tax Ruling This Week, Says It Was A 'Convenient Target', by Foo Yun Chee, Reuters

Apple (AAPL.O) will launch a legal challenge this week to a record $14 billion EU tax demand, arguing that EU regulators ignored tax experts and corporate law and deliberately picked a method to maximize the penalty, senior executives said. [...]

"Now the Irish have put in an expert opinion from an incredibly well-respected Irish tax lawyer. The Commission not only didn't attack that - didn't argue with it, as far as we know - they probably didn't even read it. Because there is no reference (in the EU decision) whatsoever," Sewell said.

Ireland Accuses EU Of Exceeding Power In Apple Tax Case, by Conor Humphries, Reuters

On Monday both Ireland and Apple laid out the legal arguments that would form the basis of their appeals.

"The Commission has manifestly breached its duty to provide a clear and unequivocal statement of reasons in its decision, in relying simultaneously on grossly divergent factual scenarios, in contradicting itself as to the source of the rule that Ireland is said to have breached, and in suggesting that Ireland granted aid in relation to profits taxable in other jurisdictions," the Irish government said in a statement.

Ireland Fails To Justify Selective Treatment Of Apple, Commission Says, by Suzanne Lynch, Irish Times

Publishing its full decision on the controversial finding that Ireland offered computer giant Apple up to €13 billion in illegal state aid rulings, the commission states that two tax rulings issued by Ireland to Apple substantially and artificially lowered the tax paid by Apple in Ireland since 1991.

It found that two Apple subsidiaries - Apple Sales International and Apple Operations International - were used in a way that “did not correspond to economic reality.”

This amounted to the “selective tax treatment” of Apple in Ireland, the Commission found, because it gave Apple a significant advantage over other businesses subject to the same national taxation rules.

TV As An App

The Future Of TV Isn’t Apps, by Tim Goodwin, TechCrunch

I want “Spotify Radio” for TV, I want to select a show and get suggested ones like that appear next. I want all content to be linked, I want to select a TV star and see all they’ve appeared it. I want to click on a writer and find out more about them. I want my remote to be my phone and control center for all content. I want shows I can interact with meaningfully on it.

TV is about to go under the most radical transformation imaginable. Lines are going to blur. What is stored locally and what in the cloud? When does TV become Video? What should usage rights be for nations and devices? Do we need a set top box anymore?


Marathon Runner Tests Apple AirPods On A 10K Run, Earbuds Stay In Ears, Good Battery Life, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

He said sound quality was good, with better-than-expected bass. His first impressions upon putting the AirPods in were not filled with confidence, as he said it felt like they were going to fall out. However, the AirPods stayed in his ears across the entire journey; at one point he says it doesn’t feel like they have moved at all.

His run/sprint lasted a little over an hour with continuous music playback; the AirPods reported 84% battery life at the end which is inline with Apple’s claims of 5 hours use on one charge without using the case to top them up.

AirPods Begin Arriving To Customers & Hitting Retail Stores Around The World, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Customers who missed the brief online availability of AirPods have reported being able to walk into Apple Stores in Australia and New Zealand and purchase a pair.


How Christmas Presents Got Personalised – From Selfie Champagne To Bespoke Nutella, by Susie Mesure, The Guardian

So, who is to blame for the trend metastasising? Coca-Cola, perhaps, for those Share a Coke bottles in 2013, which reversed falling sales? Or Apple, which offered to personalise iPods (remember those?) in 2007? But the phenomenon goes back further.

Bottom of the Page

The future of TV is not apps -- but I can still see someone doing all the hard work of getting the shows from the creator to the viewer. Whether this someone is named Apple or Netflix or AMC, there will be someone. Or multiple someones.

One hopes there are multiple someones.


Thanks for reading.