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EU wants more information on Apple’s tax moves in Jersey after leaked documents surface

After leaked documents detailing the process Apple undertook to relocate its Irish holdings to the island of Jersey were printed in The New York Times and other news outlets, the European Union’s competition chief is asking for more details from the company, The Washington Post reports. In its response to the initial reports, Apple claimed to have notified the US, Ireland and the EU about the reorganization of its Irish subsidiaries, claiming, “The changes we made did not reduce our tax payments in any country.” But Margrethe Vestager, the European Union’s commissioner for competition, said, “I have been asking for an update on the arrangement made by Apple, the recent way they have been organized, in order to get the feeling whether or not this is in accordance with our European rules but that remains to be seen.” Vestager said the information request came before the leaked documents came to light and is still unsure whether Apple’s moves will prompt more investigations.

Apple working on AR headset that could launch as early as 2020, run its own ‘rOS’ operating system

Apple is working to have an augmented reality headset developed by 2019 and shipped out to consumers as early as 2020, Bloomberg reports. Previous rumors have revealed that Apple has hundreds of engineers working on AR applications and has developed multiple prototypes for AR glasses, and some bolder bloggers have even speculated that a partnership with Zeiss would lead to a viable product coming out this year. But Tim Cook has thrown cold water on the idea that the technology is anywhere near ready for Apple to ship a product to consumers, saying, “Today I can tell you the technology itself doesn’t exist to do that in a quality way. The display technology required, as well as putting enough stuff around your face – there’s huge challenges with that. The field of view, the quality of the display itself, it’s not there yet.”

US Supreme Court refuses to hear Samsung’s appeal on Apple patent case

The US Supreme Court has refused to hear Samsung’s appeal of a patent case the company lost to Apple, Reuters reports. The refusal leaves Samsung on the hook for just under $120 million in payments to Apple after an appeals court upheld a verdict finding Samsung infringed on several Apple patents, including slide-to-unlock, autocorrect and the ability to turn things like phone numbers and addresses into quick links. The Supreme Court recently threw out a $399 million ruling against Samsung, but that trial has been sent to another court to be retried.

Apple responds after leaked records show overseas profits being moved to avoid taxes

Leaked documents show Apple began to move its offshore profits to the English Channel island of Jersey after heat from the European Union threatened to compromise its low-tax arrangement in Ireland, The New York Times reports. The records show Apple solicited the help of law firms that specialize in creating offshore tax shelters to research multiple tax jurisdictions before settling on Jersey, an independent island outside of EU jurisdiction that usually doesn’t tax corporate income. By the end of 2014, Apple had relocated Apple Sales International and Apple Operations International from Ireland to Jersey and moved Apple Operations Europe to Ireland, shuffling around its tax homes just ahead of Ireland’s new policy of allowing existing companies or those created before December 2014 to claim $1 billion in tax credits every year for up to 15 years if they transfer the rights to intellectual property to an Irish company — even if it’s a transfer from one company’s subsidiary to another.

Introductory pricing for app subscriptions in iOS 11.2 beta; watchOS 4.2, tvOS 11.2 betas released

In the release notes for its latest developer beta for iOS 11.2, Apple has revealed that it will allow developers to offer “a discounted introductory price for your auto-renewable subscriptions.” Auto-renewing subscriptions became available with the release of iOS 10, and the public release of iOS 11.2 will include new subscription classes for developers looking to entice users to try their product with a lower introductory rate. Apple said developers will be able to set up introductory pricing options in iTunes Connect soon. The company also released a second developer beta for watchOS 4.2 and tvOS 11.2 alongside the iOS 11.2 release.

Future of Apple’s planned Irish data center uncertain after years of legal wrangling

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said Apple CEO Tim Cook is no longer committing to build a $1 billion data center in the country after multiple objections have slowed the process, Reuters reports. Apple committed to build the data center back in Febuary 2015 and last month Business Insider reported that an Irish court had cleared the way for its construction. But in a meeting last Thursday Cook refused to commit to moving forward with the project, Varadkar said. While the PM said the government would do “anything within our power” to move the project along — including amending its planning laws to make data centers easier to approve by listing them as “strategic infrastructure” — he said, “We didn’t get a start date, or a definite commitment or anything like that,” at the meeting. Meanwhile a second European data center is already in the works in Denmark after another announced around the same time as the project in Ireland is preparing to go online later this year.

Third-party apps will be able to collect facial data on iPhone X

Third party developers will be able to fully utilize the TrueDepth camera on the iPhone X to collect advanced facial data, according to a new report by Reuters. Although Apple has promised that the facial profiles used for Face ID will be securely stored in the iPhone X Secure Enclave — in the same way that fingerprints are stored for Touch ID authentication on other iPhone models — third-party app developers will be permitted to access the advanced features of the TrueDepth camera to access facial recognition features that would allow them to build entertainment apps for the iPhone X, such as pinning three-dimensional masks for selfies or mirroring real-world facial expressions on an in-game character.

Report: Apple to unlock all Canadian iPhones over-the-air on Dec. 1

Apple is planning to remotely unlock all Canadian iPhones over-the-air on Dec. 1 to comply with new government regulations banning locked iPhones as of that date, according to a leaked document obtained by MobileSyrup. A document obtained from smartphone retailer WOW! Mobile notes that locked iPhones will be “automatically be unlocked over-the-air effective December 1st.”

Apple designing iPhones, iPads that ditch Qualcomm modem chips

Amid its bitter legal fight with Qualcomm over patent royalties, Apple is moving to eliminate Qualcomm’s components from the iPhone and iPad as early as next year, The Wall Street Journal reports. Sources familiar with the matter said Apple is considering using modem chips from Intel and possibly MediaTek exclusively since Qualcomm has been withholding key software used to test its chips in prototype iPads and iPhones. Qualcomm disputes that claim, saying its “modem that could be used in the next generation iPhone has already been fully tested and released to Apple.”

Apple asks SEC to exclude shareholder diversity proposal from next meeting

Apple has asked the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to allow the company to exclude a shareholder proposal demanding more diversity in the company’s senior leadership from its upcoming shareholder meeting, SiliconBeat reports. The small group of shareholders has issued repeated demands for moves to mandate diversity requirements for Apple’s top positions and now wants to tie mandatory diversity numbers to CEO Tim Cook’s compensation. In a letter to the SEC, the company asked the SEC for permission to exclude the proposal, arguing that since it has been proposed twice in the past five years and received less than 6 percent of the shareholder vote, under SEC rules the motion can be left off the proxy materials for the next meeting.

Apple describes iPhone X demand as ‘off the charts’

In a statement to TechCrunch, an Apple representative has described customer demand for the iPhone X as being “off the charts” and emphasized Apple’s commitment to increasing the supply of the new iPhone as quickly as possible, noting that the company will still be accepting online orders and still plans to have stock available in its retail stores next Friday.

We are thrilled to be taking orders for iPhone X, the future of the smartphone. We can see from the initial response, customer demand is off the charts. We’re working hard to get this revolutionary new product into the hands of every customer who wants one, as quickly as possible. We will keep accepting orders online, and iPhone X will be available at Apple retail stores on Friday, November 3 starting at 8 a.m., as well as from our carrier and retailer partners around the world.

Pre-orders for Apple’s new flagship iPhone opened this morning at 3:01 a.m. ET with initial stock not surprisingly selling out within minutes and many users being greeted with shipping dates of 2 – 3 weeks or more by 3:05 a.m. While Apple claims that stock will be available in its retail stores on Friday, it’s unclear how many units are being held for walk-in customers as opposed to pre-ordered or reserved pickups.

Apple reveals Service Pricing for iPhone X

Apple has added details on the iPhone X to its iPhone Service Pricing page, revealing that out-of-warranty screen repairs for the iPhone X will cost $279 — over $100 more than repairs for the iPhone 8 Plus. Repairs for other damage will carry a similar premium for the new model, costing $549 vs $399 for the iPhone 8 Plus and $349 for the iPhone 8. These service prices are for users without AppleCare+ for the iPhone X, however, which costs $199 up front but provides up to two repairs at $29 for screen replacement or $99 for other damage.

iPhone X pre-orders predictably sell out within minutes

As expected, pre-orders for Apple’s new iPhone X went online at approximately 3:01 a.m. ET this morning, and not surprisingly saw initial stock running out and ship dates being pushed into 2 – 3 weeks within two or three minutes of the Apple Store going live, and in fact within a half-hour availability moved to 4 – 5 weeks, pushing delivery dates for many into late November or early December, and by 4:30 a.m. the iPhone X ordering page was reporting 4 – 5 weeks. Notably, there didn’t seem to be any difference in demand or availability between models this year, with both the Silver and Space Gray colors and 64 GB and 256 GB capacities appearing to sell out at roughly the same time.

Apple shying away from edgy shows for its video content debut

While much has been made about Apple looking to compete with the likes of HBO and Netflix in its move into original video content, the company is looking to steer clear of the nudity and violence common in so many of their competitors’ hit shows, Bloomberg reports. A delay of Carpool Karaoke’s release for previously unknown reasons is now said to have come about because of last-minute edits to remove “foul language and references to vaginal hygiene,” and Apple is reportedly looking to avoid anything unseemly in its other original programs as well. “I think for both NBC and Apple, it’s about finding that sweet spot with content that is creative and challenging but also allows as many people in the tent as possible,” said Jennifer Salke, president of NBC Entertainment.

Apple acquires wireless charging company PowerbyProxi

Apple has acquired wireless charging firm PowerbyProxi, leading to speculation in that company’s native New Zealand that Apple could move operations to another country, Stuff reports. Apple announced the purchase in its usual tight-lipped fashion today, confirming plans to keep the business in New Zealand despite local talk that future research and development would probably move elsewhere. The company currently employs about 55 people and holds more than 300 wireless charging patents. Apple has debuted its first wireless charging-compatible iPhones this year and has teased a wireless charging mat to come soon.

Apple’s patent fight with Samsung headed to court again

Apple’s seemingly endless fight with Samsung over smartphone patents is headed back to court once again, Foss Patents reports. A ruling handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court last year holds that Samsung isn’t on the hook for its full profits from smartphone sales just because it infringed on some of Apple’s patents, but doesn’t make clear what portion of the profits should go to Apple or how that should be decided. U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh has ordered both sides back to court and put the burden on Apple to prove it should be allowed to keep the $399 million award from 2016 given the new ruling. Koh wrote that since an entire Samsung phone is no longer the “article of manufacture,” jurors in the new trial will have to “identify the ‘article of manufacture’ to which the infringed design has been applied” and then “calculate the infringer’s total profit made on that article of manufacture.”

Apple collaborating with Google and AT&T to deliver internet to Puerto Rico

Apple is partnering with Google parent company Alphabet and AT&T to deliver internet to those in Puerto Rico affected by the fallout from Hurricane Maria, according to a blog post by Alistair Westgarth, head of Project Loon. The Project Loon balloons deliver communications equipment to remote parts of the world, and multiple U.S. agencies have approved their use over Puerto Rico. AT&T will provide LTE service, and SES Networks, Liberty Cablevision, and other companies are providing hardware on the ground. An Apple update to cellular settings in iOS will grant iPhones in that region access to the unused LTE frequency Band 8 used by Project Loon’s balloons. [via AppleInsider]

Apple hires ex-Amazon exec for international content role

Apple has added another high-profile media name to its growing content division, hiring former Amazon executive Morgan Wandell to head up its international development, Variety reports. During his tenure at Amazon, Wandell was the point man on shows like “The Man in the High Castle,” “Goliath,” and the upcoming “Jack Ryan” series. Before that he worked at ABC working on hits like “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Lost,” and “Desperate Housewives.” He has also worked with former Sony execs Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg now heading up Apple’s video efforts, putting together a deal for the series “Sneaky Pete.”

Apple partners with GE on industrial apps

Apple has partnered with GE to provide the framework for industrial apps based on GE’s Predix Internet of Things platform, according to a joint release from the companies. The new Predix software development kit for iOS will give developers the building blocks to create their own IoT apps that make use of predictive data and analytics to anticipate and spot problems with even extremely complex machines. The Predix SDK will be available for download next week, allowing industrial operators to design apps that monitor and diagnose problems instantly, allowing repairs to be conducted and coordinated remotely.

Apple explored option of buying health clinic startup

Apple recently engaged in talks to buy Crossover Health, a startup that runs on-site health clinics for large companies, CNBC reports. Crossover Health is one of a handful of companies that provide medical and wellness services to self-insured employers on or near their offices. Sources said the talks went on for months, but never materialized into any kind of concrete deal. But other sources said Apple also approached One Medical — a nationwide primary care group — which could signal Apple is serious about making inroads into a more robust primary health care role. A source said Apple’s health team has expressed interest in the primary care field for more than a year, but it’s still unclear whether the company would operate its own clinics or just be the technology partner for existing providers.

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