June 3, 2013

While the markets may worry about the effect of cheaper products on Apple’s still-enviable margins, those concerns may be misplaced in the case of a low-cost iPhone, reports Fortune.

Not to fear, writes Morgan Stanley’s Katy Huberty in a note to clients Monday. According to her calculations, a lower-priced iPhone should — paradoxically — raise those margins.

The way she sees it, if Apple lowers the cost of owning an iPhone, more people will buy them. And because the profit margins on even a lower-cost iPhone are so much higher than the margins on Apple’s other products, the net effect will be to lift the company’s gross margin …  expand full story

Apple has rolled out its WWDC 2013 app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch (via MacRumors) this morning as WWDC quickly approaches. Apple has promised to push out session videos much quicker this year and will be available online as well as via its WWDC 2013 app for iOS.

Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference kicks off a week from today in San Francisco where we’ll be covering the event.

Apple is set to preview new versions of its iOS and OS X operating systems at its keynote, which we’ll be live blogging from location, and has already promised to deliver beta releases of both operating systems to developers so they can prepare their apps for the new operating systems:

“We look forward to gathering at WWDC 2013 with the incredible community of iOS and OS X developers,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “Our developers have had the most prolific and profitable year ever, and we’re excited to show them the latest advances in software technologies and developer tools to help them create innovative new apps. We can’t wait to get new versions of iOS and OS X into their hands at WWDC.”

WWDC attendees can use the app to organize their session priorities, navigate around Moscone West, and save their registration information in Passbook.

Check out the details below: expand full story

In the midst of the U.S. government’s interest in Apple and other large multinationals that “avoid” paying taxes in the U.S. or repatriating funds stored abroad, RudeBaguette.com notes that the French society of authors, composers, and music publishers (SACEM) has announced that Apple owes around 5 million euros in unpaid taxes.

The funds apparently come from unpaid royalties on iPad sales for 2011 that France and other EU countries, such as Germany, collect for devices capable of transferring and displaying copyrighted material:

To give a bit of a background, the copie privée is a tax in several countries including France & Germany that is applied to all digital devices that can transfer, read, or otherwise make use of copyrighted material. The tax goes to the SACEM, which then takes the lump sum of all the taxes collected and deals them out to authors, creators, producers, actors, etc. accordingly… the problem here isn’t so much the tax, but that Apple actually charged the consumers this tax, and didn’t pay it out to the SACEM.

The news comes as reports claim France is beginning to crack down on tax schemes of large companies with plans to force  Apple, Google, and others to disclose details of foreign business activities and tax practices: expand full story

9to5toys 

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Apple will today defend itself in a Manhattan court against a Department of Justice case accusing it of leading a cartel designed to force up prices of ebooks, Tim Cook having recently told the AllThingsD D11 conference that the case against it was “bizarre.”

The e-book case to me is bizarre. We’ve done nothing wrong there, and so we’re taking a very principled position. … We’re not going to sign something that says we did something we didn’t do. … So we’re going to fight.

At first blush, it does seem bizarre that Apple could be accused of leading a cartel in a market largely controlled by Amazon, but the claim here is that five leading publishers used their dominant position to force up prices – and that Apple put them up to it.

We tend to agree with AllThingsD that it’s tough to see how Apple can win the case when all five of its alleged ‘fellow cartel members’ have already held up their hands and settled with the DOJ, and where there is a clear paper-trail showing that Steve Jobs was instrumental in leading the changes that led to the price-fixing allegations …  expand full story

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