Apple Inc ▪ Today

AAPL: 110.62

Stock Chart

Lobbying group Citizens for Tax Justice has called out Apple, Google and Microsoft and others for what it described as “accounting tricks” in which companies “pretend” to be based overseas for tax purposes. The claims were made in a report entitled Offshore Shell Games 2015.

Many multinational corporations use accounting tricks to pretend for tax purposes that a substantial portion of their profits are generated in offshore tax havens, countries with minimal or no taxes where a company’s presence may be as little as a mailbox. Multinational corporations’ use of tax havens allows them to avoid an estimated $90 billion in federal income taxes each year.

The group said that Apple has paid “a miniscule 2.3 percent tax rate on its offshore profits,” many of which have been entered into Apple’s books in Ireland. CTJ says that if Apple paid U.S. tax rates on those profits, it would owe $59.2 billion.

The controversy over the legitimacy of Apple’s overseas tax arrangements is not, of course, anything new …  expand full story

Former Apple CEO John Sculley has told the WSJ that the Sorkin/Boyle movie Steve Jobs is “extraordinary entertainment” but depicts only one side of Jobs’ personality.

It’s extraordinary entertainment, [but] was really taking one aspect of Steve Jobs’s personality.

Part of his personality was he was a passionate perfectionist, but there were so many other parts […] The young Steve Jobs that I knew had a great sense of humor. He was on many occasions, when we were together, very warm. He cared a lot about the people he worked with and he was a good person. So, I think those aren’t the aspects that are focused on in this movie … 

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Apple Inc ▪ October 5

AAPL: 110.78

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If you haven’t yet found your perfect Apple Watch strap among the company’s own offerings or the numerous third-party options, Apple has today officially launched its partnership with French leather fashion company Hermès.

Uncompromising craftsmanship. Pioneering innovation. Groundbreaking functionality. Apple Watch Hermès is the culmination of a partnership based on parallel thinking, singular vision and mutual regard. It is a unique timepiece designed with both utility and beauty in mind. With leather straps handmade by Hermès artisans in France and an Hermès watch face reinterpreted by Apple designers in California, Apple Watch Hermès is a product of elegant, artful simplicity — the ultimate tool for modern life.

Splashing out between $1100 and $1500 gets you a special version of the stainless steel Watch, with Hermès branding on the back, a number of special watch faces and a choice of three leather straps. Color options depend on the strap, some with suitably exotic-sounding names …  expand full story

Apple Inc ▪ October 1

AAPL: 109.58

Stock Chart

In an interview with London’s Evening Standard, Apple SVP Eddy Cue said that Apple is relaxed about how many Apple Music subscribers are immediately willing to pay for the service once their free trial ends.

Ultimately, you never know until it happens. But we’re pleased with the number of people who have tried. Everybody gets fixated on the short term but we’re in this for the long haul.

Though published today, the interview took place before the trial ended for early adopters, so doesn’t give any hint as to conversion rates … expand full story

Apple Inc ▪ September 30

AAPL: 110.30

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iFixit’s teardown reveals a liquid resistant seal

iFixit wasted no time in carrying out its teardowns of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, and now IHS has weighed in with its usual estimate of the component and assembly costs. It reckons the total cost of materials and manufacturing of the 16GB 6s Plus to be $236.

Direct Material Costs (Component Costs)




Conversion Costs (Assembly / Insertion/ Test Costs)


Total Cost (Direct Materials & Manufacturing)


Tim Cook would doubtless take issue with this estimate, as he has with others.

There are cost breakdowns around our products that are much different than the reality. I’ve never seen one that is anywhere close to being accurate.

IHS said that 3D Touch and the associated haptic engine were the most obvious new components over the previous year’s model, with an estimated $10 of additional costs, but also noted three improvements geared to making the device more robust …  expand full story

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