Luxembourg Stories October 9, 2015

AAPL: 112.12

2.62

iPhone 6s/Plus goes on sale in 36 more countries today, with a further 6 tomorrow

Apple’s rollout of the iPhone 6s/Plus beyond the dozen launch countries kicks off today, with customers in 36 more countries able to get their hands on the new devices. This follows Apple making SIM-free phones available in the USA.

The countries are Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Greenland, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Maldives, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Taiwan.

Those in Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates will have to wait until tomorrow, while there’s a further week to go before sales open up in India, Malaysia and Turkey. Apple has promised that the new iPhones will be on sale in over 130 countries by the end of the year.

Apple sold more than 13 million iPhones in the opening weekend. If you’re still on the fence, some recent pieces that may help are my iPhone 6s diary, a video of the best 3D Touch features, plus a comparison video and opinion piece on the 6s versus 6s Plus.

Luxembourg Stories July 10, 2014

Volume-Purchase-Program

Apple is about to roll out its Volume Purchase Program, which allows business and education customers to purchase and distribute iOS apps in bulk for deployed devices, into 16 new countries. Apple’s website for both the Volume Purchase Program for Business and for Education have been updated to announce the expansion and now list the following countries as coming soon to the program: expand full story

Luxembourg Stories June 11, 2014

Apple responds to EU investigation into tax practices: “Apple pays every euro of every tax that we owe”

Following a report yesterday that the European Commission was about to launch a formal investigation into Apple’s tax practices in Ireland, the EU has now officially announced the investigation at a press conference. Bloomberg reports that the investigation will include not just Apple, but also Starbucks and Fiat Finance & Trade SA and will look at “whether the tax deals in Ireland, the Netherlands and Luxembourg are illegal state aid.” 

“Special secret deals should be outlawed across the EU,” Chas Roy-Chowdhury, head of taxation at the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, said in an e-mailed statement. “All tax breaks and reliefs should be openly available for qualifying businesses.”

“We need to fight against aggressive tax planning,” Joaquin Almunia, the EU’s competition commissioner, said at a press conference in Brussels. He said it’s “still too soon to anticipate” possible recovery if the EU finds the tax rulings to be illegal.

Apple responded with a statement to Bloomberg following the news claiming that it “pays every euro of every tax that we owe” and that it “received no selective treatment from Irish officials.” Apple’s full statement is below:

“Apple pays every euro of every tax that we owe,” the company said in an e-mailed statement. “We have received no selective treatment from Irish officials. Apple is subject to the same tax laws as scores of other international companies doing business in Ireland.”

Apple last year faced a U.S. Senate hearing on its offshore tax practices in which it denied taking advantage of any tax loopholes in Ireland. The SEC also closed its own investigation without establishing any wrong-doing in October of last year.

Luxembourg Stories May 28, 2013

EU Tax Commissioner calls for end to tax havens following Senate hearing on Apple’s offshore tax practices

Apple’s Irish tax havens and its agreement with the country to pay corporation tax of approximately 2% on earnings have been a big focus of controversy surrounding the U.S. Senate’s investigation into the offshore tax practices of Apple and many other large technology multinationals. Today, Bloomberg reports that EU Tax Commissioner Algirdas Semeta has addressed concerns by calling for an end to “specific incentives to foreign companies or wealthy individuals” attempting to avoid taxation. It could possibly lead to a broader crackdown of the practice in EU nations criticized for their tax policies including Ireland, Luxembourg, Austria, and the Netherlands.

“Some member states have fairly loose or relatively liberal double-taxation agreements with third countries,” Semeta said in a Brussels speech today to the Friends of Europe group. “These very loose agreements actually allow aggressive tax planners to shift their profits through EU member states to third countries and to avoid taxation in general.”

Luxembourg Stories November 16, 2012

Days after executives from Google, Amazon, and others were grilled by regulators in the United Kingdom over the issue of tax avoidance in Europe, The Sydney Morning Herald reported today that Apple’s Australian arm has been hit with a $28.5 million bill for back taxes in the country:

APPLE AUSTRALIA has been hit with a $28.5 million bill for back taxes, statements lodged with the corporate regulator in April show… News of the Tax Office bill comes as European governments put global technology companies under intense pressure over their complex ownership structures that rely heavily on a network of tax havens… Apple’s Australian arm reaped $4.9 billion in revenue last year through the sale of its computers, iPads and iPhones. The bill takes its total tax tab for the year ending September 24, 2011, to $94.7 million.

Earlier this year, The New York Times profiled how Apple uses tax havens, such as Nevada, Ireland, and Luxembourg, to sidestep taxes in both the United States and Europe. The U.K. isn’t the only country putting pressure on technology multinationals over tax avoidance schemes, SMH also noted the French government requested $252 million USD in back taxes from Amazon, a company that also uses Luxembourg as a tax haven for its Europe operations, earlier this week. expand full story

Luxembourg Stories May 31, 2012

Nuance releases Dragon Express Mac app in 7 additional countries, 3 new languages

Nuance announced it is releasing the Dragon Express Mac App Store app today to seven new countries in three new languages. Originally released last year, the app is now available in the following countries for around $50:

Dragon Express 1.1 now supports the French language in Canada, France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland, the German language in Austria, Germany and Switzerland, and the Italian language in Italy.

AustriaBelgiumFranceGermanyItalyLuxembourgSwitzerland (French)Switzerland (German)

According to iPhonehellas [translated], Nuance also held a press event today in Greece to announce the availability of Dragon Dictation for June 6.

The full press release from Nuance is below:

Nuance’s Dragon Express for Mac OS App Store Now Available in French, German and Italian Languages

BURLINGTON, Mass., – May 31, 2012 – Nuance Communications, Inc., (NASDAQ: NUAN) today announced that its Dragon Express App, an introductory voice recognition app for Mac OS X Lion, has debuted in seven additional countries, supporting three additional languages. Dragon Express 1.1 now supports the French language in Canada, France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland, the German language in Austria, Germany and Switzerland, and the Italian language in Italy. Available exclusively for download from Apple’s Mac App Store, Dragon Express is an easy and fun way to put words to work without the hassle of typing, allowing users to do more in less time.

Released in late 2011, Dragon Express quickly rose to the top of the charts in the Mac App Store. It’s a fast, hands-free way to quickly turn speech into text, whether sending email, surfing the Web or posting an update to Facebook and Twitter. Dragon Express is priced to provide people with an opportunity to experience the power and performance of speech recognition.

“The excitement for Dragon Express has been overwhelming, and we’ve heard our customers’ requests for additional language support,” said Peter Mahoney, chief marketing officer, senior vice president and general manager, Dragon, Nuance Communications. “We know that people around the world are embracing speech as a useful and fun interface, and we’re excited to bring the Dragon Express app to a broader worldwide audience.”

Dragon Express can be conveniently accessed from the menu bar at any time and doesn’t require a network connection. Users dictate directly into the Dragon Express window, using the internal Mac microphone or a USB headset microphone (which can be purchased via http://www.nuance.com), and the text instantly appears in the Dragon Express window. When finished, Dragon Express places the transcribed text into the application of choice. The download comes with a short enrollment so that the app can better recognize a user’s unique voice.

Dragon Dictate, the most full-featured and advanced speech recognition software for Mac OS, was recently updated to version 2.5. Dragon Dictate 2.5 includes many features beyond those in Dragon Express. These features include the ability to dictate directly into applications, edit, format and correct recognition errors by voice, open and close applications by voice, control the mouse by voice, create custom voice commands and support for the Dragon Remote Mic app for iPhone.

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