Apple chief executive officer Tim Cook took the hot seat on Tuesday morning in Washington to answer questions about a tax planning strategy that has enabled it to avoid billions of dollars of taxes.
Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate investigations committee, set the tone with his opening remarks, noting that just in 2012, Apple had exploited tax loopholes allowing it to avoid $9bn in US taxes. Such practices, he said, did “real harm” to the US economy, disadvantaging domestic companies that don’t make use of “tax gimmicks”.
You can watch the hearing here, read Mr Cook’s written testimony here and read the Senate committee’s report on Apple’s tax structure here.
Earlier on Friday, Wired reported that Apple’s voice app Siri, which is perhaps most famous for its comical misinterpretations, keeps users’ data for up to two years.
Now Google has told the FT that it stores queries to its voice search service for the same period. The difference is that Google stores the actual audio samples for up to two years, unlike Siri which deletes the audio after six months and then just retains the queries. So, is two years too long? Read more
Apple has bought WifiSlam, an indoor mobile location service, as the Silicon Valley giant continues to compete with Google in mapping capabilities.
The deal closed recently for $20m, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal, citing an unnamed source.
WifiSlam’s technology uses ambient wireless signals that are already present in buildings to pinpoint the location of smartphones, as opposed to the space-based satellite signals relied upon for larger-scale GPS mapping and navigation systems. Read more
As New York braces itself for Samsung’s heavily hyped launch of its latest Galaxy smartphone, complete with coverage on giant screens in Times Square, the choice of venue reflects the company’s conviction that it has gained the upper hand in its battle with Apple, writes Simon Mundy.
In 2010, with Apple still dominant in the smartphone market, the first Galaxy handset was launched at a modest event in Singapore. A year later, at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Samsung unveiled the second in the series; by May 2012, it was confident enough to launch the Galaxy SIII at a high-profile standalone event in London. Now, as Thursday’s New York launch demonstrates, Samsung is going all out to attack Apple’s grip on its home US market. Read more
In a move that has raised eyebrows in legal and technology circles, Samsung has hired a former British appeals-court judge, who reprimanded the electronics giant’s patent opponent Apple last year, to be its expert witness in another intellectual property trial. Read more