In a trademark infringement case filed against Mobile Star LLC, which it claims is a prolific counterfeiter, Apple says that more than 90% of the "official" gadgets sold in its name at Amazon are fake. [via]
Moreover, they're mostly garbage, and potentially dangerous.
Consumers, relying on Amazon.com's reputation, have no reason to suspect the power products they purchased from Amazon.com are anything but genuine. This is particularly true where, as here, the products are sold directly "by Amazon.com" as genuine Apple products using Apple's own product marketing images. Consumers are likewise unaware that the counterfeit Apple products that Amazon.com sourced from Mobile Star have not been safety certified or properly constructed, lack adequate insulation and/or have inadequate spacing between low voltage and high voltage circuits, and pose a significant risk of overheating, fire, and electrical shock. Indeed, consumer reviews of counterfeit Apple power adapters purchased from Amazon.com and from the above ASIN report that the counterfeit products overheat, smolder, and in some cases catch fire:
Amazon seems to have gone well shady lately—something's got to give. Lukewarm take: the vast majority of users will think the fakes are genuine even with the media fuss over it, Apple's reputation is what gets quietly burned at the weekend barbecues of America, and Amazon is monolithically indifferent to counterfeiting. Apple might then consider the unquantifiable value of not charging $29 for Lightning cables.
UPDATE: Amazon spokesperson Aaron Toso responds:
“Amazon has zero tolerance for the sale of counterfeits on our site.Read the rest
This video depicts a man in the Dijon Apple store smashing up phones and laptops with a metal ball. Everyone just lets him get on with it, presumably for legal reasons or corporate policy. By the time a mall cop arrives, he's already done.
The question of what to do with Battersea Power Station, a disused yet oddly beautiful pile of bricks in London, long occupied the city's planners. The latest developers have scored a coup that sounds a lot like the final answer: it's going to be Apple's London headquarters.
Countless schemes came and went for the massive structure, whose four towers belched coal smoke until 1983 and graced the legendary cover of Pink Floyd's Animals. But it was only in the last few years that plans came together for a modern, mixed-use combination of homes, shops and businesses. Apple will be the single largest tenant, London's Evening Standard reports, taking the top 6 floors inside the old boiler house.
Read the rest
Apple’s main European HQ will remain at Cork, Ireland, where it employs 4,000 people, but the Battersea site will be one of its biggest in the world outside America. The Californian giant, the world’s most valuable company, will be the largest single tenant in the 42-acre complex of homes, offices, shops and leisure facilities....Apple is leasing 500,000 sq ft in total, making it one of the biggest single office deals signed in London outside the City and Docklands in the past 20 years.
It is expected all the firm’s “central function” staff in London in areas such as finance and human resources will move to the power station. Apple has 2,530 staff in total in the capital, including about 1,100 working in its stores. It has taken enough space for 3,000 employees, giving it room to hire more as its operation grows in London.
The EU has ruled that Apple has to pay taxes on the billions it laundered through Ireland by pretending that an empty room with no employees was the company's "head office," a move that has enraged the Business Roundtable, which has sent a letter calling on the EU to respect the "rule of law," whose five signatories have all presided over acts of shameless lawbreaking. Read the rest
If you missed the iPhone 7 event, this five minute recap will fill you in. Read the rest
"Here’s the thing," writes Owen Williams on Apple's apparent plans to remove the headphone jack from the new iPhones. "Bluetooth is shit." Read the rest
Ireland offered Apple huge tax breaks, but didn't give other companies the same deal. The European Commission concluded this was illegal and the company must pay up the €13bn it would otherwise have owed in taxes.
The Commission said "selective treatment" allowed Apple to pay tax rate of 1% on European Union profits in 2003 down to 0.005% in 2014.
The findings are a result of the culmination of a three-year investigation by Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager into tax arrangements for Apple, dating back 25 years.
In a statement, the EC said the benefit is "illegal under EU state aid rules, because it allowed Apple to pay substantially less tax than other businesses. Ireland must now recover the illegal aid."
That's 5 cents for every thousand dollars made. Read the rest
In only 7 minutes, Australian comedy show The Undercurrent explains exactly how companies like Apple, Google and Facebook use offshore registration, transfer payments, debt loading and tax havens to get a lower tax rate than nurses, starving their host countries like Australia of so much money that they're cutting schools, medicare, public broadcasting, climate change and indigenous services. Read the rest
2001 Nobel laureate in economics Joseph Stiglitz has a long history of being on the right side of history. For example: pricing the Iraq war at $3T; raising the alarm about sovereign wealth funds acquiring US debt; nailing the double-standard on bailouts for debt crises (and the way that this destabilizes poor countries); sounding the alarm about austerity in times of recesssion; coming out early and strong over wealth concentration; calling for the imprisonment of the top executives at Barclays bank; and damning the TPP as "the worst trade deal ever." Read the rest
Apple has rejected Spotify's latest app for inclusion in the Ios App Store, citing its rules against app vendors processing their own payments; Apple requires software vendors to pay to use Apple's own payment processor -- which collects hefty commissions -- in their apps. Read the rest
Nilay Patel's magnificent rant about Apple's rumored announcement that future phones won't have headphone jacks starts with the main event: "1. Digital audio means DRM audio." Read the rest
New York is one of four states considering legislation that would guarantee your right to get your stuff fixed by independent repair centers, curbing manufacturers' attempts to limit access to technical documentation and parts, meaning you pay less to keep your stuff working, and that means that your gadgets don't become immortal, toxic e-waste. Read the rest
The World Wide Web Consortium's plan to standardize web-wide digital rights management is based on the idea that if an entertainment company doesn't like a new technology, it should have the right to prevent that technology from coming into being. Read the rest