Welcome to AppleForums.net, the premier Apple Forum and Apple News site for all things Apple & Mac! We aim to be a friendly, educational community dedicated to all Apple Products including Macs, Macbooks, iPhone, iPad, and iPod just to name a few. On the forum you'll meet other Apple enthusiasts that love talking Apple and will assist with newbie questions, general questions, technical questions, purchasing questions and more. The first step would be to REGISTER so you can take advantage of all the benefits we have to offer. Registration is free and only takes a few seconds!
Be sure to visit these popular sections on the site:
U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer and Rand Paul on Thursday announced the "Invest in Transportation Act of 2015," a proposal that would allow companies such as Apple to bring foreign cash reserves back to the U.S. at a significantly lower tax rate while using the proceeds to replenish the Highway Trust Fund.
The bill, which has yet to be introduced, would lower the tax rate for repatriated foreign earnings from 35 percent to 6.5 percent. Companies would be given up to five years to complete the move, and only transfers that exceed the company's annual average repatriation would be eligible for the reduced rate.
In addition to boosting federal infrastructure spending, the bill would contain provisions designed to force companies bringing cash back to use that money for hiring, increasing wages or pensions, improving environmental standards, public-private partnerships, capital improvements, or acquisitions. None of the funds would be eligible for use in executive compensation, shareholder dividends, or stock buybacks for three years after the repatriation scheme ends.
"The bipartisan repatriation proposal is a win-win for our economy and our country," Sen. Boxer told The Hill. "First, it will bring back hundreds of billions of dollars in foreign earnings that are sitting offshore, which can be invested here in America to create jobs. Second, the taxes paid on those earnings will be used to extend the Highway Trust Fund, which supports millions of jobs nationwide. I hope this proposal will jumpstart negotiations on addressing the shortfall in the Highway Trust Fund, which is already creating uncertainty that is bad for businesses, bad for workers and bad for the economy."
Apple finished its first fiscal quarter of 2015 with $179 billion in cash, an increase of $24 billion from the previous quarter. Though the company did not break down how much of that money is currently held overseas, its foreign cash reserves reached nearly $140 billion as of last summer.
Already one of the largest taxpayers in America, Apple has lobbied hard for corporate tax reform in recent years, with repatriation taxes a central tenet of that push. The company has urged lawmakers to look at proposals that lower the cost of capital returns while being revenue neutral, eliminating corporate tax expenditures, and lowering corporate income taxes overall.
This is not the first time such a tax break has been proposed in order to benefit infrastructure spending. A similar program was debated last June, but was not successful.
Apple, along with Google and Amazon, will avoid fines from the Italian government after agreeing to revise policies regarding so-called "freemium" mobile games and applications.
Italy's Antitrust and Competition Authority will not levy any further charges against the trio of American companies, or French developer Gameloft, in return for the parties no longer using the word "free" to describe titles with in-app purchases. The agreement was first reported on Friday by The Wall Street Journal.
The Italian government began the investigation, in conjunction with the European Union, last May. Italy and the EU said consumers may be confused by the idea of downloading an app for free, then buying content after the fact that will be charged to their credit cards.
"Consumers can now count on stronger guarantees than what would have been achieved by sanctioning the companies involved," the Italian Antitrust and Competition Authority said in a statement.
Apple appears to have begun complying with the rules on the App Store last November, when it changed the download link buttons for apps from "Free" to "Get." The "Get" button now applies to all applications on the App Store, whether they include in-app purchases or not.
Most of the top grossing apps for iPhone are free-to-play games, which users can download for free but encourage — or sometimes require — in-app purchases to advance.
So-called "freemium" titles have been a source of controversy, as they can be downloaded by children who can rack up charges on their parents' App Store account. That prompted Apple to add a notice in 2013 highlighting when a free application includes in-app purchases.
Apple was even sued in 2011 and was accused of collecting "millions of dollars" from unauthorized in-app purchases made by children. Apple settled the case a $1.2 million fine in 2011 for unfair commercial practices associated with standard product warranties. The regulator added another $264,000 for the same warranty issue a year later despite modifying AppleCare policies.
Have you noticed that your iPhones have been getting progressively louder every time you upgrade? There’s a very good reason for that: It turns out that the iPhone’s speakers have been more-or-less getting louder with just about every new generation.
iClarified has posted a new video showing decibel readings for every iPhone released so far and predictably the company’s two newest devices had the two loudest speakers — the iPhone 6’s speakers came in at 105.4 dB while the iPhone 6 Plus came in at 105 dB. What’s really interesting is that the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 3GS are actually tied for the title of the third-loudest iPhones with decibel readings of 103.6 dB.
But other than the unusually loud 3GS, most iPhones follow a pretty steady pattern of getting louder with each generation.
To see how loud all of the iPhones measured by iClarified are, be sure to watch the full video below.
There are two times of the year that are the most exciting for enthusiastic Apple fans. The first comes in June, when Apple uses its annual Worldwide Developers Conference each year to debut a brand new version of its iOS platform. The second, of course, is in the late summer or early fall, when Apple releases iOS alongside at least one new iPhone model — though moving forward, we’re likely looking at two or more new iPhone models each year.
It’s still only January, but Apple is already hard at work on iOS 9, which is expected to include some major enhancements. Now, benchmark test results from an iPhone 6 running an early version of the next-generation software have been revealed for the first time.
The bad news is that this leak doesn’t make June any closer, and we still won’t get any official look at the first iOS 9 beta until WWDC. The good news, however, is that this is a very early pre-release build of iOS 9, and performance is already on par with the best benchmark scores that have been achieved by an iPhone 6 running iOS 8.
According to the tests, an iPhone 6 running this pre-beta version of iOS 9 scored a 1600.06 on Rightware’s Basemark OS II test. iPhone 6 units running iOS 8 have scored between 1264.65 and 1620.94 on the same test.
A screenshot showing the test results follows below.
While few would expect the record-breaking surge in iPhone sales generated by the larger-screened models to continue into subsequent quarters, Tim Cook argued in a WSJ interview that the potential is there.
Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook, not surprisingly, argued that the demand is more than temporary. He said that fewer than 15% of recent iPhone buyers upgraded from other iPhones and that the majority switched from smartphones running Google’s Android operating system.
“We certainly believe there are legs to it,” said Mr. Cook of the iPhone sales surge.
Cook noted during the Q1 earnings call that the current iPhone lineup had experienced “the highest Android switcher rate in any of the last three launches.” With CIRP data suggesting that the US rate of switching from Android to iOS has remained broadly constant, that suggests the bulk of switchers have been outside the US–China in particular …
Not even Cook would suggest that a company of Apple’s size could enjoy a 30% jump in year-on-year revenue two quarters running, but the company has issued guidance suggesting growth of between 14% and 20% this quarter.
Cook’s optimism stems from the fact that most iPhone owners have not yet upgraded. Add late upgraders to a continual stream of switchers, and you have, he believes, a recipe for continued strong growth. The Apple CEO also insisted that there remained upside potential for the iPad, despite a 22% drop in revenue.
Analysts are not so sure. While a Thomson Reuters poll of analysts found that the consensus view was for 22% revenue growth over the full financial year ending this September, they expect the bubble effect of the switch to larger displays to end by then, with growth dropping back to just 4% the following year.
Cook would argue that slowing growth in iPhone sales will be compensated for by other revenue streams, including the Apple Watch–launching in April–and both domestic growth and international expansion for Apple Pay. The App Store, too, is growing at a rate that would see it become a significant contributor to Apple’s total earnings. One thing for sure: it’s going to be an interesting ride …