Apple News: Lawsuit, Back Taxes and iPhone 7 Release Date

Apple IncAs usual, there’s a lot going on behind the closed doors of Apple, Inc. The long-awaited release date of the new iPhone 7 has been expectantly set for next week – cause for much rejoicing. But there’s little time to celebrate as the leading smartphone company has been slapped with a class action lawsuit and a lofty back tax payment of EUR €13 billion (USD $14.5b).

iPhone 7 Release Date set for September 7

For the last 5 years, Apple has held its big reveal in the month of September, unveiling new products to the world. While the company didn’t outright state that the Apple iPhone 7 will be released next week, it’s pretty safe to assume that September 7, 2016 will be the day of launch.

Apple iPhone 7 Release DateThe company sent out myriad invites to the press Monday evening, asking that they be present in San Francisco that day. And if this year mirrors all of their past September events, the iPhone 7 will just be the tip of the iceberg in terms of new item debuts.

It’s expected that the Apple Watch 2 will also be revealed next Wednesday, and with all the media attention focused in their direction, a throng of smaller releases will surely be on the menu as well.

But not all the media attention will be positive.

Lawsuit Over iPhone 6 “Touch Disease”

If you purchased an iPhone 6, you’ve probably heard of – if not personally experienced – what’s being dubbed Apple’s ‘Touch Disease‘. The issue became so widespread that the company has been hit with a class action lawsuit from customers effected by it.

The lawsuit claims that Apple knowingly and willingly sold defective models of its iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Touch Disease occurs when the smartphone’s touchscreen becomes unresponsive, making the device unusable. It’s effected countless iPhone owners, and according to the lawsuit, its was a design flaw on Apple’s part that caused it, having failed to properly secure one of the device’s internal chips.

Bent iPhone 6 suffers Touch DiseaseSupported evidence states that the fault lies within the connection of the touchscreen chip to the logic board. If the phone is bent (which often occurs when its placed in a pocket), the chip can become disconnected. But most customers who complained to Apple were turned away; told nothing could be done because the phone’s one-year warranty had expired.

The plaintiffs are seeking unspecified cash damages, legal fees, and want the court to order Apple to recall, repair and/or replace all defective iPhone 6 models. That would be a very expensive process for the company, but perhaps not as expensive as the back taxes it owes in Europe.

EU Slaps Apple with Billions in Back Taxes

According to the European Union, Apple accepted illegal tax breaks from Ireland dating back more than a decade. An investigation by the European Commission revealed that the tax cuts saved the company €13 billion (USD $14.5b), ordering them to pay back every bit of it.

It was “concluded that Ireland granted illegal tax benefits to Apple, which enable it to pay substantially less tax than other businesses over many years,” confirmed the EU’s Competition Commissioner, Margrethe Vestager. The progressive tax break saw Apple’s levies fall from 1% GGR in 2003, to just 0.005% in 2014.

Both Apple and Ireland’s Finance Minister, Michael Noonan, disagree with the EU’s claims and have vowed to appeal the decision, although in Ireland’s case, it will take Cabinet approval to launch an appeal.

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