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Apple hits back at $14.5B tax bill as iPhone 7 reveal nears

Apple CEO Tim Cook hits back against $14.5B EU tax fine

There’s lots of Apple news in the news today. First up, Apple CEO Tim Cook says he finds the European Commission’s $14.5 billion hit for unpaid taxes unfair, and he ain’t gonna pay it. The commission claims Apple owes the money because it negotiated a sweetheart tax deal with Ireland, an EU member state, and that’s illegal under EU law.

But Cook says Apple has done nothing wrong and their deal is the kind of thing that’s open to any company. He also says Apple is the largest taxpayer in Ireland, where the company has some 6,000 employees. While most companies would like to even be worth $14.5 billion, the staggering amount is actually pocket lint for Apple, which has well over $200 billion in cash just laying around the office, according to most estimates.

But this is one of those it’s-the-principle-of-it things for Cook, who addressed the issue in an open letter on Apple.com. Apple first stated operations in Ireland over 35 years ago, and Cook says they will appeal the record fine, so expect this to all get ironed about the same time the 25th anniversary iPhone comes out… in the 2030s.

Wireless earbud make Bragi and Apple? Hmmmm….

And of course, the clock is ticking on Apple’s big September 7 reveal of the iPhone 7, and there are some new details about how you might listen to music on the new phones. It seems pretty certain that the newest iPhone will be sans headphone jack, and the CEO of high-tech Bluetooth earbud maker Bragi says that two days ahead of Apple’s big show, he’ll deliver a big announcement of his own at 10am Cupertino time live on Facebook. Hmmm…. What could it be?

We gave the admittedly innovative Bragi Dash wireless fitness-tracking earbuds an average score in a review last April, so if there’s an Apple connection now, it will be interesting to see if they’ve worked out the many issues we encountered.

Also, 9 to 5 Mac is reporting they’ve spotted two new iPhone SKU numbers in Russia, a mystery product called “Airpods” and, quote, “a series of new Apple wearable devices.”

IFA 2016 gets even curvier

More “big” news out of the IFA tech show in Berlin, this time from LG. While Samsung was hot out of the gate yesterday with a big new curved 34-inch computer monitor, LG just one-upped them with a 38-inch curved monster, which sports a resolution of 3480 by 1600 pixels. It also features Bluetooth-capable 10-watt speakers built-in, covers 99 percent of the sRGB color gamut and includes USB-Type C connectivity.

And at just $1500 each, you should probably get two or three of them. So far, LG hasn’t said when they’ll be available. Soon, likely.