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Latest collection of news from a number of reliable sources.
Oct 31 2014 12:31PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

Samsung Galaxy Note attack ad

Happy Halloween! There's nothing too spooky about our final Morning Report for the month of October, unless you're an Apple shareholder or Samsung — in which case our Friday edition is likely to be full of ghosts and goblins guaranteed to keep you up late tonight. Enter our haunted house of tech news, if you dare!

Irish Tax Structure Could Bring Change, Apple Warns Shareholders

The Wall Street Journal today reported that Apple appears to be bracing for increased tax rates in the future as part of a recent European Commission decision to buckle down on generous shelters in countries like Ireland. The potentially bad news was delivered to Apple shareholders in the company's annual 10-K filing (PDF link) to the Securities and Exchange Commission this week.

"Due to economic and political conditions, tax rates in various jurisdictions may be subject to significant change," the filing noted. "If the European Commission were to take a final decision against Ireland, it could require changes to existing tax rulings that, in turn, could increase the Company’s taxes in the future. The European Commission could also require Ireland to recover from the Company past taxes reflective of the disallowed state aid."

According to tax experts in London, Apple could be on the hook for as much as $200 million in back taxes in addition to paying more for two Irish subsidiaries, which are responsible for more than 4,000 employees at the company's Cork facilities alone. The EC claims Apple paid less than €20 million ($25.4 million) in Irish taxes between 2010 and 2012.

Apple Could Be to Blame for Samsung's Sagging Fortunes

AppleInsider published an in-depth look Thursday at how Apple could be to blame for Korean smartphone giant Samsung's recent reversal of fortune, which saw a dramatic 73.9 percent drop in mobile profits in the third quarter alone. While it's true that Samsung is facing increased competition from other Android OEMs including China's fast-rising Xiaomi, the staggering $4.7 billion year-over-year collapse in quarterly profits has roots in Cupertino.

According to IDC estimates, nearly a third of Samsung's total unit sales have been made up of so-called "premium" smartphones like the Galaxy S and Galaxy Note lines — the exact products Apple have recently began to target with larger "phablet" style devices like the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, which come with "clearly differentiated features" such as a 64-bit CPU, Touch ID, and Apple Pay.

Also working against Samsung is the fact the manufacturer has never had any real success with its own tablet devices, as well as increased marketing costs to reduce the costs of mobile products as Apple continues to profit handsomely from iPhone and iPad. That leaves Samsung with only high volume, low margin handsets — the exact market Android rivals have been chipping away at with their own devices.

New Retail Store Coming to Lille, France Next Month

Oui, oui! MacRumors today reported that a new Apple retail store is coming soon to Lille, France, the iPhone maker's eighteenth such location in that country. According to MacGeneration (via Google Translate), the roughly 15,000 square-foot store is now shrouded by black barriers, suggesting a grand opening could be right around the corner — possibly as early as the end of November. Apple plans to open 25 new stores in 2015, with most of them located outside the United States.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

 

Oct 31 2014 9:13AM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
TOKYO (Reuters) - Sony Corp posted a smaller than expected second-quarter operating loss on Friday, hailed by its finance chief as proof that the Japanese group's restructuring program is paying off.

Oct 31 2014 8:53AM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Mexico's America Movil SAB, Spain's Telefonica SA and Brazil's Grupo Oi SA agreed to bid for TIM Participações SA then to break up Brazil's second-largest wireless carrier, newspaper Folha de S. Paulo reported on Friday.

Oct 31 2014 6:43AM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Mexico's America Movil SAB, Spain's Telefonica SA and Brazil's Grupo Oi SA agreed to place a bid for and to break up TIM Participações SA , Brazil's second-largest wireless carrier, Folha de S. Paulo reported on Friday without saying how it obtained the information.

Oct 31 2014 5:30AM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
MUNICH/LONDON (Reuters) - Siemens is likely to pick EQT [EQT.UL] next week to buy its hearing aids unit for about 2 billion euros ($2.5 billion), two sources familiar with the matter said.

Oct 31 2014 5:14AM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
BEIJING (Reuters) - Tencent Holdings Ltd said on Friday it would collaborate with International Business Machines Corp (IBM) on a new cloud software business for corporate customers, a marked departure for one of the dominant forces in China's consumer Internet industry.

Oct 31 2014 4:48AM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
TOKYO (Reuters) - Panasonic Corp raised its full-year operating profit outlook by 13 percent and returned to a net cash positive position for the first time in five years after a drastic restructuring chopped unprofitable product lines in smartphones, plasma TVs and semiconductor chips.

Oct 31 2014 3:40AM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
SEOUL (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics Co Ltd unveiled two mid-tier handsets with a premium design as it prepared to deliver a riposte to its low-priced Chinese rivals and reclaim its title as the top brand in the world's biggest smartphone market.

Oct 31 2014 3:19AM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC Corp said on Friday that it expects revenue in the fourth quarter to reach T$43 billion-T$47 billion ($1.4 billion-$1.57 billion), beating market expectations of T$41.5 billion.

Oct 31 2014 3:14AM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's Sony Corp reported a second-quarter operating loss on Friday that was narrower than analysts had estimated, as blockbuster sales of its PlayStation 4 games console reduced the impact of a sluggish smartphone division.

Oct 31 2014 2:46AM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's Sony Corp reported a second-quarter operating loss on Friday that was narrower than analysts had estimated, as blockbuster sales of its PlayStation 4 games console reduced the impact of a sluggish smartphone division.

Oct 31 2014 2:33AM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's wireless network providers are to lift restrictions on which network their subscribers can use, the government said, demanding that all smartphones and tablets to be sold with their SIM cards unlocked upon customers' request starting next year.

Oct 31 2014 1:18AM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese electronics maker Sharp Corp said on Friday its second-quarter operating profit slipped 18.3 percent, missing forecasts, as a consumption tax increase in Japan squeezed sales of electronic parts, TVs and white goods.

Oct 30 2014 11:36PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

As we mentioned this morning, Apple attracted some unwanted attention yesterday when it informed James Thompson, the developer behind calculator PCalc, that he'd have to remove the app's iOS 8 widget if he expected the popular app to remain on the app store. Supporters of the app rallied in favor of Thompson not long after, and in the face of such an overwhelming response, the Cupertino company called Thompson personally to announce that it had reversed its decision.

A report from TechCrunch claims that Apple hadn't anticipated that the Notification Center widgets could be used in the way Thompson was using them. The initial notice apparently claimed that calculations could be entered into the widget but the widget couldn't perform the calculations itself, which essentially nulls the point of a widget for an app like PCalc.

Originally, Thompson was given two to three weeks to redesign the $9.99 app before Apple pulled it. The notice was particularly disheartening since Thompson noted that PCalc was featured at the time in the App Store's "Great Apps for iOS 8" section, where it was singled out for being a great "Notification Center Widget."

But Thompson immediately reported the "extremely disappointing news" to his followers on Twitter, who expressed their support in droves and no doubt directed a few choice words at Apple itself. And so Thompson's app is back just a day later, and most importantly, it sets a precedent that paves the way for more calculator Notification Center widgets to come.

Will such an approach always work for developers trying to get their other widgets approved? Likely not. But it at least shows that Apple is prepared to quickly reverse its stance about key aspects of its operating systems under the right conditions.

Follow this article's writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.

Oct 30 2014 11:16PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
SEOUL (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics Co Ltd unveiled two new mid-tier handsets with a premium design as it prepared to deliver a riposte to its low-priced Chinese rivals and reclaim its title as the top brand in the world's biggest smartphone market.

Oct 30 2014 10:14PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

According to a report by Variety, actor Seth Rogen will likely be playing Apple co-founder Steve "Woz" Wozniak in the upcoming Steve Jobs biopic starring Christian Bale. There's a touch of iffiness about the claim as TheWrap notes that Rogen doesn't have a deal in place, but most sources agree that Rogen is at least in talks for the role.

Rogen will reportedly get to work with Woz himself for advice on the role, which is based on Walter Isaacson's bestselling biography of Jobs. The screenplay itself, written by Aaron Sorkin of The Social Network fame, consists of three lengthy scenes corresponding to three major product launches from Jobs' life. Danny Boyle, best known for films like Slumdog Millionaire and 28 Days Later, will direct the film.

Source: IndieWire

Rogen himself is usually best known for his comedic work in films like Superbad and The 40-Year-Old Virgin, but lately he's tackled more serious work in films like Take This Waltz to much acclaim. Sorkin's script might allow for both ends of his range. As for Woz, he left Apple way back in 1987, but media outlets still often seek his opinion on the latest developments from the Cupertino company he founded.

The followup report from TheWrap also claims that Jessica Chastain of Zero Dark Thirty fame is also in talks for the film, although the role in consideration currently isn't known. Production will reportedly begin sometime next spring.

Follow this article's writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.

Oct 30 2014 10:08PM EST | Source: MacLife.com

Could it be Apple's refresh of the Mac mini that has these beloved little boxes back in refurb-land, ready for you to snatch up at deal prices? Hmm, could be. All we know for sure is that we're not complaining and you shouldn't either, just hop on board these awesome deals.

Oct 30 2014 9:37PM EST | Source: CNET iPhone Atlas
The Force is strong with this tower-defense game, but you'll want to play it on a big screen.






Oct 30 2014 9:02PM EST | Source: REUTERS Technology
(Reuters) - Google Inc said on Thursday that Andy Rubin, co-founder of its Android mobile business and head of its nascent robotics effort is leaving the company.

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