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  • Apple game subscription service reportedly in early stages of development

    For what? So I can play some cheap iPhone games for free?

    Unless Apple starts developing its own games and getting 3rd parties on board to bring console games to the next Apple TV, then who cares if I can play the paid version of Angry Birds and other indie titles?

    Older console games could be possible on the ATV4. Newer console games are pretty much impossible on the ATV4. It's not nearly powerful enough. I wish Apple could work out a deal with Nintendo to bring some older classics to the Apple TV. 
    The A10X benches faster than the Tegra X1.


    So the aTV5 is Switch class as a console.
  • Apple launched Macintosh on January 24, 1984 and changed the world -- eventually

    Raskin’s original vision of the Mac sucked.  It would have been text based with no mouse and no GUI.  

    The Canon CAT was his vision and lacked GUI and mouse.  He may have been to Xerox PARC first but completely rejected everything they learned.  

    The one button mouse was obviously the wrong choice given that everyone can keep track of what two buttons do...IF it was his contribution, and some folks dispute that, it was another poor one.

    Raskin also had a tendency to “embellish” his accomplishments.  He, as Andy once commented, was NOT the father of the mac but it’s strange uncle...one with a nearsighted  vision of where computing would go.

    He’s another example of an engineer under Jobs that did well at Apple and never did anything really relevant again after...and IMHO his primary contribution to the Max was hiring Atkinson and promoting Hertzfeld from service to development.
  • France to hit Apple, other tech giants with new digital tax in January

    gatorguy said:
    nht said:
    gatorguy said:
    nht said:
    gatorguy said:
    nht said:
    gatorguy said:
    nht said:
    gatorguy said:
    jbdragon said:
    Corporations don't pay taxes, YOU DO!!! So you tax them more, they will just raise prices and YOU are the one that's actually paying.
    If they raise prices then wouldn't that obligate them to even more taxes since they'll make even more profit?

    Besides that how do you raise prices after the sale occurred? Corporate taxes are paid on profits, which can only be determined after a sales period has closed.  How would you know how much to add in advance? I have zero doubt that Apple has already computed the optimal prices for their products, right to the final dollar to maximize its profits. Raising them more because France wants a bit of what they are paying as a corporation to end up in French accounts for French use rather than Irish ones would be counter to that. 

    If I'm off-base maybe you can explain.

    EDIT: It seems after doing a bit'o reading that the claim companies simply raise prices is more a FUD-ism than fact. I guess it gets repeated so much that some folks just accept that it must be true. 
    "Probably most people assume that the corporate income tax is largely paid by consumers of its products or services. That is, they assume that although the tax is nominally levied on the corporation as a whole, in fact the burden of the tax is shifted onto customers in the form of higher prices.

    All economists reject that idea. They point out that prices are set by market forces and the suppliers of goods and services aren’t only C-corporations, which pay taxes on the corporate tax schedule, but also sole proprietorships, partnerships and S-corporations that are taxed under the individual income tax. Other suppliers include foreign corporations and nonprofits."

    Explain to me which "sole proprietorships, partnerships and S-corporations" competes with Apple, Google, etc?  None.  There are also no foreign corporation that are in the same league as the targeted US companies.

    If French taxes are higher then these companies can and will charge French consumers more than for other consumers for these services.  Since the tax is levied against all providers then unless demand is very elastic there isn't anything to keep that from happening.

    This is a tax on "digital services" AFAICT. Depending on the details this might have negligible to zero impact on companies like Samsung and Huawei or force a price increase in their handsets. Apple's ability to simply raise their iPhone prices and pass their French taxes on without also pricing themselves further away from competitors may be limited.

    Wait for details to see who this actually affects but the acronym for the tax is pretty telling : GAFA, named after Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon 
    And what competitors to GAFA would not be taxed and therefore able to take Digital Services consumers from GAFA?  None. 

    So who prevents GAFA from raising prices of movies, music, etc in France to cover the tax?  Samsung and phone prices are simply you trying to muddy the waters since they aren't competing with GAFA in digital services.  So not them.

    So who are the competitors in your "pricing themselves further away from competitors" statement?  

    As I said, unless demand is very elastic for digital services there's not a whole lot to prevent GAFA from pushing the costs onto the French consumer.  It's just another tariff. 

    What's the impact of $200B worth of tariffs against Chinese goods is pushed completely onto the American consumer?  About $60 a year.


    Maybe there would a few French consumers that would reduce spending but not likely very many if the French economy is stable.  

    Further, some of the consumers of some of the GAFA companies are advertisers and not citizens.  Do you think they're really going to be that price sensitive and who are the competitors they will move to to reach the same demographics?
    I'm not going to even attempt to argue economics when actual economists (perhaps you too are one, I'm not) have already commented on whether product prices are increased equally by the corporate tax expense incurred. As far as I can tell those professionals "trained in the art" in general say no. 
    Actual economists who aren't peddling something agree that there is disagreement as to whom pays the majority of the corporate tax burden.  Economists, for the most part, agree that the majority of the burden is generally not paid by the stockholders/owners but by the workers or consumers.  Which pays most varies based on situation but as noted in the GAFA the group with the weakest bargaining position is the French consumer.

    By requiring that the product price increase equally by the tax incurred is simply not arguing in good faith which is par for the course when discussing anything with you.  
    This is the comment that began the discussion:
    "Corporations don't pay taxes, YOU DO!!! So you tax them more, they will just raise prices and YOU are the one that's actually paying."

    How would you interpret that statement if not the same as I did:  Corporate taxes paid are passed thru in their entirety to consumers in the way of product price increases. 

    If your takeaway of the posters meaning is the same as mine would you consider the comment accurate? Everything I've read today on the topic says owners/stockholders pay some (sometimes most) of it, workers might also be "paying" some of it (sometimes a LOT of it), and consumers might of course pay some of it. Maybe a little, maybe none at all, maybe a lot. 

    Claiming that the amount of corporate taxes paid are automatically passed thru in the way of price increases for that company's products and thus directly paid by the consumer doesn't appear to be true AFAICT. Agree or disagree? Will I get silence now or will you too argue in good faith as you expect me to? As far as I can tell I was not dishonestly misconstruing what he said. 
    "Corporations don't pay taxes, YOU DO!!!"  This part is true.  

    "So you tax them more, they will just raise prices and YOU are the one that's actually paying.". This part is partially true, *and therefore also partially wrong.* 

    tl;dr:  Yes, you the consumer do usually pay the larger burden of corporate taxes when there is an imperfect market...say when there is a monopoly or oligopoly.
    Huh, only partially right in your opinion...

    @carnegie made a very good post just above yours (#46), including this excellent point:
    "...Corporate income taxes are raised from, e.g., 25% to 30%, the way to maximize after-tax profit is the same as it was before: Maximize pre-tax profit. If X is greater than Y, then 75% of X is greater than 75% of Y as surely as 70% of X is greater than 70% of Y. Say a company is making $100 million a year before incomes taxes and $75 million a year after taxes. Income taxes are raised from 25% to 30%. So to make that same after-tax $75 million, it needs $107 million in pre-tax profit. If it thinks that raising prices would increase its pre-tax profits to $107 million (e.g., because it wouldn't hurt demand that much), then why wouldn't it raise prices regardless of the tax increase? Then, without the tax increase, it could make $80 million a year after taxes instead of $75 million."

    Be that as it may, and in order to clarify your position: You believe that when the French law taxing digital services above a certain threshold goes into effect that Apple will simply raise the price of Apple Music specifically for France so that its users are the ones paying? Seems as tho that would assist Spotify, Deezer, Napster and others assuming they stay under the threshold where the tax kicks in. And if Apple thought they could raise the price without reducing their profits why don't they already do so? What about Apple Pay, how will Apple pass thru the tax on the profits from that? Similar questions could be asked about Google services such as Cloud and ads passing thru the tax as a price increase for French citizens. 

    Perhaps you'' get lucky tho. There's another proposal on the table to tax digital advertising 3%. Apple only has a little finger dipped in those waters, so that one is targeting Google and Facebook. 

    You and Carnegie are both wrong in your assumptions and therefore conclusions:

    “According to orthodox theory, there are vital differences between an increase in profits tax rates and increases in excise taxes or wage rates and raw-material prices. Whereas the latter raise marginal variable costs and thus ordinarily push up the equilibrium price, the profits tax does not directly affect the elements that are supposed to enter into the calcu- lation of the optimum price in the short run. Furthermore, the increase in variable costs affects all producers more or less equally whereas the profits tax per unit of output varies widely among producers according to their individual profitability. The usual view has been that highly profitable firms will be deterred from raising prices, in an effort to recoup the corporate tax, by the threat of loss of business to less-profitable competitors. The shifting hypothesis stresses the price-leadership role of large oligopolistic firms.
    K & M find that the corporate tax was more than 100 per cent shifted in the period 1935-42, 1948-59. Their results for their so-called "standard model" indicate that the degree of shifting was 134 per cent, and many of their other results are close to this figure.4 These startling findings imply that the short-run effect of an increase in the corporate tax is to raise
    after-tax profits rather than to depress them.
    K 8CM's findings imply that consumers are willing and able to spend more in the aggregate for manufactured goods whenever prices are raised because of an in- crease in the corporate tax. Furthermore, K & M do not suggest that additional expenditures for manufactures are offset by reductions in other outlays. Hence, aggregate money expenditures must rise, and it seems that the ratio of consumption expenditures to disposable income of consumers will have to rise, despite a decrease in the real value of cash balances and other fixed claims. “


    There are, of course, other papers that argue a different conclusion but most of those are model based and not empirical.  Later studies using empirical method show varying shifting of the tax burden to wages or shareholders but clearly you cannot assume that pricing is already optimized.  You would know that, and be able to make a cogent counter arguments, if you actually read papers rather than quote huffpo and random internet posters like Carnegie.

    But since you can’t all you can attempt to hide the major flaws in you arguements by deleting the text where I already address your incorrect claims.
  • If you think Tim Cook is 'robbing' you, then so was Steve Jobs

    madan said:
    The lowest end Mini has an i3 that trades with a 2400g...a 150 dollar CPU.  Hardly a world beater in an 800 dollar computer.

    The DDR4 in a Mini isn't 3200.  It's 2666 which is fast by Mac standards but isn't even the fastest on the market.

    The only great part about the Mini is the fact that it's:

    A. Small & stylish in a nice aluminum box with excellent heat management through shared blowers, proper air routing, software cooling profiles and thermal skin dissipation.

    B. It has that insane motherboard design with fantastically forward thinking IO (thunderbolt-enabled USB-C ahoy!).

    Beyond that, you mentioned it.  It uses IGP.  The issue isn't whether Mini purchasers need it.  It's whether Apple charges people like the Mini *has* that grunt.  Which it doesn't have.

    A 2400g, some fast RAM, a nice PCIE SSD on a mini ITX would be about twice the size.  Sure.  And no Mac OS X.  And you'd lose 2 or 3 USB C ports.  But you'd also chip 400 dollars on a computer that could tie the Mini on half the tasks and run rings around it on the other half.

    Again, Mac OS is the best OS on the market.  Apple hardware engineering is great.  But is it worth 100% markup great? I wonder.  They're charging the same that a Dell with a Core i5/twice the fast RAM/and a GTX 1060 costs.  And those two systems aren't even in the same solar system, much less planet.

    So yeah. Mazda.  Ferrari. Fits.

    The NSX used the engine from the Legend
    Lamborghini and Audi collaborated on the V10 engine used in the Gallardo and Huracan.
    Pagani Huayra uses a Mercedes V12 engine.
    Aston Martin Vantage uses a Mercedes V8
    The Lous Evora uses a Toyota engine.

    The i3 Mini you are whining about is faster than the 2017 15" MBP Core i7-7920HQ in single core and faster than the 2017 21: iMac Core i5-7500 in multicore.

    That leads me to believe you know very little about supercars or computers.
  • If you think Tim Cook is 'robbing' you, then so was Steve Jobs

    madan said:
    nht said:
    To pick a nit:

    Consistent gross margins don't tell me anything about changes to the affordability of products. One doesn't need to be a financial analyst to figure out that the price of a 15" MacBook Pro is substantially higher, even after inflation, than it was five years ago. If the reason for that isn't growing margins, then obviously costs have also increased. Maybe Apple has a problem with cost control and/or spending decisions?
    Or maybe the ratio of costs to selling prices have remained steady for cutting edge technologies.  If it were milk or toasters we were talking about then I could understand your implication that input costs should not be increasing and perhaps even be going down.  But Apple is doing the same thing today as it was doing 10, 15, 20 years ago; developing new products with increasing performance and capabilities.  Seems that will always remain the same percentage of total costs.  
    I hear you, except that price increases are accelerating compared to the past. Why are costs so much higher lately than they used to be?

    It may well be that this is just how much it costs to make fancy-pants computers now. I'm neither qualified nor adequately informed to offer an opinion about what Apple should or could do. All I'm saying is the current approach is moving the income level required to be an Apple user even higher. Our middle-class household can no longer afford the products we used to buy on a three-year cycle. Maybe I need to just accept that and walk away. I hope not, though.
    Price increases in the Mac product line represent the move to higher performance in the components for SSD, TB3, screen density, etc while achieving the size and weight desired for that product line.  The cost for software development increases because the OS is more complex than it was.

    Thus margins indicate that costs have increased and not profits.

    Also, the needs of most middle-class households can now be met by iPads or lower tier Macs rather than 6 core i7 15" MBP.   The downside to the product line is that the direct replacement for a MBP from 3 years ago has a smaller screen but likely also costs less.

    Apple still provides the iPhone 7 at $449 when talking about iPhones.  The iPhone 8 is $599.  The three year old iPhone 6s was $649 at launch.  The 8 is a solid upgrade at $50 less than your $649 replacement budget.  The Xr costs $749 but is 6.1"...so it's a worthwhile stretch if you want to go that route and the same price as the 6S Plus.  So if your phone was a 6S Plus in 2015 the Xr is a direct replacement at the same price.

    There's just this extra tier above the tier that you purchased in 2015 and there isn't a smaller option anymore.

    That you don't like the upgrade path doesn't mean that Apple has priced it out of the range of a middle-class household.  If you could afford a $649 phone every three years in 2015 you can afford a $599 iPhone 8 in $2018.  The Xr should be $649 next year if the pattern holds and be an excellent replacement for a 3 year old iPhone 7.

    Call it "gaslighting" but the complaints are simply entitled bullshit.  There's no "acceleration" in price increase.  The replacement for the 6S Plus is the Xr at the same price point.  There wasn't a replacement for the 6S but a viable replacement is $50 less expensive than the 6S was in 2015.  The Xs is a higher tier product than the 6S was.


    Your entire argument is horseshit.

    You can't charge more for more performance otherwise every product in existence is an order of magnitude better than previous products.  Automobiles are much faster, fuel efficient and safer than past vehicles.  By your distorted, stunted argument every Toyota Corolla or Honda Accord should ship for 80,000 "cuz look how much better they are!".  Computers increase in performance over time.  Their prices increase relative to pv calculations and inflation fluctuations.  They might also increase as Wurthele astutely indicated because they have some intrinsic cost (ie support or services).  However products shouldn't cost more just "cuz betta".  That's nonsense because by definitions computers ard phones are *better* than the previous model.  Otherwise, what would be the *point*?
    Did you really go there with a car analogy?  Because that's just stupid.  Are you so clueless as not to realize that people complain about how cars are more expensive than before?  There was a time that they cost under $10K.

    Try googling "cars too expensive" and see how colossally stupid it was to use that to try to bolster your position. 

    And more importantly they are not "charing more for more performance".  They are charging the SAME or LESS for more performance.  The iPhone 8 is $50 cheaper than the 6S was at launch and much much faster.  That the 6S was the most expensive tier in 2015 is immaterial.  The Xr is the 2018 replacement for the 2015 6S (Plus).  Just like the 8 was the 2017 replacement for the 7.  That the X and Xs are two new premium tiers above the old line didn't make the old line more expensive.  

    Both the 8 and the X had an A11.  Both the Xr and the Xs have an A12.  None of the phones cheaper than the 6S had the A9 as the 6S in 2015.