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Apple under fire over tax avoidance and iPhone X issues

Last week, a huge batch of documents labelled the ‘Paradise Papers’ revealed the financial dealings of politicians, celebrities, corporate giants and business leaders – including Nike, the British royal family, Apple and even Bono. While the 13.4 million documents unearthed a wealth of information about a number of wealthy individuals, ordinary tax-paying citizens seems to by-and-large be focussing their outrage on Apple (and in the UK, the royal family).

A Reddit thread on the issue has amassed more than 100k upvotes, and close to 10k comments in 24 hours, the vast majority of which disapprove of Apple’s actions. Many netizens seem to be disappointed by Apple in particular, due CEO Tim Cook assuring US Congress that Apple does “not depend on tax gimmicks. We do not stash money on some Caribbean island,” when questioned about Apple’s alleged tax avoidance schemes in 2013.

And Reddit is far from the only platform where netizens debates are raging between the detractors, and those saying that Apple simply operated within the law and its the role of governments to close any tax loopholes. Social media, too, is awash with comments decrying the tax avoidance schemes.

Even Oxfam condemned Apple et al. for the revelations:

Apple has since clarified that their actions are perfectly legal, and that the company supports a simpler international taxation system.

To make matters worse, despite reportedly strong sales and glowing reviews, the brand’s latest flagship phone which incited huge queues around the world – the iPhone X – seems to be having teething problems. For one, its OLED screen is prone to ‘burn-in’ and colour issues. Apple has since issued a statement about the burn-in and off-colour issues with the screen:

“If you look at an OLED display off-angle, you might notice slight shifts in color and hue,” the smartphone giant said in a statement. “This is a characteristic of OLED and is normal behavior. With extended long-term use, OLED displays can also show slight visual changes… This is also expected behavior and can include ‘image persistence’ or ‘burn-in,’ where the display shows a faint remnant of an image even after a new image appears on the screen.”

Moreover, early adopters have reported issues with the ‘i’ button on the keyboard, GPS freezes and deleted contacts after updating the phone.

A spoof of the iPhone X ad circulating online, highlighting issues with the 'i' button.

A spoof of the iPhone X ad circulating online, highlighting issues with the ‘i’ button.

Having said all that, there are plenty of people raving about the iPhone X, despite its starting price of HK$8,588, and it was sold out in minutes around the world when it launched. How the above will impact future sales (if at all) remains to be seen.

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