The tech business week: Apple faces Irish back-tax, Lenovo No 3 smartphone maker

3 Nov 2014

A digest of the top business technology news stories from the past week, beginning with the news consumer tech giant Apple has warned shareholders it may have to pay Irish back-tax.

Apple warns shareholders it may have to pay Irish back-tax

Apple has warned shareholders the European Commission could require Ireland to recover past taxes from the consumer tech giant that are reflective of the disallowed State aid.

In its 10-K Annual Report filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Apple revealed that while the majority of the assembly of Apple’s products takes place in Asia, some final assembly is still done at the company’s operation in Cork, where it employs 2,000 people mostly engaged in international business operations.

At the end of June, the European Union (EU) wrote to the Irish Government, accusing it and Apple of breaching the EU’s rules on State aid.

Apple warned shareholders that a ruling against Ireland could mean the company will have to pay more tax on profits in future years.

Lenovo is now the world’s No 3 smartphone maker – completes Motorola Mobility buy

Chinese consumer electronics giant Lenovo is now the world’s third biggest smartphone maker after completing the purchase of Motorola Mobility from Google for US$2.9bn.

The acquisition will put brands such as Moto X, Moto G, Moto E and the DROID series firmly in Lenovo’s hands.

“We achieved a historic milestone for Lenovo and for Motorola – and together we are ready to compete, grow and win in the global smartphone market,” said Yang Yuanqing, chairman and CEO, Lenovo. 

“By building a strong No 3 and a credible challenger to the top 2 (Samsung and Apple) in smartphones, we will give the market something it has needed: choice, competition and a new spark of innovation.”

Twitter revenue soars 114pc to US$361m in Q3

Microblogging titan Twitter has ended its third quarter with a 114pc leap in revenue to US$361m from US$169m in the same period last year, and a 23pc year-over-year increase in monthly active users to 284m.

The company also reported GAAP net loss of US$175m, compared to US$65m in the third quarter of last year. Non-GAAP net income amounted to US$7m, compared to a non-GAAP net loss of US$17m in the year-ago quarter.

Basic and diluted GAAP earnings per share totalled US$0.29 for the third quarter, compared to US$0.48 in the third quarter of 2013.

Facebook reports US$3.2bn revenues in Q3 – mobile ads account for 66pc of sales

Facebook is indeed an almost fully fledged mobile beast, with mobile ads accounting for 66pc of revenues in the third quarter, up from about 49pc of advertising revenue in the third quarter of 2013.

The company reported revenues of US$3.2bn and a net profit of US$806m for the quarter.

The social network said its total user base grew 2.27pc to 1.35bn people across the planet. Out of this an estimated 1.12bn people are mobile users.

BT half-year revenue reaches stg£8.7bn – fibre footprint hits 21m UK homes

Telecoms giant BT has reported second-quarter revenue of stg£4.3bn and half-year revenue of stg£8.7bn. The company said its fibre footprint has increased to 21m premises in the UK.

For the half year, BT reported pre-tax profits of stg£1.3bn, up 10pc on last year. For the second quarter, pre-tax profits were up 13pc to stg£690m.

BT’s all-Ireland operations reported a 1pc increase in revenue, which it said was driven by multinational and wholesale customers, as well as uptake of fibre broadband across Northern Ireland.

Apple Store in New York image via Shutterstock

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