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Trump Wants Apple to Avoid its Tariffs by Moving Production to US

The presidential tweet was the latest salvo in a dispute between the Trump administration and companies that fear tariffs will hurt their business

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Apple
Top apps using Siri Shortcuts to make daily tasks easier: Apple. Pixabay

President Donald Trump concedes that some Apple Inc. products may become more expensive if his administration imposes “massive” additional tariffs on Chinese-made goods, but he says the tech company can fix the problem by moving production to the U.S.

“Start building new plants now. Exciting!” Trump said Saturday in a tweet aimed at the Cupertino, California, company.

This week, Apple said that a proposed additional round of tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports would raise prices on some of its products, including the Apple Watch and the Mac mini.

The company is highly exposed to a trade war between the U.S. and China. It makes many of its products for the U.S. market in China, and it also sells gadgets including the iPhone in China, making them a potential target for Chinese retaliation against the Trump tariffs.

Apple
Customers look at iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus phones at an Apple Store in San Francisco, California, Sept. 22, 2017. (VOA)

Trump tweeted Saturday that “Apple prices may increase because of the massive Tariffs we may be imposing on China — but there is an easy solution where there would be ZERO tax, and indeed a tax incentive,” if the company made its products in the U.S. instead of China.

Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. The company has not announced plans to move manufacturing from China to the U.S.

‘Tax on U.S. consumers’

In its letter this week to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Apple said that “because all tariffs ultimately show up as a tax on U.S. consumers, they will increase the cost of Apple products that our customers have come to rely on in their daily lives.”

The company said tariffs would hit “a wide range of Apple products,” including computers, watches, adapters, chargers and tools used in its U.S. manufacturing, repair and data centers. Apple said the tariffs would raise the cost of its U.S. operations and put it at a disadvantage to foreign rivals.

Donald Trump
US President Donald Trump.

The White House has accused China of stealing U.S. intellectual property and forcing American companies to share their technology with Chinese companies. The tariffs would pressure China to stop that behavior, the administration has said. Apple said “it is difficult to see” how tariffs would advance the government’s goal.

The presidential tweet was the latest salvo in a dispute between the Trump administration and companies that fear tariffs will hurt their business.

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The Trump administration has imposed tariffs on $50 billion worth of imports from China, mostly equipment and material used by manufacturers. CEO Tim Cook said in July that those measures had no effect on Apple. The company is concerned, however, about the Trump administration’s proposal to add 25 percent duties on another $200 billion in Chinese goods, including a wider assortment of consumer-related items. (VOA)

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Tech Giant Apple Pledges to Alert Users on iPhone Performance

Apple has agreed to do this both for current and future iPhones

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Apple, Campus, China
A customer is entering the Apple store in Fairfax, Virginia. VOA

Apple has committed to be clearer and more upfront with iPhone users about battery health and performance, the UK’s competition watchdog has said.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) had raised consumer law concerns with the Cupertino-based tech giant last year after finding people were not being warned clearly that their phone’s performance could slow down following a 2017 software update designed to manage demands on the battery.

“The CMA became concerned that people might have tried to repair their phone or replace it because they weren’t aware the software update had caused the handset to slow down,” the watchdog said in a statement on late Wednesday.

In addition, people were not able to easily find information about the health of their phone’s battery, which can degrade over time.

After the CMA raised its concerns, Apple started to be more up front with iPhone users.

Apple, chinese
This Monday, Oct. 22, 2018, photo shows from left the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and the iPhone XR in New York. The new XR phone has a larger display and loses the home button to make room for more screen. VOA

“But today’s announcement locks the firm into formal commitments always to notify people when issuing a planned software update if it is expected to materially change the impact of performance management on their phones,” the watchdog added.

Apple will also provide easily accessible information about battery health and unexpected shutdowns, along with guidance on how iPhone users can maximise the health of their phone’s battery.

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This could help people improve the performance of their own handset after a planned software update by, for example, changing settings, adopting the low power mode or replacing the battery – rather than resorting to having their phone repaired or replaced.

Apple has agreed to do this both for current and future iPhones. (IANS)