Welcome back. Here’s what’s happening in Australian tech today.
1. Apple paid just over 1% tax of $8 billion revenue in Australia last year. Yep, just $85 million. Although Apple says that it pays all the tax it owes, with its profit after tax last year being $123 million, down from $171.5 million the year before despite higher revenue. The company says it recorded higher marketing, sales and distribution expenses of $435 million which contributed to the gap.
Apple Australia and New Zealand managing director, Tony King, has denied claims Apple is using a “double Irish sandwich” tax structure, pushing its profits to Ireland where the taxation rate is significantly less, King says Apple buys its products from overseas operations then resells them here. Apple then gets taxed on local profit.
2. Australian mobile startup Unlockd is launching in the US. The Australian start-up that offers mobile phone users a discount in exchange for seeing ads is launching today in the US with the Sprint-owned Boost Mobile. On the surface, Unlockd’s appeal is for consumers looking to save some cash, offering a discount of $5 per month in exchange for displaying “smart ads, offers and other relevant content from major brands and media”. But its big opportunity will be to cash in on the increasing desire by telcos to grab a slice of the booming mobile advertising market.
3. Kayla Itsines’ fitness app is getting slammed. Australian social media and fitness star Kayla Itsines has come under fire for the huge fees involved in her new app. Fans are furious, claiming that they are downloading the app, which asks for credit card details before you can use it on a 7-day free trial. If you don’t cancel in time, you get charged $19.99 a month. On top of that, the iTunes store is full of users complaining about recurring charges even after they requested to cancel. It’s all quite messy.
4. Channel 10 has no idea how to stop piracy. Australians just want their content at the same time as everyone else. Channel 10 is showing “The X-Files” a week later than the US and trying to get people excited about it. Come on, guys.
— Channel Ten (@channelten) January 26, 2016
5. Usain Bolt is the new face of Optus. The runner will take over from comedian Ricky Gervais, whose commercials garnered mixed opinions. The new advertising campaign will begin next month around the theme of ‘Relentless Improvement’. Optus’s new campaign comes after all three telcos had a huge 2015 in improving their networks, with the company looking to retain its number 2 spot ahead of a surging Vodafone.
And lastly, in bonus news, this NBA player who got called up for the Utah Jazz almost didn’t because he did what anyone might do when repeatedly getting phone calls from an unknown number — he ignored their calls.
That’s it for today, have a great day. Come chat to me on Twitter.