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"When public budgets are tight, and citizens are asked to make efforts to deal with consequences of the crisis, it cannot be accepted that large multinationals do not pay their fair share in taxes," Europe's competition commissioner Joaquín Almunia said last year when announcing the investigation. The EU probe follows a similar investigation by the US government. A US Senate subcommittee in May 2013 questioned Cook about the amount of cash Apple keeps offshore, saying it exploited tax loopholes by setting up subsidiaries in overseas locations with lower tax rates. The US Internal Revenue Service is currently examining Apple for the years of 2010 through 2012.

Cook, in his opening statement at the Senate hearing in 2013, said Apple had become "the largest corporate income taxpayer in the United States," with a 2012 federal cash effective tax rate of 30.5 percent, That year, Apple paid the US Treasury nearly $6 billion in cash, which iphone case 5s equated to more than $16 million per day, The company disclosed Tuesday that for the quarter ended March 28, it paid a tax rate of 26.9 percent, which is below the US federal rate of 35 percent because of its overseas holdings in Ireland..

As of March 28, Apple had $193.5 billion in cash plus marketable securities, up $15.6 billion from three months earlier. More than $171 billion, or 89 percent, of that amount is held overseas. Cook testified in 2013 that Apple's foreign subsidiaries at the time held 70 percent of the company's cash "because of the rapid growth of our international business.""Under the current US corporate tax system, it would be very expensive to repatriate that cash," Cook said during his Senate testimony in 2013. "Unfortunately, the tax code has not kept up with the digital age. The tax system handicaps American corporations in relation to our foreign competitors who don't have such constraints on the free flow of capital."Apple's revenue increasingly is coming from overseas, which boosts the amount of cash held outside the US. In the most recently reported quarter, 37 percent of Apple's sales, or $21.3 billion, came from the Americas while the remainder came from Europe, Greater China, Japan and the rest of Asia Pacific. Greater China passed Europe to become Apple's second largest market overall with revenue of $16.8 billion. The region also surpassed the US to become Apple's biggest iPhone market. Overall, Apple's generated $58 million in revenue in the fiscal second quarter that ended March 28.

Apple's not alone when it comes to finding strategies to avoid paying high tax levels, Many large US companies, facing the possibility of steep tax bills in their home countries, have taken steps over the years to shift revenue into overseas shell companies, iphone case 5s Some, like Cisco and Qualcomm, have pushed for tax holidays that would allow them to bring foreign-held cash back to the US at much lower tax rates, They have argued that such holidays would allow them to create more jobs and help the economy, but critics say that's often not true, Instead, companies often institute dividends and other policies to reward investors and executives..

Still, Apple and others have defended their tax strategies. "We pay all the taxes we owe -- every single dollar," Cook testified in 2013. "We not only comply with the laws, but we comply with the spirit of the laws. We don't depend on tax gimmicks. We don't move intellectual property offshore and use it to sell products back into the US to avoid US taxes. We don't stash money on some Caribbean island. We don't borrow money from our foreign subsidiaries to fund our US business in order to skirt the repatriation tax."The Wall Street Journal earlier reported the news.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the "taptic engine" manufactured by Chinese components maker AAC Technologies was found to be defective, breaking down over time, Because of the issue, the company has shifted all of its orders to a second supplier, Japan-based Nidec Corp, It will take Nidec some time to manufacture enough components, limiting the pace of the Apple Watch's rollout, the Journal said, The taptic engine enables some of the key features of the Apple Watch, The device uses a motor to mimic the feeling of being tapped or buzzed on the wrist, allowing users to discretely receive notifications iphone case 5s about messages or directions while using Apple Maps, Apple Watch users also can send the feeling of their heartbeat to other watch owners..

Apple discovered the taptic engine problems during tests before releasing the device, the Journal said, which means there shouldn't be recalls for the Apple Watch. Apple declined to comment. AAC and Nidec didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. The Apple Watch, which requires an iPhone 5 or later to run basic apps and receive notifications, is Apple's first new device since the iPad launched five years ago and the first new product category under the leadership of CEO Tim Cook. It's key for Apple to show it's still an innovator and can expand beyond its wildly successful iPhone franchise, which makes up the bulk of sales and profits.

So far, the Apple Watch has been experiencing long shipping delays, Wait times for the device, which costs from $349 for the sport version iphone case 5s to $17,000 for the gold edition, now stretch into July, Research firm Slice Intelligence on Sunday estimated only 22 percent of US customers who preordered the Apple Watch received their devices in the first weekend it was available, Apple hasn't revealed the watch's sales figures, and it doesn't plan to break out the results in its quarterly reports, Still, some analysts believe the company has sold 2 million Apple Watch units in just the two weeks of preorders, which started April 10..