France just imposed a 3% tax on the French revenues of Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon. But these companies are not going to be any less profitable because of the tax. If Google, Apple, Facebook or Amazon sells-off because of the new French digital tax, get ready to buy.
As with all corporate taxes, there is a widespread misunderstanding as to who actually pays the tax. Since in order to stay in business, customers have to cover all of a company’s costs — including taxes — it is customers who ultimately pay the taxes.
The case, Apple v. Pepper, was brought by iPhone users who complained that the App Store is the only place where iPhone apps are available and that, as a result, Apple has a monopoly on “the iPhone apps aftermarket.” They claim prices are consequently high stemming from the charges Apple imposes on app developers.
Auction house Bonhams will put a pristine Apple-1 personal computer on the block later this month, and has pegged the gavel price at between $300,000 and $500,000.
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Bonhams has experience selling vintage Apple-1 computers: One it sold last year went for the still-record $905,000 after commissions and taxes.
The Apple-1, essentially a stand-alone circuit board sans keyboard, monitor or even power supply, was hand-built by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak in 1976, and may have been one of the first lot of 50, according to a penned identifier on the back. That mark — 01-0059 — was probably an inventory number assigned by the Byte Shop of Mountain View, Calif., the first volume purchaser of the computer.
Wozniak and co-founder Steve Jobs kick-started Apple 39 years ago when they secured an order of 50 units from Byte Store owner Paul Terrell. At the time, the Apple-1 sold for $666.66, equal to about $2,800 in 2015 dollars.
Another clue that hinted at this Apple-1’s provenance was the lack of a circuit board manufacturer identifier; according to Apple-1 expert Mike Willegal, that indicates a unit from the first batch produced by Wozniak and Jobs.
Bonhams said that the Apple-1 is being sold by Tom Romkey, who owned a computer shop in Florida. Romkey acquired the Apple-1 when a customer traded it for a new NCR personal computer. NCR, better known as a cash register and ATM maker, entered the PC market in the 1980s.
According to Bonhams, the Apple-1 was used just once or twice by the owner who traded it to Romkey. For his part, Romkey simply put it on a shelf where it sat unused for decades.
The computer is in excellent condition, said Corey Cohen, a New Jersey-based Apple-1 expert who was called in by Bonhams to authenticate the device and verify that it was operational.
“This is a fully functional Apple-1 from 1976,” Cohen said in a video showing him demonstrating that the Apple-1 worked. “It is in incredible condition.”
Willegal’s index of known Apple-1 computers — one of the few authoritative lists — did not show one that seemed to match the Romkey device.
Bonhams will auction the Apple-1 in New York City on Sept. 21.