Apple will defend its tax deals against E.U. this week


Apple's tax investigations are continuing.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple will join multinationals Google, McDonald’s and IKEA in defending its European tax deals against E.U. lawmakers this Wednesday.

The hearing concerns whether or not giants like Apple are receiving illegally favorable tax deals, which give them an unfair advantage over local businesses.

The 5 biggest takeaways from Apple’s biggest quarter ever


It's a veritable tornado of cash!
It's a veritable tornado of cash!
Photo: PublicDomainPictures/Pixabay

Apple reported record revenue during its earnings call Tuesday, but Tim Cook almost sounded like he was channeling Game of Thrones characters. He didn’t actually say “winter is coming,” but he might as well have.

Revenue is high for now, but iPhone sales are slowing down, the iPad continues to underperform and — most troublesome of all — the global economy will continue to play havoc with Apple’s bottom line.

Still, Cook and Co. remain optimistic about Apple’s ability to continue its world-beating performance. Here are five of the biggest takeaways we got from Apple’s Q1 2016 earnings call today with Cook and Apple CFO Luca Maestri.

Angry Birds lose a few feathers in first revenue drop


It's hard out there on a pig. Photo: Rovio Entertainment
It's hard out there on a pig. Photo: Rovio Entertainment

It’s tough at the top.

Mobile video game publisher Rovio Entertainment detailed Thursday its first revenue drop since the Finnish company hit it big with the Angry Birds franchise in 2009.

Perhaps the saturation of the market with no less than 11 Angry Birds-themed games since then (and three spin-offs) and way too many toys and animation projects has something to do with the loss of revenue, down 9 percent to $170.6 million in 2014.

Of course, as Rovio’s mobile gaming business did rise a bit (16 percent), making the overall drop in revenue that more incredible, the company seems to be focused on doubling-down on its mobile game offerings.

“2014 results show that steps in the game portfolio, free to play competency building and advertising are going in the right direction. I am confident that with new simplified organisation and clearer vision, we will be back to the path of growth in 2015,” said CEO Pekka Rantala in a statement.