Apple World Today News Update: April 17, 2018

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Happy Tax Day in the USA! We hope you got your taxes early this year and didn't wait until today to file, because the IRS electronic filing system had issues earlier today... Our stories today include that, and:

  • If you filed your federal taxes earlier in the year, you can celebrate tonight by watching AWT TV, live at 6:30 PM PT / 9:30 PM ET on the AWT Facebook page
  • Otterbox has release three new cases in honor of the upcoming Star Wars film "Solo: A Star Wars Story". Hint: The Millennium Falcon case is really nice...
  • More evidence that the iPhone X has been a success - the model alone accounted for 35% of the profits for the entire cellular handset industry in the two months it was was available in 2017

The text version of the podcast can be read below. To listen to the podcast here, click the play button on the player below. Apple News readers need to visit Apple World Today in order to listen to the podcast.

Text Version

This is Steve Sande for Apple World Today, and you’re listening to the AWT News Update podcast for Tuesday, April 17th, 2018.

Just a reminder — if you’re not doing anything tonight and have an hour to spare, pull up the Apple World Today Facebook page at 6:30 PM PT / 9:30 PM ET for episode 38 of AWT TV. As usual, we’ll have live chat turned on so you can comment while we discuss recent Apple news, demo a few new apps, and have a good time. The Facebook page can be found at https://facebook.com/AWToday

Today is tax day, and if you procrastinated until now and expected to use the Internal Revenue Service’s electronic filing system this afternoon or evening to file your taxes, you might still be able to squeeze it in. However, the IRS system was down this morning and initial efforts to get the system back up and running weren’t working. This problem extended to third-party tax preparation software like TurboTax as well, so it’s was a big problem. One of the errors at the IRS Direct Pay site showed a planned outage from April 17, 2018 until December 31, 9999, with explanatory text showing that the system would be unavailable from approximately 2:50 AM ET today until approximately 6:40 PM ET on Thursday, September 22, 2016. Yeah, it’s good to know that your tax dollars are going towards such a high-tech system that’s available when it’s needed. At podcast time, it appeared that the system was back in operation; let’s hope for the sake of the late filers that it stays up.

Star Wars fans hyped for the release of the new film next month — Solo: A Star Wars Story -- should jump at light speed to the Otterbox website. The case manufacturer today released three different designs based on the new film for the iPhone 7/8, 7/8 Plus and iPhone X. To quote the Otterbox press release, “The Solo: A Star Wars Story collection is a tribute to the iconic character and his place in the Star Wars legacy. “Millennium Falcon” features the shiny Millennium Falcon graphic with “not a scratch on her,” “Chewbacca” inspires Wookiee roars and “All or Nothing” displays symbols representative of a galaxy far, far away…” The cases are $45 for the iPhone 7 and 8 and $55 for the larger phones and iPhone X.

The iPhone X has been a success for Apple despite the naysaying of a lot of Wall Street analysts. Today word came out from Counterpoint Research that the iPhone X alone generated 35% of all of cellular handset profits during the two months that it was available in the fourth quarter of 2017. Apple remained the most profitable brand in the entire market, with 86% of all cellular handset market profits.

That’s all the news for today - join me tomorrow afternoon for another edition of the AWT News Update.