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Ouch? New Taxes on Smartphones Being Considered in EU

December 21, 2008 in Wireless Industry News

A new law being considered in the European Union would turn certain smartphones into “multi-functional devices,” which on the surface just sounds like a pointless name change. But the change comes with some stiff penalties. Aka taxes.

Phones that feature a built-in mobile TV receiver would be taxed a whopping 14%, while devices with integrated GPS chips would be hit with a cool 3.7% tax.

It’s not really hard to see that the tax would be a Bad Idea, at a time when consumers are spending less and mobile phone manufacturers are hurting. Granted, the number of phones with mobile TV are fairly limited, but the 14% tax will also definitely force the phone makers to raise prices everywhere to compensate. No winners here.

So who’s to blame for this debacle? Technically it’s Germany and the Netherlands, two member states that were planning on implementing similar measures in their home countries. Unfortunately for the other 25 nations in the EU, the European Commission decided that it was a great idea to spread the holiday cheer.

The good news is that the law is still in its early stages. The proposal was sent to the EU’s member states, which means at least six months of formal discussions before any real progress can be made.

EU mulls cellphone duty plan, industry irate

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