Samsung tried to circumvent some fees in South Africa by arguing that the Galaxy S7 was not a cell phone. The idea, however, did not work, since the Justice considered the action by the South Korean “hypocritical”, and did not allow the refund of taxes.
The case was reported by the South African website MoneyWeb, which chronicled Samsung’s attempt to classify the Galaxy S7 as a device similar to a PC or laptop, rather than a smartphone. According to the report, the company filed a lawsuit against the South African Revenue Service (Sars) to receive a refund of customs fees charged by the device, in an amount not specified at the trial.
According to Dr. Jacques Van Wyk, an information technology specialist invited by the manufacturer to defend his case, voice calls are not the main purpose of top-of-the-line phones launched in 2016. The primary function of the smartphone would be very more for the user to connect to the internet, browse social networks, listen to music, play games and take advantage of the various applications available.
Sars countered that the Galaxy S7 is a phone because it is small enough to be carried in the hand, has a speaker and microphone organized to be used in a voice call, connects to cellular networks through a SIM card, has keyboard software and is capable of making, receiving and ending calls. In addition, apps like WhatsApp and Skype also allow you to make calls.
Judge Mngqibisa-Thusi was not convinced by Samsung’s argument and decided against the company’s request. According to the magistrate “a product having functions found on laptops and desktops does not diminish its main function of being a mobile phone”. She still considered the attempt by the South Korean to reclassify her Galaxy S7 “hypocritical”.
So, since the device has all the features defined by Sars for charging like a cell phone, Samsung would have to pay taxes on this type of product for marketing it.
The judge declared the request dismissed with costs, that is, the manufacturer still had to pay court fees for trying to reclassify her phone.
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