No, this is not an April Fool’s joke, although it sounds like one. Samsung tried to argue with the South African Revenue Service (SARS) that the Galaxy S7 is not a phone. The purpose of this surreal maneuver was to get reimbursement of amounts paid as an import tax.
With the help of IT specialist Jacques Van Wyk, Samsung tried to argue that the Galaxy S7, launched in 2016, is a “device that allows connection to a wireless communication network for the transmission and reception of speech and other sounds, images and data ”, but it is not a“ phone for cellular networks ”.
Basically, it does more than a phone, so it shouldn’t be taxed as such, but as a personal computer. According to the manufacturer, the “main function” of the Galaxy S7 is to connect to the internet and offer access to music, games and social networks, and not to make calls over the cell phone network. Considering the current profile of smartphone use by most people, the statement is not incorrect.
Unfortunately for Samsung, SARS does not agree. As much as they have evolved, smartphones still have the basic components of a cell phone: numeric keypad for dialing, microphones, speakers and, most importantly, a slot for SIM Cards or eSIM for connection to a telephone network.
According to a statement by Professor Ling Cheng, the Galaxy S7 is manufactured as a cell phone, which is designed to maintain two-way communication with a base station on a cell phone network.
Judge Mngqibisa-Thusi agrees, and concluded in her sentence that the fact that the Galaxy S7 has features found on personal computers does not invalidate its primary function as a telephone for cellular networks.
She also called Samsung’s attempt to reclassify the device as “dishonest”. The company was ordered to pay the costs of the lawsuit, although the amount has not been informed.
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