Hoaxes & Rumors

Did Samsung Pay Apple $1 Billion in Pennies or Nickels?

Did Samsung Pay Apple $1 Billion in Pennies or Nickels?

After a court ruling in Apple’s favor, requiring Samsung to pay them $1.05 billion in a patent infringement case, rumor has it that Samsung has decided to send 30 trucks full of pennies or nickels in a spiteful move to pay up. Is this story true or false?

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It’s a hoax.

No major news organization reported such a story, and logistically it would be quite difficult for anyone to round up over a billion dollars in pennies.

Even if the story were true, this prank would not affect Apple, but the banks counting these pennies on both ends of the prank. The idea for the rumor probably began several days earlier with angry commentary on the verdict wishing that Apple would be paid in pennies.

The story originated in August 2012, appearing on this Spanish-language satirical website and in this humorous blog post. The Spanish-language website features other silly headlines, such as, “Scientists close to finishing mechanism that will encourage rotation of the Earth on weekends.”

Somehow this tongue-in-cheek story lost its humor in translation:

USA – This Morning arrived more than 30 trucks filled of 5 cents to the HQ of Apple, California. At first glance the security detoured the trucks and they assured they were on the wrong place, but minutes later, Tim Cook (Apple CEO) received a call from Samsung CEO that that is the payment method for the recent fine applied against the South Korean company.

The story showed up almost immediately after on the Paper Blog, with nearly identical wording.

Note that the humorous story indicates 5-cent coins, but later incarnations stated that pennies were used.

Problems with the story

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As this website shows, it would probably take less than 10 trucks to hold a billion dollars in pennies, but as far as weight goes, it has been argued that it may take hundreds of trucks to realistically haul that much weight. Either way, 30 trucks do not add up.

The rumor began appearing in English – minus the satire – such as this site, which cites Paper Blog, without noting that it was posted in the “Humor/Satire” section of that site.

The fine, when the story first appeared, was not even payable because the case was still ongoing

It has also been argued that it is probably not feasible, if even possible, to round up $1 billion in pennies or nickels.

Reappearances

  • June 2013: Story resurfaces on Facebook, with links to an August 2012 article (since removed).
  • February 2014: We have seen a slight increase in sharing of this article yet again.

Bottom Line

Samsung did not pay Apple $1 billion in pennies or nickels. The article originally posting this was written as satire, which was lost in translation.

It’s a funny story to consider, but it’s not true.

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  • Felneymike

    Haha, in the early 80’s a British comic called Viz did a competition where somebody could win “a ton of money”, which was an actual ton of copper coins XD

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