Apparently there was a report in Yahoo! News Mexico that Samsung was planning to pay its $1 billion judgement to Apple in nickels. And apparently this became a mini-Meme of sorts for a while, though hopefully anyone that came across it was sharp enough to know that the report was rather absurd on its face.
The Guardian takes a look at a few reasons why this story is completely bogus, that is, of course, if the sheer irrational nature of it all didn’t jump out at you immediately.
1) Samsung’s fine ($1.049bn) isn’t yet payable; the judge hasn’t ruled. All we have is the jury’s verdict. The judge’s decision, which could include a tripling of the fine, is due on 20 September (or possibly 6 December now; it’s unclear). Until then, Samsung only has to pay its lawyers. That should be less than $1bn.
2) If Samsung tried to pay the fine in five-cent coins, Apple could legitimately tell the trucks to turn around and head back to Samsung (if the trucks weren’t imaginary in the first place)…
3) Some more fact-checkiing from Ken Tindell via Twitter: “A nickel weighs 5g. It would take 2,755 18-wheeler trucks (max legal tare 80,000 lbs) to carry the money.”
4) Consider how much a billion dollars in nickels would weigh: you need 20bn of them, and at 5g each that’s 0.005 kg x 20,000,000,000 = 100,000,000 kg = 100,000 tonnes.
5) There probably aren’t that many nickels in circulation anyway. The New York Times noted in 2006 that there were about 20bn nickels in circulation at the time; rising metal prices were encouraging people to melt them for the copper and zinc. Another dose of reason.
The story reportedly originated in an Onion like web publication and somehow seeped its way into the mainstream for a hot minute.
Oh, the Internet.