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NEW AND “IMPROVED”
Innovation sure has changed at Apple …
Steve Jobs, 2006: *Drops acid* “Hey guys, why don’t we revolutionize portable information access?”
Tim Cook, 2018: *Sips kombucha* “Let’s drop three news phones with marginal updates to the cameras!”
Rumor has it that Apple is putting its game face on and Tim Cook is looking to earn his black turtleneck after an abysmal 2018. The plan? Drop three new iPhone models in the Fall of 2019.
The updates will include a triple-rear-camera system, which is already the industry standard (in fact, the Galaxy A9 has four cameras) and is just kinda saying “eh, f*ck it” to switching over to the far superior OLED screen for all phones because 2019 product planning has advanced too far along at this point.
Oh how the mighty have fallen
Apple is playing catch up in the arms race that it started. And there’s no better proof than its success, or lack thereof, in China where it owns just 20% of the smartphone market. Chinese producers have added superior features at an alarming rate and offered their products at lower prices.
Despite Tim Cook and the Cupertino crew enlarging screens and adding dual SIM cards, shares were pummeled earlier this month following revenue guidance which was revised downward almost entirely due to expectations in China.
BACK TO EARTH
Surprise! The guy responsible for bringing flamethrowers to the masses and calling the SEC the “Shortseller Enrichment Commission” hasn’t been properly managing personnel at one of his three companies …
SpaceX announced on Friday that the company would be cutting 10% of its 6k-strong workforce. According to the company, “extraordinarily difficult challenges ahead” were the reason for the changes.
Among the aforementioned challenges is SpaceX’s push to be the first company to market with a satellite-based internet service called Starlink. In June Musk fired seven senior managers in charge of driving the Starlink project over disagreements related to timing and the speed at which the project was progressing.
SpaceX is currently competing with OneWeb and Telesat. Elon and Co. are currently the favorites to do so, having just last month launched a mission to carry US military satellites to the great beyond.
So what about those employees?
While 600 employees will be out of work they’ll receive 8 weeks pay, among other benefits, according to sources. Plus, there are plenty of terror cells and third world countries seeking candidates LinkedIn endorsed for rocket science.
SLACKERS GONNA SLACK
Slack plans to sell its shares to investors via a direct listing bucking the traditional initial public offering route. This was, of course, decided in a Slack channel named #cool_ways_to_ipo.
Although the company hasn’t filed with US regulators yet, thanks to the government shutdown, Slack is likely to make its debut in Q2. This would make the email competitor the second largest company, after Spotify, to forgo the traditional IPO.
If Slack follows through, the direct listing would allow current investors to offer their stakes directly to new shareholders priced purely on demand. This method is attractive not only because it will cut down on fees paid to the masters of the universe (read: investment bankers) but because Slack isn’t looking to raise new capital. It’s already done plenty of that.
No new friends and no new money
“Searchable Log of All Conversation and Knowledge’s” latest funding round, led by Dragoneer Investment Group and General Atlantic, brought in $427M last August and pushed the company’s valuation to $7.1B.
IN OTHER NEWS
- What better way to celebrate the longest government shutdown in modern history than with a lawsuit? Five federal employees are suing Uncle Sam claiming that the government is violating the 13th amendment (we’ll spare you a Google search: it’s the one that abolished slavery) by forcing them to work for no pay.
- Activision, the video game publishing powerhouse is breaking up with its most recent darling game maker, and Bungie is taking the rights to the popular game “Destiny” with it. The companies enjoyed an 8-year run honoring a $500M contract but now are going the way of Pete Davidson and Ariana Grande (too soon?)
- Another one of Huawei’s employees was detained, this time in Poland, for supposed espionage. Shocker. The investigation claims that Huawei employees are using technology to spy on foreign governments. Again … shocker. Polish authorities have seized large quantities of documents from Huawei headquarters in the country and will continue investigating.
- If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen. Welp, that’s exactly what PG&E CEO Geisha Williams is doing. California’s largest utility’s chief executive will resign as the company stares down chapter 11 bankruptcy. The financial woes are tied to wildfire liabilities as PG&E equipment has been implicated in starting multiple blazes.
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