Apple Pulls Plug On AirPower; Lyft’s IPO; Coinbase To Offer Interest On Crypto

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THE HEADLINES

 

PULL THE PLUG

Apple Austin

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Steve Jobs is rolling in his grave.

Apple has announced that its wireless charging pad that never was, the AirPower, will not be released to the public. The product was originally announced in 2017 and set to launch in 2018. Apple pulled the product and any mention of it from its website in Autumn of 2018.

And now, the company has officially pulled the plug. Dan Riccio, Apple’s VP of hardware engineering, said the tech company was unable to achieve its ‘high standards’ with AirPower. And although it’s not official, it’s been rumored that stupid physics caused power management issues. The 3D charging coils were too close and caused the product to run too hot. So instead of moving them farther apart, the iPhone maker said f*ck it.

And that’s not all

Apple is catching flak for a product that it actually released: its butterfly keyboard, which comes standard on its MacBook Pro line of computers. Users have complained about keys that constantly get stuck and keystrokes that repeat themselves or don’t register at all. MacBook ride or dies face issues cleaning the keyboard as well and can’t simply replace the hardware since the keys are attached to other laptop components (such as the battery, which I’m told is important). In fact, unsatisfied customers are so bent out of shape that they’ve filed a class action lawsuit against Apple and its crappy keyboard. How’s that for ‘high standards?’

These hardware issues come at a time when Apple is trying to reposition itself as a service company. The Cupertino Co. just announced its credit card partnership with Goldman Sachs and its TV, gaming bundle, and magazine services last Monday.

 

MUSTACHE RIDE

Lyft came out of the gates swinging on Friday in its stock market debut. The stock listed at $72 and opened up 21% (at $87.24) thanks to a pre-market surge, and closed up “just” 8.7%.

The IPO pop wasn’t the largest Wall Street has ever seen but it was impressive considering Lyft lost a literal sh*t ton of money last year. Despite the prospectus showing that the company lost $911M last year, over 70M shares were exchanged on Friday.

But it wasn’t exactly a surprise. It became clear early on during Lyft’s roadshow that this wasn’t your daddy’s initial public offering. The IPO was quickly oversubscribed and it became apparent that the ride-hailer would hit its targeted $23B valuation.

Who shares?

Beating Uber to market was a great success (in my best Borat voice) for Lyft but challenges lie ahead for the company as it figures out how to become profitable and keep its edge once Uber IPOs later this year.

All-in-all the #2 ride-hailing company in the US raised $2.3B in cash from the listing and finished the day with a valuation of $22.2B (or $26B on a diluted basis). You can bet Uber, Slack, and Pinterest were paying very close attention to Lyft’s big day and hope to produce similar results.

 

OF INTEREST

Remember cryptocurrency? No? Let us refresh your memory … it’s a digital asset mostly used to buy drugs and facilitate murder-for-hire whose entire existence has been marred by controversy. Still doesn’t ring a bell? At Thanksgiving dinner 2017 your uncle assured you that it was “going to the moon.”

Crypto-fiends have more or less returned to the holes they crawled out of during the coin’s meteoric rise and mainstream media has all but forgotten about bitcoin, Ether, dogecoin and the like … unless of course, it is to report on a crypto founder who took his password to the grave.

That is until a crypto exchange did something so vanilla, so bank-like that even the WSJ couldn’t overlook it. Coinbase, a platform for buying and selling the e-currency plans on paying interest on some accounts going forward. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

What does it all mean?

In (most) crypto’s case (i.e. not bitcoin), this pseudo interest will be earned via a process called “staking.” Payments in the 5% to 8% range will be based on what users put into the crypto network (assets and “helping validate decisions about which transactions and blocks should be added to the network” aka computing power) and as such, the interest payments will be made in the respective cryptocurrency. Right now the only currency eligible is Tezos’ XTZ and the complex transactions will be reserved for institutional investors.

Aside from marking a major milestone in crypto’s march towards mainstream acceptance, the program stands to help Coinbase expand its revenue streams and incentivizes crypto investors to stay the course despite wild volatility.

 


IN OTHER NEWS

news

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  • Larry Kudlow may still think he is working for CNBC and that hot takes are rating gold. Exhibit A: The Director of the National Economic Council is demanding that the Fed lower interest rates by 50 basis points immediately. According to Kudlow, the order comes directly from POTUS, which is unorthodox, to say the least.

 

  • It’s been a bloody sh*tshow in the UK for the last two years following the Brexit referendum, but if you can believe it, the Kingdom hit a fresh new low on Friday. Theresa May’s proposed exit plan was rejected for a third time by Parliament. On Monday MPs will reconvene to discuss alternatives.

 

  • Rumor has is it that Jeff Bezos’ steamy nudes (*throws up a little bit in mouth*) may have been uncovered and distributed by Saudi government hackers with the support of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. According to a security consultant hired by Jeffrey Commerce, the Saudi hackers may have breached the Amazon founder’s phone in retaliation for the Washington Post’s scathing coverage of the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. This is what Bezos gets for using a Fire Phone.

 

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