Updated Apr 19, 2018

Amazon is always one step ahead

Photo: Ant Palmer/Getty Images

Amazon is an iceberg: People only see what's above the surface. Meanwhile, underneath, the company just keeps expanding.

Why you'll hear about this again: This has proven true time and time again. When people thought of Amazon as a bookstore, it was already on its way to being an e-commerce giant. When all people saw was an e-commerce giant, Amazon was well on its way to being a marketplace and web services provider.

Amazon Prime — with its expansion into video and music services and its moves into brick and mortar — has been similarly underestimated, though people have at least learned to fear what the company might be up to next.

Here are a couple of new data points suggesting how huge the Amazon iceberg has grown — and where it's headed:

  • After years of being vague about numbers, Amazon confirmed Tuesday that there are 100 million Amazon Prime subscribers. That means they have managed to convince a huge swath of the U.S. population to sign up. (Amazon didn't break out how many of the Prime subscribers were in the U.S. vs. international.)
  • Amazon struck a deal with Best Buy that will see the electronics chain carry televisions with Amazon's Fire TV built in. Now, fast forward a few years and which seems more likely — that this headline will come back to haunt Amazon when Best Buy takes over the online electronics business or that Amazon will get the last laugh?
  • Amazon is announcing today "blueprints" for Alexa, a way for home users to easily create their own quizzes and games for Echo and other devices. Again, some looked at the Echo and saw a smart speaker, where Amazon has quietly built an entirely new operating system.

Go deeper: Axios business editor Dan Primack and I went back and forth about Amazon's size and strength in a video earlier this year.

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China tries to contain coronavirus, as Apple warns of earnings impact

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's NHC; Note: China refers to mainland China and the Diamond Princess is the cruise ship offshore Yokohama, Japan. Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

As China pushes to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus — placing around 780 million people under travel restrictions, per CNN — the economic repercussions continue to be felt globally as companies like Apple warn of the impact from the lack of manufacturing and consumer demand in China.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 1,775 people and infected more than 70,000 others, mostly in mainland China. There are some signs that new cases are growing at a slower rate now, although the World Health Organization said Monday it's "too early to tell" if this will continue.

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Apple will miss quarterly earnings estimates due to coronavirus

Apple CEO Tim Cook

Apple issued a rare earnings warning on Monday, saying it would not meet quarterly revenue expectations due to the impact of the coronavirus, which will limit iPhone production and limit product demand in China.

Why it matters: Lots of companies rely on China for production, but unlike most U.S. tech companies, Apple also gets a significant chunk of its revenue from sales in China.

America's dwindling executions

The Trump administration wants to reboot federal executions, pointing to a 16-year lapse, but Pew Research reports the government has only executed three people since 1963.

The big picture: Nearly all executions in the U.S. are done by states. Even those have been steadily dropping for two decades, per the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) — marking a downward trend for all executions in the country.