Mar 25, 2019

The great Apple bundle

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

You could see in Apple's big hullabaloo today a glimpse of the great bundles of the future, built around phones instead of televisions.

Take a look at the startling breadth of the emerging Apple suite of subscription offerings:

  • What you read: Apple News+ ($9.99/month)
  • What you watch: Apple TV+ (A new TV app that also features a variety of skinny bundle options at $9.99 each, as well as original programming from talent like Steven Spielberg, Reese Witherspoon, Alfre Woodard and Kumail Nanjiani.)
  • What you listen to: Apple Music ($9.99/month)
  • What you play: Apple Arcade (price TBD)
  • How you pay: Apple Card, a new credit card that uses Apple Pay

The big picture: This isn't exactly like Amazon Prime, where you pay a big yearly cost in exchange for a huge array of offerings. But it appears to be a step in that direction, with hardcore Apple users now easily able to pay the cost of a subsidized old iPhone in annual subscriptions alone.

Between the lines: The Apple Card picked up the most instant buzz.

  • Apple partnered with Goldman Sachs and Mastercard and says the former will not sell or share user data to third-party marketers and advertisers.
  • The card comes with a rewards program, which collects rewards in the form of cash instead of points. Users can also get 2% of their spending via Apple Pay back on a daily basis and 3% on purchases from Apple.
  • The card has no fees, and it comes with low interest rates. It will be available this summer.
  • Apple Pay is adding public transit payments for its first U.S. cities — Portland, Chicago and New York. It's already available in a number of cities in other countries.

The bottom line: You get what you pay for, particularly on privacy. That's in cash for Apple, and data for Google.

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A pause button for debts

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Governments have forcibly put much of the U.S. and the global economy on pause in recent weeks, for very good reason. Factories, offices, sporting arenas, restaurants, airports and myriad other institutions have closed down. But one thing hasn't been paused: monthly debt-service obligations.

The big picture: The less movement and activity there is in an economy, the more the coronavirus curve is flattened. But the obligations in bond and loan contracts can't be paused. That's worrying CEOs who fear a wave of business failures if economic activity doesn't pick up next month.

U.S. has expelled thousands of migrants under coronavirus public health order

Photo: Jinitzail Hernández/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

The U.S. has expelled more than 6,000 migrants using new powers enabling the federal government to almost immediately turn back border-crossers under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention emergency public health order that went into effect March 21, according to new Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data.

The big picture: The order has drastically lowered the number of immigrants in CBP custody to fewer than 100, the agency's acting commissioner Mark Morgan told reporters on Thursday. The number of people coming into the U.S. overall has plummeted due to coronavirus-related travel bans in place at both the northern and southern borders.

U.S. coronavirus updates: 16 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

About 16 million Americans have filed for jobless benefits over the past three weeks due to the economic repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic.

The big picture: Both the federal government and individual states are surveying different models of when it will be safe enough to reopen some parts of the economy and allow Americans to return to work. President Trump is preparing to launch a second coronavirus task force focused on reviving the U.S. economy.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 26 mins ago - Health