Wow, your inbox looks nice. Did you do some cleaning up during the holidays?
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
There was a collective thud Wednesday as Apple warned that its holiday quarter revenue would fall billions short of expectations amid exceptionally weak business in China.
There are two important factors to consider when trying to make sense of the news: The problems Apple saw in China go far beyond just Apple. But Apple's iPhone problems extend far beyond China, too.
On China: The Chinese economy is weak and perhaps weaker than previously realized. This is probably the biggest takeaway from the news.
On iPhone: While things were especially bad in China, Apple saw weak iPhone demand in other places, too.
What they're saying:
What's next: Apple will report full results at the end of the month and will likely go into greater detail.
Yesterday's story on just how much Facebook knows about its users garnered a lot of feedback, both on Twitter and in my inbox.
Here are a few follow-up points...
1. Instagram: Facebook owns Instagram, and the two services share a common data policy. There are some differences, though.
2. Lookalike targeting: Some readers point out that while demographic information is one way to target advertising, the real power of the information Facebook collects is how it lets marketers advertise to "lookalikes" — Facebook users who resemble their known customers.
Go deeper: Listen to my interview on Cheddar, where I talked more about Facebook's knowledge of us.
Google Assistant signage displayed during CES 2018. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Google has quietly acquired Superpod, a startup that had built a question-and-answer mobile app, Axios' Kia Kokalitcheva reports.
What's new: Google paid less than $60 million to “acqui-hire” the founders and purchase some of Superpod's assets, according to a source.
The bigger picture: The search giant hasn’t been shy about its ambitions for Google Assistant, the voice-activated virtual assistant that it debuted in 2016. Superpod, which let users ask questions and receive answers from experts, could bolster Google Assistant's ability to answer users’ questions.
Superpod’s founders have joined the company, a Google spokesperson confirmed, while declining to comment further about the deal. Superpod shut down its app in September.
Read more of Kia's story.
Among the regulatory approvals that T-Mobile needs to seal its purchase of Sprint is one from the California Public Utilities Commission.
I knew this in the back of my head, but was reminded Wednesday, thanks to a message T-Mobile blasted to its customers, linking to its pro-merger website (as seen in screenshot above).
Why it matters: T-Mobile and deal opponents are gearing up for the final fights before regulators, including the Federal Communications Commission, who have to sign off before the deal can be finalized.