Ina is in Denmark all week, so I'm filling in for the next few days. Let's get right to Apple, shall we?
Screenshot from Apple video
Apple's reputation for launching products that transform entire markets could become a casualty of its transition from selling gadgets to peddling "services" — the company's catch-all label for the grab bag of TV, news media and gaming bundles it announced Monday.
Why it matters: Apple's genius under Steve Jobs lay in focusing on a very small number of unique products, but its new offerings are scattershot additions to already crowded media marketplaces.
Between the lines: Apple's event featured one speaker after another — from CEO Tim Cook and other Apple execs to Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey — lauding what Cook called "the power of creativity" to "move us and inspire us, surprise us and challenge our assumptions."
Reality check: Apple is touting privacy and security as differentiators for all its offerings. Each of its product intros ritually promised not to sell users' personal information, and each pledge evoked cheers from the crowd in Cupertino.
The bottom line: Apple's "services" pivot is already making the company fresh billions, and it will likely make more over time. But it also risks bringing Apple's lofty brand down to earth.
Go deeper: Axios' Sara Fischer and Kia Kokalitcheva dissect Apple's services master plan.
Apple VP Jennifer Bailey introduces the Apple Card. Screenshot from Apple video
Most Apple products are expensive — you want them, but you hate how much you're forced to pay for them, Axios' Felix Salmon writes. They often use premium materials, too.
What's new: When the titanium PowerBook was launched in January 2001, it started at $2,599 — $3,750 in today's dollars. The titanium Apple Card, by contrast, announced Monday as part of Apple's larger media push, is entirely free.
For the unbeatable price of $0, customers will be able to flex a gorgeous minimalist card — so minimalist, in fact, that it comes without normally-standard features like a card number or an expiration date. Instead, you can generate one-off numbers on your phone.
Why it matters: This is an ambitious attempt by both Goldman and Apple to break into the world of consumer finance. But gaining significant market share from the giants in the space will not be easy.
Timing: The card won't be available till summer. Apple didn't announce interest rates and other key details.
Just one day after protesting drivers forced Lyft to move its IPO roadshow meeting in San Francisco (while others went on strike in Los Angeles after Lyft competitor Uber cut its per-mile pay rates), the company is announcing new, long-planned initiatives it says are aimed at reducing drivers’ expenses, Kia writes.
The big picture: As Lyft prepares to go public, it’s still grappling with ride-hailing drivers’ top complaint: insufficient earnings.
Why it matters: Lyft’s new initiatives aren’t just an effort to offset complaints about wages — they're also critical as it continues to battle for drivers’ loyalty.
The tech sector added 260,000 U.S. jobs in 2018, according to industry group CompTIA, a slight increase over the previous year.
Go deeper: CompTIA's Cyberstates guide has more details and an interactive map.
Did you see the one about the Texas longhorn steer that walked into a pet shop?