I'm trying something new. Along with several Axios colleagues, I’m answering your questions via a Twitter Video Q&A on how the coronavirus is impacting the tech industry. You can tweet your questions using #AskAxios and #AskAxiosIna now and I will answer them live Wednesday at 2pm ET.
Today's Login is 1,461 words, a 6-minute read.
Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios
Smartphone sales could take an especially strong hit this year as people cut spending, travel less and prioritize other types of technology.
Why it matters: Smartphones provide a huge chunk of industry revenue because hundreds of millions are sold each year. It's a key business not just for phonemakers like Apple and Samsung, but for component suppliers like Corning and chipmakers like Qualcomm.
What's happening: In an updated forecast last week. the Consumer Technology Association said it expects between 138 million and 153 million smartphones to be sold in the U.S. this year. That represents a drop of as much as 15% from last year. In January, the group had anticipated this year's smartphone sales rising 2%, to 166 million units.
Between the lines: A number of factors explain the expected dip, including:
Yes, but: None of this has stopped a flurry of smartphone launches even during a time when most Americans are sheltered at home.
What's next: Question marks surround the fall lineup, with much of the speculation centered around Apple.
What they're saying:
Uber looks like it's playing hardball again — this time in a conflict with the city of San Francisco over food delivery fees, Axios' Kia Kokalitcheva writes.
What's happening: In response to an order from the San Francisco mayor capping the fees delivery services can charges restaurants, Uber's food delivery business announced Friday it would no longer serve residents of the city's Treasure Island neighborhood, saying it's no longer able to finance those operations.
Context: Uber made its reputation sparring with city governments, but in recent years has learned to moderate its approach during crises.
The San Francisco fight breaks that pattern.
Between the lines: Unlike a hurricane, which lasts a few days, Uber expects this crisis to go on — and that's likely why it is eager to fight the fee cap, particularly if other cities follow suit.
Our thought bubble: Uber is already a money-losing business, but its effort to keep its losses in check might not win much sympathy given how widespread the economic pain is right now, and how much people depend on delivery services.
Go deeper: The gig economy's coronavirus test
Illustration: Axios on HBO
For this week's Axios on HBO, I had a chance to step a bit outside my usual tech reporting and talk with a conservation expert on why wild animal markets, known as "wet markets," pose such a risk for animal diseases to spread to humans.
Why it matters: Diseases are much more likely to spread from animals to humans when animals are taken out of their natural habitats and put under stress and in close proximity to other animals, the Wildlife Conservation Society's Joe Walston said in an interview that aired Monday.
Context: Much attention in the search for the origins of COVID-19 has focused on China’s wet markets, where wild animals are held close together and sold to humans for consumption.
The big picture: Viruses that originate with animals shouldn't be thought of as isolated events, Walston said, but instead in the context of other global crises, including climate change and threats to biodiversity.
Between the lines: Walston threw cold water on the notion that the virus was created in a lab: "Before it got from that bat into humans, there was absolutely no evidence that it came from any laboratory."
Apple is sprucing up the news category of its podcast app amid increased interest, as Sara Fischer reports. The update will initially be available for people in the U.S., Canada, U.K., and Australia, a spokesperson tells Axios.
Between the lines: Consumption of news podcasts is skyrocketing, according to data from podcast analytics firm Podtrac.
Details: Beginning Tuesday, Apple's editorial team will recommend new collections and shows inside Apple Podcasts' news category, which will feature information around COVID-19, the U.S. presidential election, and other topics.
By the numbers: Apple says its podcast app now has 1 million shows in more than 100 languages and 175 countries and regions.
What's next: Similar news podcast recommendations will roll out to additional countries and regions in the future.
A Vallejo, California, planning commissioner has resigned after throwing his cat during an online meeting being held over Zoom.