A Smarter iPhone, Uber and Didi Raising Billions of Dollars, Thursday Q&A

Today's Above Avalon stories: 

  • A Smarter iPhone
  • Uber and Didi Raising Billions of Dollars
  • Thursday Q&A

We kick off today's email by discussing a WSJ article by tech columnist Joanna Stern concerning the iPhone becoming an "empty shell" as Apple apps lose out to competing services. I share my perspective on the current services landscape and how Apple views the situation. The email then turns to news that Uber raised $3.5 billion as Chinese ridesharing company Didi plans an even larger capital raise. I have a number of observations about these developments and their broader impact on the ridesharing industry. We conclude with Thursday Q&A (questions from Above Avalon members). This week's questions:

  • Why would Apple need to buy stakes in ridesharing companies when there wasn't a need to invest in mobile carriers when launching the iPhone?
  • Is Google trying to be more like Snapchat with Instant Apps considering their ephemeral nature?
  • Do you think Elon Musk would sell Tesla?

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