Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Tuesday.
- Apple has defended itself following a New York Times report that said the tech giant was shutting down third-party sceen time limiting apps that were in competition with its newly introduced Screen Time feature. Apple said it had removed the apps in question because they violated the company’s security standards.
- Robotics startup Anki is shutting down after raising $US200 million, according to Recode. Close to 200 employees are being laid off.
- WeWork is joining the queue of massive, unprofitable private companies going public this year. The company said it confidentially filed to go public in December, managing to keep the news secret for four months.
- Alphabet’s stock sank after Q1 revenues missed Wall Street targets. Google’s ad revenue grew by only 15% year over year in Q1 2019, compared to over 24% year over year growth rate in Q1 2018.
- Google CEO Sundar Pichai blamed a drop in sales of its Pixel smartphone on ‘headwinds’ that are putting pressure on every expensive phone. CFO Ruth Porat said that the Pixel struggles are part of why growth is slowing in Google’s “other revenues” unit – which include businesses, like cloud and hardware, that are outside its core ads business.
- The head of SoftBank’s Vision Fund, Rajeev Misra, said the company plans to double the number of employees at its investment arm to 800. Misra’s remarks come as the Vision Fund is about to see big returns on two of its portfolio companies, with Uber launching its IPO roadshow and WeWork confidentially filing to go public.
- Former Facebook executive Chris Cox has said that he left the company over “artistic differences” with CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Three sources familiar with his thinking told Yahoo Finance that he had clashed with Zuckerberg over plans to radically reshape Facebook in a pivot to privacy.
- Spotify fell 1.5% in trading despite the company beating analyst expectations for first-quarter revenues and paid user growth. Despite the growth in revenue and users, the company has struggled in reaching profitability.
- Samsung’s folding-phone disaster is bad news for Korea’s $US1.7 trillion economy, according to this economist.Park Sangin told Business Insider that Korea was heavily reliant on its “chaebol” domestic companies, and any issues at Samsung would spread into the wider Korean economy.
- Microsoft has barred ‘Minecraft’ creator Markus ‘Notch’ Persson from participating in the game’s 10-year anniversary because of comments he’s made online. Persson became a billionaire when he sold the game to Microsoft, but has since made a number of offensive comments on social media.
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