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Recode Daily: Apple’s HomePod smart speaker arrives late, but sounds great

Plus, Snapchat comes through with a winning quarter, Travis Kalanick takes his licks in the courtroom, and the Russian Olympic team would like a word.

 A prototype of Apple's new HomePod smart speaker is displayed during the 2017 Apple Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) at the San Jose Convention Center on June 5, 2017 in San Jose, California. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

HomePod is almost here. After missing the Christmas season, Apple’s answer to Amazon Echo, Sonos and Google Home started taking preorders yesterday. Reviewers like the hardware and the “stunning” sound quality. The main issue is the speaker’s lock-in to Apple’s home-grown streaming music service; if you use Spotify or something else, HomePod probably isn’t for you. [Ben Lovejoy / 9to5Mac]

Snapchat finally came through with a winning quarter when it posted Q4 earnings. Boosted by a bigger-than-expected jump in daily users, Snap surpassed Wall Street’s expectations, sending the stock up almost 25 percent. It’s a major victory for Snap, which had a rough first year as a public company. Snap paid its publisher partners — including ESPN, Bleacher Report and People magazine — more than $100 million last year, up from $58 million in 2016. [Kurt Wagner / Recode]

The U.S. stock market closed up 2.33 percent, prompting some Wall Street analysts to declare that the big two-day sell-off had created a buying opportunity. One big issue: Valuation. Companies in the S&P 500 are trading at about 25 times what they earned over the past 12 months. And things could be wild today. Meanwhile, Netflix, Amazon, Tesla, Facebook and Google are all performing better than the Dow or the S&P 500 for the year. [John Cassidy / The New Yorker]

Travis Kalanick made his first public appearance since resigning as CEO of Uber last June. Taking the witness stand — on the second day of the trial between Uber and Alphabet over self-driving trade secrets — an uncharacteristically soft-spoken Kalanick answered questions about his aggressive ambitions to win the self-driving car race. An attorney for Alphabet said Kalanick “made a decision that winning was more important than obeying the law.” [Johana Bhuiyan / Recode]

ESPN is finally launching ESPN Plus, the $5-a-month digital-only subscription service it started talking about in the summer of 2016. But it won’t replace ESPN — the app won’t carry NFL and NBA games, big-time college football or any other top-tier sports stuff you can see on any of ESPN’s cable channels — which still requires a subscription. Meanwhile, as Disney reported mixed Q1 results, CEO Bob Iger noted that “Black Panther” ticket presales are “outpacing [those of] every other superhero movie ever made.” [Peter Kafka / Recode]

On-demand delivery services like Seamless and Uber Eats may seem like a boon to restaurants, but the apps may be inadvertently killing them. Delivery transactions made up about 7 percent of total U.S. restaurant sales in 2016; that number is headed toward 40 percent of all restaurant sales. At New York restaurant Mulberry & Vine, for instance, between 20 percent and 40 percent of the revenue goes to third-party platforms and couriers — as delivery demand increases, profitability decreases. [Elizabeth Dunn / The New Yorker]

Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn resigned as chairman and chief executive of his company, Wynn Resorts, in response to sexual harassment allegations spanning decades. [Maggie Astor / The New York Times]

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