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Recode Daily: Apple wants to shift attention from drooping iPhone sales to its profitable “services”

Plus: Slack has 10 million daily active users; California’s biggest utility, PG&E, files for bankruptcy; Marie Kondo cleans up — all the way to the bank; go ahead, say, “So much for global warming.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook.
Apple CEO Tim Cook.
Stephanie Keith / Getty Images

Apple hit its lowered first-quarter revenue guidance yesterday. For the first time, the company isn’t disclosing how many iPhones it sells, probably because the numbers aren’t so good — iPhone revenue was down 15 percent in Q1 compared with a year earlier — although it did point out that there are 1.4 billion active Apple devices, including iPhones, Macs, iPads, Apple TVs, iPods, and Apple Watches. After a tough end to 2018, Apple reported $84.3 billion in revenue and $19.97 billion in profit during the holiday quarter; it now has $245 billion in cash on hand, up 3 percent from the previous quarter. Meanwhile, Apple is getting closer and closer to spelling out its TV strategy; Tim Cook dropped some more hints today, and Peter Kafka pieced it together. [Rani Molla / Recode]

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Meanwhile, Apple temporarily disabled the Group FaceTime feature in iOS and macOS to fix a major security flaw: A bug in its FaceTime video calling allowed anyone to call a phone or Mac and eavesdrop before the other person picked up. An Arizona 14-year-old and his mother spent more than a week trying to warn Apple about the bug before the glitch blew up on social media on Monday. For those who want an extra layer of security, here’s how to disable FaceTime on your devices. [Tom Warren / The Verge]

Amazon’s decision to build one of its two new headquarters in New York City was supposed to be a slam dunk. Instead it has become a huge political battle. For its political backers, it was a no-brainer. The deal promised 25,000 jobs — good ones — with an average salary of $150,000 a year, in Queens, one of the city’s outer boroughs. But the public started clapping back before New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio could finish giving each other congratulatory high fives, outraged that one of the world’s richest corporations was receiving a combined total of $3 billion in tax subsidies from city and state funds. New York State Senator Michael Gianaris says he wants the deal to be “torn up” and started from scratch. But Amazon, for its part, has been on a charm offensive to win over Queens residents. And Amazon may already have support, albeit with reservations: A recent poll showed that 60 percent of registered Queens voters were in favor of Amazon moving into their borough. [Shirin Ghaffary / Recode]

As Slack readies for its IPO, it’s boasting that it now has 10 million daily active users on the platform, up from 8 million in May. And the number of organizations using the paid version of the workplace communication app has grown to 85,000, up 50 percent over the past year — in a blog post, Slack noted that 65 of the Fortune 100 companies are happily Slacking away. It’s not just tech companies in Silicon Valley using the service, either — the company broke down the number a bit, clarifying that more than half of the DAUs are from outside the US. [Lucas Matney / TechCrunch]

California’s largest utility, Pacific Gas and Electric, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. PG&E, which serves more than 16 million people, is facing up to $30 billion in liabilities after its equipment was found responsible for causing 17 of 21 major California wildfires that killed dozens of people, destroyed thousands of homes and resulted in billions of dollars in damage over the past few years; the company’s CEO Geisha Williams resigned earlier this month. The utility’s bankruptcy filing sets up a complicated legal case that could raise electricity rates and hurt power suppliers while generating hundreds of millions in lawyers’ fees; here are the potential winners and losers. [Zach Wichter / The New York Times]

Russia and China will both look to meddle in the 2020 US presidential election, according to the assessment of US intelligence agencies released today for the Senate Intelligence Committee’s hearing on worldwide threats. The assessment also predicts that adversaries will have refined their capabilities and developed new tools based on the lessons of the 2016 election, indicating that “the threat landscape could look very different in 2020 and future elections.” In their testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee, American intelligence chiefs contradicted President Donald Trump, telling lawmakers it’s their assessment that North Korea is “unlikely to give up” all of its nuclear stockpiles, and that Iran is not “currently undertaking the key nuclear weapons-development activity.” Their annual “Worldwide Threat Assessment” report to Congress also included no rationale for building a wall along the US-Mexico border. [Ken Dilanian / NBC News]

Marie Kondo is really cleaning up — at the bank. Thanks to the success of her Netflix show, Tidying Up With Marie Kondo, Japan’s reigning queen of tidiness has a net worth of about $8 million; she is riding a huge media wave in the US, where she is a bigger celebrity than in her native country. Kondo is the founder and chief visionary officer of KonMari Media Inc.; apart from her two best-selling books and her television series, the organizational guru makes money from schooling others in her decluttering concepts; qualification training in the trademarked KonMari method can cost up to $2,700, with an annual $500 fee to maintain certification. Kondo-mania is also a win for Netflix — the streaming company is pushing forward with Asian content and has more than 100 projects in production in the region. [Lisa Du, Isabel Reynolds, and Carmen Reinicke / Bloomberg Businessweek]

Top stories from Recode

This Super Bowl, you’ll be able to buy your favorite team gear on — not Amazon. A deal with the e-commerce company Fanatics made it happen. [Jason Del Rey]

New charges against China’s tech giant Huawei could backfire on the US. Trump’s tough line is intended to protect US companies, but it might hurt them along the way. [Shirin Ghaffary]

This is cool

Go ahead, say, “So much for global warming.”

Meanwhile, at Costa Rica’s Surf Camp 2.0, data rules.

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