// HAPPENING TODAY
- Executives from AT&T and DirecTV make the case for their merger before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee.
Apple Preps iPhone XL and XXL for Those Who Prefer a Roomier Fit
Come fall, phablets may no longer be conspicuously absent from Apple’s mobile device lineup. Bloomberg says Apple will soon begin production of two new iPhones featuring screens measuring 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches — a big change for Apple, which has kept the iPhone’s display at under four inches despite an industry trend toward larger screens. “A large screen today comes with a lot of trade-offs,” CEO Tim Cook has often said, explaining Apple’s reluctance to enlarge the iPhone’s display. Evidently, the company has figured out a way to avoid them.
Point/Counterpoint: We Take Your Privacy Seriously vs. I Can’t Believe You Took That Statement Seriously
Nest co-founder Matt Rogers on the company’s plan to share some user information with Google: “We’re not becoming part of the greater Google machine. We’re not telling Google anything that it doesn’t already know.”
Amazon and Warner Bros. Hug It Out
Amazon’s pricing dispute with Warner Bros. is wending its way toward resolution. The two companies are nearing a deal to end a standoff that saw Amazon refusing to offer preorders of forthcoming Warner Home Video DVDs, including “The Lego Movie” and “300: Rise of an Empire.” Both films are now available for purchase from Amazon, and sources in positions to know say negotiations between the two companies are wrapping up, though it’s not clear who won the more favorable financial terms.
Insert Lame “Master of My Domain” Joke Here
Let’s See Who Camps Out Overnight for That Deal
Microsoft calls its new Surface Pro 3 “the tablet that can replace your laptop.” But a better tagline would be “the tablet that can replace your MacBook Air.” Since it first unveiled the Surface Pro 3 last month, Microsoft has repeatedly touted the device as a superior alternative to Cupertino’s ultralight laptop. Now it’s offering MacBook Air owners the chance to “trade up” to its laptop-tablet hybrid. From now to July 31, Microsoft is offering up to $650 in credit toward a Surface Pro 3 for any MacBook Air it deems eligible for trade-in.
The iWatch: This Probably Won’t Change Everything. Again.
Jean-Louis Gassée: “Let’s recall the history of the iPad. It was a late entrant in the tablet field but it coalesced and redefined the genre. Perhaps the iWatch will establish itself as The Smartwatch Done Right. But even if it succeeds in this category-defining role, it won’t have the power and flexibility or the huge number of apps of a true trouser pocket computer. As a result, the iWatch will be part of the supporting cast, not a first order product like the iPhone.”
Are You There, Hoary TV Cliche? It’s Me, Chelsea.
Andrew Wallenstein, Variety: “As amazing a track record as the company has built for itself, Netflix isn’t really doing anything in original programming much different in tone or style than anything else on pay TV. … So Netflix has to do something to up the ante to earn its bona fides as a true innovator. There’s no better way to do that than to take on what is inarguably TV’s hoariest, [most] cliche-ridden format –- the talk show -– and put Netflix’s own distinctive stamp on it.”
What? You Thought David Sedaris Wouldn’t Have a Mordant Observation About Fitbit?
David Sedaris, The New Yorker: “I was travelling myself when I got my Fitbit, and because the tingle feels so good, not just as a sensation but also as a mark of accomplishment, I began pacing the airport rather than doing what I normally do, which is sit in the waiting area, wondering which of the many people around me will die first, and of what.”