The bottom line
American Airlines won’t install seat-back entertainment systems on its new Boeing 737s because some 90 percent of passengers now carry their own smartphone or tablet with them on every flight. The screens cost about $3 million to install per jetliner, and the added weight from wiring and bulkier seats makes the aircraft less fuel-efficient.
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, who is stepping down in April, has earned about $553 million in compensation since he returned as chief executive in January 2008, mostly in the form of equity. Starbucks stock has risen more than 500 percent during Schultz’s second stint as CEO.
Apple reported having a record $246.1 billion in cash reserves in the fourth quarter of 2016, larger than Sri Lanka’s estimated 2016 GDP. If counted as its own public company, Apple’s cash hoard by itself would be the 13thlargest firm in the world.
The average Snapchat user opens the disappearing message- and-video app 18 times a day, according to the tech company. Millennials, Snapchat’s core audience, check their phones more than 75 times per day.
Single women make up 17 percent of homebuyers in the U.S., compared with 7 percent for single men, according to the National Association of Realtors. Single women have outpaced men in home buying since 1981.
Economy: GDP growth slowest in five years
“The U.S. just had its worst year of economic growth since 2011,” said Ana Swanson in The Washington Post. Gross domestic product expanded by 1.6 percent in 2016, according to Commerce Department data released last week, “the lowest reading since 2011 and down from an increase of 2.6 percent the prior year.” Economists blamed a variety of factors dragging on the economy, including meager business investment, historically low oil prices, and a strong dollar hurting exports. “Still, growth of nearly 2 percent puts the U.S. ahead of many sluggish economies around the world.”
Tech: Apple tops Samsung in smartphone sales
Apple has “reclaimed the throne as the world’s top smartphone seller,” said Narottam Medhora and Stephen Nellis in Reuters.com. The technology giant announced this week that it sold 78.3 million iPhones in its first fiscal quarter, up from 74.8 million in last year’s first quarter, to beat Samsung in quarterly units shipped for the first time since 2011. Samsung sold 77.5 million smartphones in the quarter, weighed down by its recall of the Galaxy Note 7. The iPhone sales numbers and Apple’s profit of almost $18 billion “both handily beat Wall Street expectations.”
Retail: Walmart expands free two-day shipping
Walmart is “upping the ante” in its retail war with Amazon, said Charisse Jones in USA Today. The retailer announced this week that it would offer free two-day shipping to all of its customers, scrapping a subscription program that was meant to compete with Amazon Prime. Walmart rolled out Shipping Pass last year, offering customers free twoday delivery for a $49 annual fee. Now with a minimum purchase of $35, any Walmart customer will be able to get nearly 2 million products delivered to his or her home within two days at no extra cost.
Tech: Cloud computing drives earnings
Shares of both Microsoft and Google parent Alphabet hit record highs last week after earnings results that showed strong growth in cloud computing, said Alistair Barr and Jillian Ward in Bloomberg.com. Revenue nearly doubled for Microsoft’s Azure, which competes with Amazon Web Services to offer businesses computing power over the internet. Alphabet’s profit “disappointed” overall, but the company’s “Other Revenue” category, “which includes cloud computing, jumped 62 percent to $3.4 billion in the fourth quarter.”