Apple’s Web TV and Nintendo’s Mario goes mobile — 5 things to know today
Hello friends and Fortune readers.
U.S. stock futures are little changed this morning after the markets rebounded from a three-week slide and closed the day with decent gains yesterday. European and Asian markets are mostly higher today.
Here’s what else you need to know about.
1. Apple is launching its own streaming service.
Apple (AAPL) has been talking with TV networks to assemble a cadre of about 25 channels to build its own online television service that users can stream from Apple devices. The service would include broadcasters such as ABC, CBS and Fox, according to The Wall Street Journal. NBCUniversal is notably absent from the discussions after a falling-out between the tech giant and NBCUniversal’s parent company Comcast Corp. (CMCSA). Some executives involved in the development said the service would cost between $30 to $40 a month, according to the Journal. Apple could announce the service as soon as June and launch it in September.
2. To U.S. dismay, European countries jump on board China-led bank.
China has been amassing support from nations around the world for its new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which would serve as a counterpoint to the U.S.-led World Bank. It is up to each nation whether to join, but Washington has been pressuring its close allies to stay out of the new bank. However, France, Germany, the U.K., and Italy have ignored U.S. pleas and put their support behind the AIIB. U.S. officials worry that the investment bank won’t have appropriately high standards of governance or environmental and social safeguards. Other nations are still considering joining the institution, including South Korea, Switzerland and Luxembourg, reported China’s state-owned Xinhua news agency.
3. Malaysia starts afresh with new airline.
Malaysia’s government has put $1.5 billion toward launching an all-new airline. The investment will purchase 20 Bombardier aircraft that will form the core fleet of flymojo, the name of the new carrier. The airline will be based out of Johor Bahru in the south and Kota Kinabalu in the east and is expected to start operating this October. The launch follows a series of three horrifying airline crashes involving Malaysian airlines. In the most recent incident, a plane from budget carrier AirAsia crashed into the Java Sea. Prior to that, a Malaysia Airline plane was shot down over eastern Ukraine in July, and another plane that disappeared shortly after taking off from Kuala Lumpur in March.
4. Flying direct to Cuba starts today.
Cuba Travel Services launches its first regularly scheduled direct flight between New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and Cuba today, just weeks after President Obama restored diplomatic relations. The roundtrip flights cost $849 and include Cuban medical insurance. The charter flight, which can carry 145 passengers, is operated by Sun Country Airlines and leaves New York every Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET. Commercial airline flights could start before the end of the year depending on how diplomatic discussions go, Peter Quinter, from law firm GrayRobinson, told Bloomberg.
5. Nintendo is bringing Mario to mobile.
Mario and Luigi will soon be bounding over mushrooms on your smartphone for the first time ever. Nintendo has struck a deal with DeNA, a mobile game developer in Tokyo, to create new games for mobile featuring the overall-clad fighter. It’s a major shift for the Japanese video game giant, which has long been reluctant to create games featuring existing characters for non-Nintendo devices. But, as console sales decline and mobile gaming continues to gain momentum, Nintendo is changing its approach. DeNA and Nintendo will also create a membership service to access the new games that could launch as soon as this fall.