🌎 Apple holds steady

Plus: Like it or not, e-bikes are mobility's hottest trend.
🌎 Apple holds steady

Good morning, Quartz readers!

Here’s what you need to know

Apple kept the price tags of new iPhones and Watches unchanged in the US. The company’s strategy for weathering inflation is paying off.

UPS announced a 100,000-plus hiring spree for the holiday season. The delivery service is at its busiest between October and January.

A Texas judge ruled providing free HIV prevention drugs violates religious freedoms. A Christian group argued employers shouldn’t be forced to cover PrEP because it can “facilitate or encourage homosexual behavior.”

Donald Trump’s social media company is running out of time for its SPAC deal. The deadline to complete the merger with blank-check firm Digital World Acquisition is today.

Elon Musk’s dogecoin problem worsened. A $258 billion lawsuit accusing the billionaire of running a crypto pyramid scheme has gained seven new plaintiffs.

Kim Kardashian got into private equity. The new venture, launched with former Carlyle Group partner Jay Sammons, will focus on e-commerce, hospitality, luxury, and media. 

What to watch for

The biggest marketing day of the year for Disney arrives today with a multi-tier event that leverages nearly every aspect of the Disney universe to pull existing and new consumers deeper into its broad brand experience.

Called Disney+ Day, the one-day event is primarily designed to sign up new subscribers, and retain current subscribers by offering additional benefits. Disney+ Day will also usher in the return of the D23 Expo, the company’s biennial fan-focused event that was postponed in 2021 due to the pandemic.

Image for article titled 🌎 Apple holds steady
Graphic: Adario Strange

The fake holiday trend that studios have been using to market products is only accelerating. Just look at National Cinema Day, as well as the annual Star Wars Day and Alien Day. Branding a specific day has become one of the most heavily relied upon tools for larger Hollywood studios to highlight their various products and franchises.

Riding on the e-bike trend  

Electric bicycles have been called everything from a “monstrosity” to an “embarrassing” mode of transportation. Truth is though, e-bikes have never been more popular, and are even about to become an urban status symbol.

More of the zippy cruisers appeared on the road during the pandemic, especially in urban areas, as people looked for socially distanced ways to travel. Now, cities like Paris and states like California are stepping up investments in e-bike initiatives. And it definitely helps that e-bikes are looking much trendier than their bulky predecessors.

Here are some numbers to get the wheels spinning:

🚲 790,000: Number of e-bikes the US imported in 2021

🚲 450,000: Number of e-bikes the country imported the year before

🚲 50%+: Percentage of e-bike customers in Europe over the age of 50 in 2015, per electric bike company Cowboy

🚲 25 to 40: Age of most of Cowboy’s customers now, the majority of whom live in big cities

Quartz’s Best Companies for Remote Workers

Image for article titled 🌎 Apple holds steady

What has at least 250 employees, good pay and benefits, and a knack for nurturing its workplace culture even when the staff is spread out? Why, it’s any of the 20 companies on Quartz’s 2022 global list of the best large companies for remote workers.

This year’s No. 1 is digital marketing agency 3Q/DEPT, which is fully remote—but some of the companies we recognized have a mix of WFHers and officegoers. Explore the full ranking, which also includes a list of the best small- and medium-size companies for remote workers.

✦ Want to read more fresh takes about best employment practices around the globe? Help make that possible by signing up today for a membership, and take 40% off, our treat.

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Surprising discoveries

A Dutch city is saying nee, bedankt to ads featuring meat products. Citing environmental and health concerns, Haarlem will implement the ban, thought to be the world’s first, from 2024.

Seaweed-wrapped coffee balls may make capsules obsolete. Swiss retailer Migros unveiled a new machine and design to take on Nespresso.

A skin-swab test aims to sniff out Parkison’s. A nurse who first linked her husband’s change in bodily smell with the development of the disease helped create the potentially transformative exam.

The world’s oldest mammal is older than we thought. Initially misidentified as a reptile, the brasilodon quadrangularis, a small shrew-like creature, walked the earth around 225 million years ago.

You can now buy and sell prompts to create AI-powered images. DALL-E images are cool, but this new marketplace could be its most intriguing creation.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Send any news, comments, coffee balls, and really old mammals to hi@qz.com. Reader support makes Quartz available to all—become a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Adario Strange, Faustine Ngila, Sofia Lotto Persio, Julia Malleck, and Morgan Haefner.