DINNER PARTY INTEL: SpaceX stakes | iPhone turns 10 | Nigeria’s woes
The topics you have to be able to discuss this week
1. High stakes for SpaceX
Elon Musk’s SpaceX was grounded in September after its Falcon 9 rocket exploded. But authorities have already approved the company’s findings about the reasons for the explosion and given it a licence that will cover seven planned launches of its Iridium Next satellites this year. The first since the explosion is planned for the weekend and will be watched closely, as the company works towards flying an unmanned spacecraft to Mars next year. Private space travel is that much closer.
2. Celebrating the iPhone
Monday was the 10th anniversary of Steve Jobs’s introduction of the iPhone, the device best recognised for kick-starting the era of the smartphone. The Internet is inundated with nostalgia for Jobs, who is seen as something of a Pied Piper of good design. Apple is still the most imitated brand. The company’s market share may be declining, but its app store still had its busiest day ever on New Year’s Day with sales of US$240m, it said.
3. Nigeria’s currency woes
Nigeria’s central bank devalued the naira last year. But neither the weaker currency nor higher oil prices removes the need for the country to float its currency. Investors say the resurgent oil price is unlikely to help the naira regain its footing. President Muhammadu Buhari has previously likened devaluation to "murder", making it unlikely that the country will go that route. Dollars bought on the black market sell for 60% more than the official rate.