Instant Pot Merges with Pyrex Maker; Apple Waiting on Folding Glass for Folder Phone; Mercedes Bows Electric Van; Uber Rewards Now Live Across US

It’s kind of like plain or peanut….everyone either has an instant pot or air fryer. On the instant pot front, Corelle Brands, which has Corning Ware and Pyrex, is planning to merge with Instant Brands, the maker of Instant Pot. Engadget.com reports that this could expand the product development pipeline. If the deal goes through, Instant Brands will continue to work out of its home in Ottawa, Canada. Corelle’s CEO will run the overall company. They look for the deal to be wrapped up by 2nd quarter.

We just reported that Samsung Display has sent folding screen samples to Apple. Apple has had folder patents for several years, but may still be a holdout. According to macrumors.com, Samsung protects the folding OLED screen with plastic, which can scratch, crease, and crinkle more easily. Apple is apparently holding out for Corning to make a folding glass panel. Corning says the trick is to not only make the panel bendable, but to also be able to withstand drops. Corning already was Willow Glass, which can be rolled like a sheet of paper…BUT…to make it, the panel has to be dipped in a molten salt solution, which tends to corrode transistors that live in a smartphone display. Still, they think they will have a screen cover ready in the next couple years. Apple has kicked in $200 million out of its billion dollar Advanced Manufacturing Fund towards making it happen.

Mercedes has revealed an EQV electric van at the Geneva auto show. Arstechnica.com says the van will haul between 6 and 8 people, and has a range of 249 miles. It will be able to be configured as a daily driver for a family or a people mover that can serve as a shuttle van. It is expected to go into volume production sometime in 2020.

Uber Rewards, the loyalty program the ride share company launched in 9 cities last Fall has now gone live across the country. 9to5mac.com reports that it gives credit for every dollar spent on Uber and Uber Eats…with more points offered for Uber Black. The points tally up to between 1% and 3% of what you spend. They are credited to your cash balance. Gold membership, at 500 points, gives you flexible cancellations. At 2500 points, you’re Platinum, and gain price protection on regular rides. For 7500 points, it’s Diamond, and you get ‘the best drivers and complimentary surprise upgrades.’ The company is retroactively crediting users for what they have spent the last 6 months.

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