Amazon preps Wednesday smartphone reveal

Amazon set to unveil its own smartphone; GM's Barra back on Capitol Hill; Poor poll numbers for Obama; Yahoo reveals workforce diversity stats.

Amazon preps Wednesday smartphone reveal
Dominant e-commerce player Amazon is expected to unveil a smartphone on Wednesday to analysts, customers, and members of the press at a Seattle event. Its main selling point, aside from easier access to Amazon.com and services such as Amazon Prime, will reportedly be a display that responds to the eye movements of users and that can show three-dimensional images.

AT&T will be the phone’s exclusive carrier, according to The Wall Street Journal, in a move that could help it attract more customers at a time of intense competition with Verizon and other rivals. The phone will reportedly run a version of Google’s Android operating system.

Barra to again face lawmakers
General Motors CEO Mary Barra will be back on Capitol Hill on Wednesday for another round of questions from lawmakers. Members of Congress are expected to press Barra on discrepancies between GM’s internal report on long delays recalling Chevrolet Cobalts with faulty ignition switches and the inquiries of federal lawmakers.

The GM chief executive’s early April appearance in front of Congress, during which Barra was tight-lipped about the automaker’s response to the crisis, was mocked in Saturday Night Live’s cold open a few nights later.

Obama’s poll numbers sink
An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll was full of bad news for President Barack Obama, showing his approval rating dropping to 41%, weighed down by events overseas. Fifty-four percent said they believe he is no longer able to lead the country. Meanwhile, possible successor Hillary Rodham Clinton continued promotions for her book Hard Choices, what many are calling a preview of her second campaign for president. However, poll numbers also show the public is divided about the prospect of a second Clinton presidency.

Two other things to know Wednesday morning:
Yahoo revealed workforce diversity statistics on Tuesday, showing similar staff demographics as other tech-sector companies. Women make up 37% of Yahoo’s workforce and 21% of its senior leadership. Yet unlike most technology heavyweights, its CEO, Marissa Mayer, is a woman.

As marketers show off their World Cup strategies, Americans are also beginning to flock to soccer. Nearly 16 million viewers watched Monday night’s contest between the US and Ghana — the US won 2-1 — on either ESPN or Univision.

Wednesday morning’s must read:
GM recalls: How General Motors silenced a whistle-blower by Bloomberg Businessweek.

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