Joe Rossignol

Joe has been an Editor at MacRumors since January 2015, and writing about Apple for over eight years. He lives in downtown Toronto, Canada and can be contacted on Twitter or by email at joe@macrumors.com.

Joe has been cited by major blogs and publications, including CBS News, CNBC, CNN, Daily Mail, Forbes, Fortune, NBC, New York Post, PC Magazine, Reuters, TechCrunch, The Telegraph, USA Today, and The Washington Post. His stories have also been aggregated on Techmeme.



Apple's Stock Reaches Highest Price Since 2015

Apple's stock price is currently hovering around the $120 mark in intraday trading, its highest level since late 2015. The stock has been steadily climbing in value since dropping to a 52-week low of $89.47 in May 2016. 2016 marked Apple's first year-over-year decline in revenue since 2003, and first drop in iPhone sales ever, but its stock price appears to have mostly weathered the storm. Since bottoming out, Apple has introduced the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, long-awaited new MacBook Pro models, Apple Watch Series 2, and AirPods. This year, Apple is rumored to introduce at least one majorly redesigned iPhone, a trio of iPads, and new Macs, including an updated iMac with the option for AMD graphics, new 12-inch MacBook models with Kaby Lake processors and up to 16GB of RAM, and a 15-inch MacBook Pro with Kaby Lake and 32GB of RAM. Last month, Apple analyst Brian White said he "continues to believe Apple is one of the most underappreciated stocks in the world," partly due to "a never ending waterfall of 'gloom and doom' media reports" surrounding the

Apple Sued for Choosing Not to 'Lock-Out' iPhones Behind the Wheel to Prevent Texting and Driving

California resident Julio Ceja is seeking a class action lawsuit against Apple, accusing the company of placing profit before consumer safety by choosing not to implement a lock-out mechanism that would disable an iPhone's functionality when being used behind the wheel by an engaged driver. Ceja demands that Apple halt the sale of all iPhones in California until a lock-out mechanism is implemented. He also demands that Apple release a software update that adds a lock-out mechanism to all iPhones already in the hands of consumers. He is not seeking further damages beyond legal fees and costs. The complaint, filed with the Los Angeles Superior Court on Tuesday, asserts that Apple's willful decision not to implement a lock-out mechanism on iPhones, chiefly to prevent texting and driving, constitutes "unfair business acts and practices" under California's Unfair Competition Law. A jury trial has been demanded. Ceja asserts that Apple's "enormous market share" means that it is the "largest contributor" to texting and driving, while noting it is "downright shocking" that smartphone companies like Apple "do nothing to help shield the public at large from the dangers associated with the use of their phones." "If texting and driving is a vessel of trouble, Apple is the captain of the ship," the complaint alleges. The complaint claims that Apple recognized the dangers of texting and driving, and the important role it should play in stopping it, in its lock-out mechanism patent filed in 2008 and published in 2014. The patent notes that "texting while driving has

LiftMaster's Garage Door Openers Will Support HomeKit in April

Following in the footsteps of its parent company Chamberlain, LiftMaster today announced that all of its residential garage door openers can be upgraded to work with HomeKit using the new MyQ Home Bridge starting in April. HomeKit compatibility will enable users to open, close, or check the status of their garage door, and turn MyQ-connected lights on or off, using the MyQ Connected Home app on iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Siri voice commands and HomeKit scenes will also be supported on compatible devices. The MyQ Home Bridge will have an introductory price of $49.99, and cost $69.99

Foxconn Planning New Facility to Help Apple Build Prototypes of New Products

Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn is planning to build a new facility next to the iPhone maker's upcoming research and development center in Shenzhen, China, according to Nikkei Asian Review. The report cites an unnamed source who claims the facility will enable Foxconn to "better help Apple create prototypes of new products in this new campus," set to open in 2017. Apple's own facility in Shenzhen, along with plans for another R&D center in Beijing, will allow it to collaborate more closely with Foxconn. Foxconn has two existing large campuses in Shenzhen, where it has reportedly already been developing and testing new products. Most recently, the report claims Foxconn has been trying to build the wireless charging module for next-generation iPhone models expected to launch later this year. iPhones will remain manufactured in the central Chinese city of

Chris Lattner Says Opportunity to Work on Tesla's Ambitious Self-Driving Efforts Was 'Irresistible'

Earlier this month, Swift creator Chris Lattner announced he will be stepping down as director of Apple's Development Tools department to lead Tesla's Autopilot engineering team as VP of Autopilot Software. Lattner did not explain the reason for the move, but he later denied a report claiming he "felt constrained" due to Apple's culture of secrecy. So, we decided to reach out to him to learn about his true motivations. As it turns out, Lattner told MacRumors the answer is actually very simple: he is ready to move on to something new.I've been writing code for more than 30 years, and 16 of those years have been in the developer tools space. I love it, but I am ready to move on to something else. Autopilot is clearly incredibly important to the world because of its ability to save people's lives (and increase convenience). It is also a very, very hard technology problem and my experience building large scale software and team building is useful. Of course, I’ve also been a huge Tesla fan for some time.He added it was "a very difficult decision," but noted the opportunity to work with Tesla's Autopilot team was "irresistible."This was a very difficult decision, because I care deeply about the technology and people at Apple and because I could see myself staying there for many more years. In the end though, the opportunity to dive into a completely new area and work with the amazing Tesla Autopilot team was irresistible.At Tesla, Lattner will help the company achieve one of its biggest goals: fully self-driving vehicles. As of October 2016, Tesla said all vehicles

Apple Retail Update: Palo Alto Temporarily Closed, Fifth Avenue Relocation Underway

Apple's retail store in Palo Alto, California remains temporarily closed today, presumably to allow construction workers to repair the glass facade after robbers drove a vehicle directly into the storefront last month. The location has been closed since January 15, and Apple has not confirmed when it will reopen. Meanwhile, Apple is in the process of relocating its Fifth Avenue store in Manhattan to a nearby ground-level space in the General Motors Building. The storefront is located just steps away from Apple's iconic cube—set to be renovated—at 58th Street and Fifth Avenue, taking over the vacated FAO Schwarz toy store. Apple's temporary Fifth Avenue location opens on January 20. (Thanks, Kyu Young and Patrick!)

ING Direct Surveying Customers About Apple Pay in Australia

ING Direct appears to be sending a survey about Apple Pay to its customers in Australia, according to a tipster who sent us the photo below. While the bank has yet to officially implement Apple Pay, the survey suggests support could be imminent for its "Orange Everyday" debit and credit cards. ING Direct Australia had nearly 420,000 customers with Orange Everyday accounts open as of December 2015. Here's a list of Apple Pay banks in Australia.

Apple Possibly Planning to Launch iPhone 6 Battery Exchange Program [Updated]

Apple may be preparing to launch an iPhone 6 battery exchange program for undisclosed reasons, according to Japanese website Mac Otakara. It is unclear if the iPhone 6 program would be related to Apple's existing iPhone 6s battery replacement program. Apple launched that program in November after it determined that a "very small number of iPhone 6s devices may unexpectedly shut down" due to a manufacturing issue. A number of iPhone 6s users said their devices typically shut down with around 30% battery life remaining. Apple noted the shutdowns are not a safety issue, but rather a feature designed to protect the iPhone's internal components from low voltage. However, affected batteries still need to be replaced. Apple also has an iPhone 5 battery replacement program, which it launched in August 2014 after it determined that a "very small percentage of iPhone 5 devices may suddenly experience shorter battery life or need to be charged more frequently," so an iPhone 6 program would not be unprecedented. Mac Otakara accurately leaked several iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus features, including the removal of the headphone jack and a glossy black color, but some of its rumors, such as a new Jet White color for iPhone 7, have yet to materialize or proven incorrect. File this rumor in the "maybe" cabinet. Update: Apple has reportedly told AppleInsider that "there are no plans" for an iPhone 6 battery exchange program. "We constantly evaluate service statistics," one source inside Apple corporate said. "There are no plans or grounds for a wide iPhone 6 battery exchange

New 15-Inch MacBook Pro With Kaby Lake and 32GB of Desktop-Class RAM Coming Later This Year

Apple will release updated Mac notebooks with Intel's next-generation Kaby Lake processors later this year, according to the latest research note from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Kuo said new 12-inch MacBook models with Kaby Lake processors will enter mass production in the early second quarter, which starts in March, and noted a 16GB of RAM option could be added—presumably as a high-end or built-to-order configuration. The two current 12-inch MacBook configurations include 8GB of RAM. Likewise, Kuo said new 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro models with Kaby Lake processors will start mass production in the early third quarter, which starts in July. The research note did not specify how much RAM these models will have, but 16GB could remain the limit due to the restrictions of current memory designs. Interestingly, Kuo also mentions a "15-inch MacBook" that will include 32GB of RAM and enter mass production in the early fourth quarter, which starts in September. He said this model will be "the most significantly redesigned product this year," and he believes it will adopt desktop-class RAM to satisfy high-end users. Given the high-end specifications, it is likely that this 15-inch MacBook would be part of the MacBook Pro lineup, but Kuo did not specify. Beyond faster processors and increased memory, Kuo said most other specifications and the design of all of the notebooks will be similar to equivalent models released in 2016. Kuo believes the new Kaby Lake notebooks will be power efficient, which may positively affect shipments. He estimates that

Apple Warns You When Your Display is Using Significant Energy in Latest macOS Beta

Apple advertises that the latest MacBook Pro models provide up to 10 hours of battery life on a single charge for web browsing and iTunes movie playback, but a user's mileage may vary based upon factors such as display brightness, which apps are running, and external devices connected. For this reason, Apple lists apps using a significant amount of energy under the battery menu in the macOS menu bar. The feature enables users to monitor which apps are drawing a lot of power and impacting battery life, whether it be the built-in Spotlight tool or a power-hungry web browser with several tabs open. Now, Apple has gone one step further and expanded the feature to include display brightness. On the latest macOS Sierra beta, when a Mac's display is set above 75% brightness—or at least 13 out of 16 notches—a new item called "Display Brightness" is listed under the battery menu. Clicking on "Display Brightness" lowers the Mac's brightness to 75%. Likewise, when we updated a new MacBook Pro to the fourth beta of macOS Sierra 10.12.3, the display's brightness was automatically lowered to 75%. This is the same brightness level as Apple used during its latest MacBook Pro battery tests. New: "Display Brightness" is now listed and "Apps" has been dropped from the title Battery life on the latest MacBook Pro models has been a controversial topic since the notebooks launched in October. A subset of users have reported getting as little as three to six hours of battery life on a single charge, sometimes even with only basic web browsing and other non-intensive tasks.

Apple and Tim Cook Honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Apple today has honored Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with a full-page tribute on its website. A photo of Dr. King is accompanied by a quote of his: "Commit yourself to the noble struggle for equal rights. You will make a greater person of yourself, a greater nation of your country, and a finer world to live in." Apple CEO Tim Cook also tweeted a photo of Dr. King and said "we honor [him] by working to help achieve justice and equality." We honor #MLK by working to help achieve justice and equality. "We may have all come on different ships, but we're in the same boat now.” pic.twitter.com/dVQfg3CTSd— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) January 16, 2017 Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the United States to commemorate Dr. King around his birthday. The iconic Civil Rights Movement leader would have turned 88 years old on Sunday. Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Next iPhone Said to Have Even Better IP68-Rated Water Resistance

Apple's next-generation iPhone will feature IP68-rated water resistance, which would be an improvement over the IP67-certified iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, according to The Korea Herald. Samsung's Galaxy S7 is IP68 certified, and the Galaxy S8 is naturally rumored to be as well. In the IP68 rating, the "6" means the next iPhone would remain effectively dustproof, with "no ingress of dust" and "complete protection against contact," while the "8" means the device will be even more water resistant. The Galaxy S7 is able to withstand 1.5 meters of water for up to 30 minutes. For comparison, IP67-rated devices like the iPhone 7 offer the same protection against dust but only have water damage protection against immersion between 15 centimeters and 1 meter by definition. However, while keeping your device dry is best, tests have shown the iPhone 7 is typically more water resistant than advertised. Apple describes the iPhone 7 as "splash and water resistant," but its fine print warns that "splash, water, and dust resistance are not permanent conditions and resistance might decrease as a result of normal wear." Despite having an IP67 rating, liquid damage is still not covered under Apple's warranty.

Apple vs. Samsung Lawsuit Over iPhone Design Officially Reopened

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on Thursday reopened a longstanding patent lawsuit related to Samsung copying the design of the iPhone nearly six years ago, following an order of certiorari from the U.S. Supreme Court, according to court documents filed electronically this week. The court will seek to determine the exact amount Samsung owes Apple for infringing upon the iPhone's patented design, including its rectangular front face with rounded edges and grid of colorful icons on a black screen. The previous $399 million damages judgment was overturned by the Supreme Court last month. Apple's damages were calculated based on Samsung's entire profit from the sale of its infringing Galaxy smartphones, but the Supreme Court ruled it did not have enough info to say whether the amount should be based on the total device, or rather individual components such as the front bezel or the screen. It will now be up to the appeals court to decide. Apple last month said the lawsuit, ongoing since 2011, has always been about Samsung's "blatant copying" of its ideas, adding that it remains optimistic that the U.S. Court of Appeals will "again send a powerful signal that stealing isn't right."The question before the Supreme Court was how to calculate the amount Samsung should pay for their copying. Our case has always been about Samsung’s blatant copying of our ideas, and that was never in dispute. We will continue to protect the years of hard work that has made iPhone the world’s most innovative and beloved product. We remain optimistic that the lower

Tesla-Bound Chris Lattner May Have 'Felt Constrained' by Apple's Culture of Secrecy [Update: Denied]

Earlier this week, Swift creator and LLVM co-author Chris Lattner announced he will be leaving Apple later this month—he is headed to Tesla to lead its autopilot engineering team as Vice President of Autopilot Software. Lattner, who oversaw Xcode among other tasks as director of Apple's Development Tools department, did not provide an explanation for his decision to leave the company, but "someone in Lattner's circle of developer friends" told Business Insider that Apple's culture of secrecy may have been a contributing factor."He always felt constrained at Apple in terms of what he could discuss publicly — resorting to off-the-record chats, surprise presentations, and the like," the person told us. "Similarly, I know he was constrained in recruiting and other areas. Eventually I know that can really wear people down."Lattner, who joined Apple in 2005, did not respond to the publication's requests for comment, so the exact reason for his decision remains uncertain. He previously said the decision "wasn't made lightly," and that he plans to remain an active member of the Swift Core Team despite his departure. What we do know is that Swift now has a large community of developers working on the programming language since it became open source in late 2015, so it is very possible that Lattner felt he was in a good position to pursue a new opportunity without jeopardizing future development of the language he created in 2010. Swift, designed to work with Apple's Cocoa and Cocoa Touch frameworks, was developed for iOS, macOS, watchOS, tvOS, and Linux. The programming

Flash Sale: Get a $100 iTunes Gift Card for $85 and More

Best Buy is holding a flash sale that offers U.S. customers a $100 iTunes gift card for $85, which is 15% off, until 12 p.m. Pacific Time. The gift card is a physical version delivered with free two-day shipping to most U.S. addresses. iTunes gift cards can be used to purchase apps, games, music, movies, TV shows, books, and more on the App Store, iTunes Store, the iBooks Store, and the Mac App Store. The credit can also be used towards an Apple Music subscription. The gift cards can be used on iPhone, iPad, iPod, Apple TV, Mac, or PC. If you are reading about this deal after it has expired, be sure to check out Best Buy's other deals on Apple products this week, including $100 off select iPad and MacBook Pro models and discounted Apple Watch models. U.S. only. MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Best Buy and may get paid if you click one of the above links and make a purchase.

Akitio Launches 2.5" Quad Thunderbolt 3 Storage Device for New MacBook Pro

Akitio has announced the release of the its Thunder3 Quad Mini, a 2.5" four-bay Thunderbolt 3 external storage solution for the latest MacBook Pro. The aluminum storage device has removable trays designed to house up to four 2.5" SATA SSDs or hard drives purchased separately. The device is equipped with two Thunderbolt 3 ports—the first one connects to the MacBook Pro, and the second one can be used to connect or daisy chain Thunderbolt 3 or USB-C peripherals. With Software RAID, Akitio said four striped SSDs can reach data transfer speeds of up to 1375 MB/s, while four striped hard drives max out at around 400 MB/s. Thunderbolt 3 provides sufficient bandwidth to connect dual 4K displays to the latest MacBook Pro and complete other data transfers simultaneously. A dedicated DisplayPort 1.2 video output provides connectivity to the 4K displays at 60Hz, while the device supports Power Delivery up to 15W to notebooks that support charging from a 5V/3A power source. 15W is hardly sufficient wattage for the latest MacBook Pro, which fully charges at up to 85W with Apple's own charger. Akitio said the Thunder3 Quad Mini will be available in March for $329 alongside five other Thunderbolt 3 storage devices it

Peter Thiel 'Confirms' the 'Age of Apple is Over,' But Says It's Not Tim Cook's Fault

In a "Confirm or Deny" feature by The New York Times this week, PayPal co-founder and venture capitalist Peter Thiel "confirmed" that "the age of Apple is over" based on his belief that smartphones will lack further innovation.The age of Apple is over. Confirm. We know what a smartphone looks like and does. It’s not the fault of Tim Cook, but it’s not an area where there will be any more innovation.While the iPhone has become a familiar product as it turns ten, which perhaps makes it less exciting to some, to say smartphones are not an area where there will be any more innovation will certainly fuel a debate. And, of course, while the iPhone is Apple's most profitable product, it's not its only. Thiel's comment can be argued one way or the other, but it does raise the question of what Apple's next "one more thing" will be after annual iPhone sales declined for the first time amid an uncharacteristically down year for Apple—perhaps something in the augmented reality or electric vehicle spaces? Will this be the year Apple pushes deeper into artificial intelligence with Siri and an Echo-like device? Apple chief executive Tim Cook has routinely teased about what's around the corner. Last year, he said Apple has "great innovation in the pipeline," including "things you can't live without that you just don't know you need today." Likewise, he told employees last month that Apple has "great desktops in our roadmap," and earlier this week he said "the best is yet to come" for

AirPods Have Captured One Quarter of Wireless Headphone Spending Since Launching

The wireless headphone market has steadily grown over the past year, new data from research firm Slice Intelligence suggests. In the U.S. last month, an estimated 75% of revenue from headphones sold online came from wireless models, up from 50% in December 2015, according to Slice Intelligence. Apple's new AirPods led the way, capturing an estimated 26% share of online revenue in the wireless headphone market since launching on December 13. AirPods stole the top spot from Beats, which took an estimated 15.4% of online revenue in the wireless headphone market, down from 24.1% between the start of 2015 and December 13. Given it owns Beats, Apple appears to have actually taken nearly 40% of online revenue in the market since launching AirPods. Slice Intelligence said wireless headphone spending on AirPods launch day was ten times greater than the pre-holiday average for 2016. December 13 was also the largest single day of online headphone spending last year, according to the research firm, topping Amazon Prime Day, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. The research suggests 85% of shoppers who purchased AirPods are male, of which 35% are young millennials. Female buyers tended to skew older, with 38% falling in the baby boomer generation. The gender data is based on 2,871 U.S. online shoppers who purchased AirPods between December 13 and December 31. Apple has not disclosed AirPods sales, with CEO Tim Cook only vaguely claiming the wireless headphones have been a "runaway success" amid "a great holiday" period. AirPods remain estimated to ship in 6 weeks in the

Skippable Ads Coming to Instagram Stories

Instagram today announced that more than 150 million people now use its Snapchat-like Stories feature on a daily basis, and now the company is looking to monetize that user base with the introduction of full-screen ads. Just like Snapchat, Instagram will sometimes add a 5-second photo or 15-second video ad in between stories when a user watches more than one in a row. The video ads in particular are set to autoplay with audio. The good news: each ad can be skipped by swiping on it, according to TechCrunch. Instagram said it will begin testing the ads over the coming weeks with over 30 global brands, such as Airbnb, Capital One, Buick, Nike, Netflix, and Qantas. In the future, the company said the ads may be tappable, enabling users to proceed to an advertiser's website to purchase a product or learn more information. Instagram Stories enables users to share personalized photos and videos with their followers that disappear after 24

Swift and Xcode Head Chris Lattner Leaving Apple for Tesla This Month [Updated]

Chris Lattner, director of Apple's Developer Tools group, has announced he will be leaving the company later this month to "pursue an opportunity in another space." Lattner was responsible for leading the teams behind Xcode, Swift, and some other development-related tools and compilers at Apple. In a message posted to the Swift mailing list, shared by MacStories, Lattner said Ted Kremenek, currently Senior Manager of Languages and Runtimes at Apple, will be taking over as "Project Lead" for the Swift programming language, managing the "administrative and leadership responsibility" for Swift.org.This recognizes the incredible effort he has already been putting into the project, and reflects a decision I’ve made to leave Apple later this month to pursue an opportunity in another space. This decision wasn't made lightly, and I want you all to know that I’m still completely committed to Swift. I plan to remain an active member of the Swift Core Team, as well as a contributor to the swift-evolution mailing list.Lattner said he does not expect his resignation to impact day-to-day operations of the Swift team in any significant way. He also noted Apple's development of Swift 4 will continue under Kremenek. Apple previously said it will shift its focus to Swift 4 after Swift 3.1 is released over the coming months. Latter is best known as the main author of the LLVM Compiler Infrastructure Project, a collection of modular and reusable compiler and toolchain technologies. He started development of Swift in 2010, and the open source programming language was introduced for