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 SIM Partner GigSky Now Offers Data Plans in Over 40 More Countries

Apple SIM partner GigSky today announced that its data plans are now available in over 180 countries around the world. MacRumors obtained a list of the 40 or so new countries and territories that GigSky has expanded into as of this week: Algeria Argentina Bahamas Bangladesh Belize Bhutan Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Burkina Faso Cambodia Cameroon Cape Verde Chad Colombia Côte d'Ivoire French Polynesia Guam Iraq Jordan Kenya Liberia Macau Madagascar Mongolia Morocco Myanmar Namibia Nepal Nicaragua Pakistan Palestine Papua New Guinea San Marino Senegal Sierra Leone Tonga Uruguay Vanuatu Zimbabwe RwandaA few of the countries listed above appear to have already been supported, but the majority of them are new. Apple SIM enables iPad users to easily switch between different short-term data plans from select carrier partners without needing multiple SIM cards. Given that GigSky supports more than 180 countries around the world, Apple SIM is particularly convenient for staying connected while traveling. GigSky data plans start at between one and five cents per MB depending on the country. To purchase an Apple SIM plan, open the Settings app and tap Cellular/Mobile Data > Set Up Cellular/Mobile Data. Data is activated immediately following payment. Plans work in the country in which they are purchased only. GigSky's announcement also outlined some new deals:30-day plans in Canada and Mexico now include 5GB for $50, previously 1GB for the same price. Plans in the United States and Puerto Rico include 5GB for $50, up from 3GB

Apple's Stock Soars Past $1,000 Pre-Split Price as Bulls Think 'Golden Opportunity' to Buy Remains

AAPL rose over 2 percent on Tuesday to close at $143.80, a new all-time high. The stock also surpassed a per-share price of $1,000 when adjusted for Apple's 7-for-1 stock split in June 2014. Apple now has a market valuation of over $750 billion on its path towards becoming the world's first trillion dollar company. The milestone comes as longtime Apple analyst turned venture capitalist Gene Munster told CNBC that now remains a "golden opportunity" to buy Apple stock. Munster's new firm Loup Ventures has a $180 to $200 price range for AAPL, and he expects "clear sailing" for Apple investors in the months ahead. Apple analyst Brian White of brokerage firm Drexel Hamilton maintained his "buy" rating for AAPL today, with a price target of $185. He continues to believe that Apple remains "among the most underappreciated stocks in the world" and that "Apple has Samsung on the ropes like never before in recent memory." An excerpt from White's latest research note obtained by MacRumors:With Apple operating on all cylinders and a strong iPhone launch expected this fall, combined with the rise of more China-based competitors, we believe the pressure is on Samsung to deliver a strong upgrade without any missteps. We believe if Samsung stumbles again, the company's position in the smartphone market could be permanently impaired.Apple analyst Steven Milunovich of investment bank UBS has maintained his "buy" rating for AAPL as well, with a price target of $151 set in late February. In a bullish scenario where Apple has "caught the next major trend," he believes the stock's

T-Mobile Gifting Customers Free Year of MLB.TV Premium Ahead of 2017 Season

T-Mobile today announced that it will offer its customers a free annual subscription to MLB.TV Premium, a $119.99 value, on Tuesday, April 4. T-Mobile customers will be able to claim the gift through its T-Mobile Tuesdays app until Wednesday, April 5 at 1:59 a.m. Pacific Time. Then, customers need to sign up for MLB.TV Premium by Tuesday, April 11 at 1:59 a.m. Pacific Time. MLB.TV Premium allows baseball fans to stream every out-of-market game live or on demand on the web with supported devices, including the Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, PlayStation 4, Roku, and Google Chromecast. MLB.TV Premium also includes a free subscription to At Bat Premium, which unlocks high-quality streaming of select live MLB.TV broadcasts and highlight clips in the MLB.com At Bat app for iPhone and iPad. Opening Day of the 2017 Major League Baseball season is Sunday, April 2. Spring Training wraps up this week. T-Mobile customers must have a qualifying monthly rate plan, including "most consumer and business, postpaid, and prepaid plans." Government accounts and plans without high speed data are not eligible. 2017 marks the fourth consecutive year that T-Mobile has offered its customers a free year of MLB.TV

Wi-Fi Calling and VoLTE Expand to O2 and Other Carriers on iOS 10.3

Following yesterday's iOS 10.3 release, several carriers around the world have enabled support for native Wi-Fi calling and VoLTE on iPhone. In addition to updating to iOS 10.3, the features require installing a carrier settings update to be enabled. Your device should prompt you to install the carrier settings update in Settings > General > Software Update. Features may be limited to certain iPhone models, so check with your carrier. British carrier O2, for example, has only enabled support on iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus right now, with plans to add other devices soon. The full list of carriers that have just enabled native Wi-Fi calling on iOS 10.3:Australia: Optus Austria: A1 Telekom Belgium: Telenet Greece: Cosmote Hong Kong: 1010 Norway: Telia Poland: Orange, Play Switzerland: Sunrise United Kingdom: O2The full list of carriers that have just enabled VoLTE on iOS 10.3:Denmark: 3 Greece: Cosmote Peru: Movistar Poland: Orange Russia: MegaFon Turkey: Turk Telecom United Kingdom: O2To enable Wi-Fi calling, open the Settings app, tap on General > Wi-Fi Calling, and toggle on Wi-Fi Calling on This iPhone. To enable VoLTE, open the Settings app and tap on Mobile Data > Mobile Data Options > Enable 4G > Voice & Data. Meanwhile, Verizon customers with an iPhone running iOS 10.3 can now make and receive Wi-Fi calls on other iCloud-connected devices, including the iPad, iPod touch, Apple Watch, and most 2012 or later Macs, even if the iPhone is turned off. The devices must be signed into the same Apple ID used on the iPhone. Update: Slovenia's

10.5-Inch iPad Pro Entering Limited Production, But Spring, WWDC, or Fall Launch Remains Unclear

Apple's manufacturing partners will begin limited production of the rumored 10.5-inch iPad Pro this month, according to IHS Markit analyst Rhoda Alexander, who spoke with Forbes over the weekend. At this point, however, it remains unclear whether the 10.5-inch iPad Pro will be announced later this spring, at WWDC 2017 in June, or in the fall or later, as rumors are lacking consensus. Japanese blog Mac Otakara previously said Apple would unveil its new iPad Pro lineup at a March event, but that rumor failed to materialize. Instead, Apple last week announced a low-cost 9.7-inch iPad, 128GB iPhone SE, new Apple Watch bands, and a (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus through its Newsroom. The latest rumor from DigiTimes claims Apple is planning to unveil the 10.5-inch iPad Pro at an early April event to "mark the inauguration" of its new Apple Park campus, which opens to employees next month. While this timeline could be correct, it's unlikely Apple would have shared such specific plans with the supply chain. Alexander believes an April launch "still looks somewhat tentative," but she said "the necessary elements are starting to come together," so it's possible Apple could do a limited spring launch in the United States and select other countries, followed by a wider rollout as production ramps up. A person with sources within Apple's supply chain told MacRumors that they still expect the 10.5-inch iPad Pro to launch in the spring. The person requested full confidentiality due to the nature of their position.It looks like Apple is doing the releases in a

Apple Increasing Focus on Augmented Reality Eyewear, Any Launch Still Over a Year Away

Apple is "stepping up" its augmented reality eyewear efforts, with an eventual goal of releasing a consumer-facing product, according to the Financial Times.Apple first began to build a team to examine the feasibility of a head-worn device more than a year ago. Now, it is devoting more resources to its augmented-reality efforts, with the aim of taking it from a science project towards a consumer product, according to people familiar with the company’s plans.Don't expect to be wearing a pair of Apple-branded augmented reality glasses in the near future, however, as the report said any potential launch remains at least a year away, or "perhaps much longer." Bloomberg was first to report that Apple is exploring digital glasses that would connect wirelessly to iPhones and "show images and other information in the wearer's field of vision." The report said the digital glasses, which may use augmented reality, would not launch until 2018 at the earliest if at all. One person who expects a sooner launch is tech evangelist Robert Scoble, who insists that Apple is working on a pair of "mixed reality" glasses that will debut alongside the 2017 iPhone lineup, according to his sources. He also said Apple and German company Carl Zeiss are working together on augmented reality optics. Scoble's information has yet to be corroborated by other sources, so 2018 or later remains a more likely timeline at this point. While a standalone product appears to remain far off, most analysts agree that Apple will start incorporating AR-related features into its existing products in the

T-Mobile's JUMP! Upgrade Program Now Includes AppleCare+

T-Mobile customers who purchase a smartphone or tablet on an Equipment Installment Plan, which divides the device's cost into monthly payments, can enroll in JUMP! for $12 per month and upgrade to a new smartphone or tablet once half the cost of their current device is paid off. T-Mobile covers the remaining payments following trade in. Now, the carrier has added a perk for iPhone and iPad owners that makes JUMP! more competitive with Apple's iPhone Upgrade Program. T-Mobile today announced that JUMP! now includes "AppleCare Services" for no additional charge. These services include typical AppleCare+ perks such as 24/7 priority access to AppleCare technical support via chat or phone and accidental damage coverage, including the same $29 fee for iPhone screen damage.- 24/7 priority access to AppleCare technical support via chat or phone - Low service fees such as $29 for iPhone screen damage - $0 for battery service - Apple-certified repair or replacement at Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers - Hardware service with genuine Apple parts - Software support for iOS, iCloud, and Apple-branded iOS apps - Hardware repairs and service backed by AppleBy comparison, Apple's iPhone Upgrade Program spreads out the full cost of an iPhone and AppleCare+ into monthly payments over two years with zero percent interest, with the option to upgrade to a new iPhone after as few as 12 payments. A base model iPhone 7 with AppleCare+, for example, costs $32.41 per

New 9.7-Inch iPad and Red iPhone 7 and 7 Plus Now Available to Order

Apple has just begun accepting orders for the new 9.7-inch iPad and (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 and 7 Plus on its online store in the United States and dozens of other countries and regions around the world. (PRODUCT)RED iPhones are also available for in-store pickup at select Apple Stores starting today. The new 9.7-inch iPad is equipped with a faster Apple A9 chip and brighter Retina display compared to the iPad Air 2, which has been discontinued. It is also somewhat thicker and heavier than the iPad Air 2 since it lacks a fully laminated display with anti-reflective coating in order to keep costs down. The tablet's tech specs are otherwise identical to the iPad Air 2, including a display resolution of 2,048‑by‑1,536 at 264 PPI, 8-megapixel rear iSight camera, 1.2-megapixel front FaceTime camera, two speakers, Lightning connector, 3.5mm headphone jack, Touch ID with Apple Pay, and Bluetooth 4.2. The new 9.7-inch iPad starts at $329 for a 32GB model with Wi-Fi, making it the cheapest new tablet that Apple has ever sold. Apple also offers a 128GB model with Wi-Fi for $429, while cellular-capable 32GB and 128GB models are available for $459 and $559 respectively in Silver, Gold, and Space Gray. The new 9.7-inch iPad is now available to order on Apple's website in dozens of countries around the world. The first online orders are estimated for delivery between March 31 and April 5 in the United States. Apple said the new 9.7-inch iPad will be available to purchase at select Apple Stores, authorized resellers, and carrier stores starting next week in more than 20

'iPhone 8' Still Expected to Launch in September in Limited Quantities

Apple's widely rumored high-end iPhone with a 5.8-inch edge-to-edge OLED display will launch in September, although the majority of stock may not be available until later in the fourth quarter, according to the latest research from Barclays analysts Blayne Curtis, Christopher Hemmelgarn, Thomas O'Malley, and Jerry Zhang. "iPhone X" concept by designer Gabor Balogh The prediction suggests that Apple's tenth-anniversary iPhone, which has been variously dubbed the iPhone 8, iPhone X, iPhone Pro, or iPhone Edition, will still be available in limited quantities in September. However, shipping estimates could slip to several weeks out just minutes after pre-orders begin. What do you think Apple's rumored "special edition" iPhone will be called? Tweet us your own ideas.— MacRumors.com (@MacRumors) March 18, 2017 An excerpt from the Barclays research note obtained by MacRumors:Suppliers generally had good things to say about the upcoming iPhone 8 launch (for our purposes iPhone 7s, iPhone 7s Plus, and iPhone Pro) as new features drive a more complicated manufacturing process and higher ASPs. We now believe that all three devices will feature wireless charging and will all be launched in the normal September timeframe, although the majority of iPhone Pro volumes may not be available until Q4.Barclays contradicts a recent report that claimed the 5.8-inch iPhone will be announced alongside updated 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models, or the so-called iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus, but might not go on sale until much later. By the sounds of it, availability of Apple's first iPhone

Hackers Claim Access to 300 Million iCloud Accounts, Say Apple Refused to Pay $75,000 Ransom

A single hacker or group of hackers who have identified themselves as the "Turkish Crime Family" allegedly have access to at least 300 million iCloud accounts, but they are willing to delete the alleged cache of data if Apple pays a ransom by early next month, according to a report from Motherboard. The hackers have allegedly demanded $75,000 to be paid in cryptocurrencies Bitcoin or Ethereum, or $100,000 worth of iTunes gift cards, by April 7, or they will reset a number of the iCloud accounts and remotely wipe victims' Apple devices. The email accounts are said to include @icloud.com, @me.com, and @mac.com addresses. The report said that the hackers "provided screenshots of alleged emails between the group and members of Apple's security team," while the hackers also shared an unlinked YouTube video that seemingly shows proof of them accessing "an elderly woman's iCloud account" and "the ability to remotely wipe the device." If the screenshotted email is accurate, which it very well might not be, a member of Apple's security team turned down the ransom, noting that Apple does "not reward cyber criminals for breaking the law.""We firstly kindly request you to remove the video that you have uploaded on your YouTube channel as it's seeking unwanted attention, second of all we would like you to know that we do not reward cyber criminals for breaking the law," a message allegedly from a member of Apple's security team reads. (Motherboard only saw a screenshot of this message, and not the original). The alleged Apple team member then says archived communications

iPhone Named World's Most Popular Smartphone Last Year

iPhone was the world's most popular smartphone last year, in terms of global shipments, according to research firm IHS Markit. iPhone 6s took the top spot as the most-shipped smartphone in the world in 2016, trailed by the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, and iPhone 6s Plus, based on research from IHS Markit's Smartphone Shipment Database, which tracks quarterly shipment data for more than 350 smartphone models. Samsung's Galaxy S7 edge took the fifth spot, followed by the low-cost Galaxy J3 and several other Samsung smartphones, including the Galaxy S7. Notably absent was the Galaxy Note7, which was recalled last year due to safety concerns after some units were found to have defective batteries. Apple's lead over Samsung is impressive given that the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge were launched in March 2016, around six months prior to the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in September. The mid-range Galaxy J3, Galaxy J5, and Galaxy J7 also preceded the latest iPhone models when they launched in April 2016. The above chart makes it hard to determine exactly how many shipments each smartphone model had, but it looks like the iPhone 6s was around 60 million, while the Galaxy S7 edge and most other Samsung smartphones are around the 25 million mark. IHS declined our request for specific shipment figures. An earlier version of the chart had the iPhone 6s Plus labeled twice. IHS Markit has corrected this mistake and sent us the new chart shown above. Oppo's A53, a popular smartphone in markets such as China and India, was the only smartphone not manufactured by Apple or

Apple Discontinues iPad Mini 2

Apple today discontinued the iPad mini 2, which launched in November 2013 and was most recently sold for $269 in the United States. Apple's cheapest tablet is now the new 9.7-inch iPad, which starts at $329, while those preferring the 7.9-inch size can purchase the iPad mini 4 with 128GB of storage for $399. Apple's tablet lineup has now been narrowed down to the iPad Pro in 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch sizes, a low-cost 9.7-inch iPad, and the iPad mini 4. Rumors suggest Apple is also readying a new 10.5-inch iPad Pro with a narrow bezel design, which could be unveiled at a future Spring event, WWDC 2017, or even

Swift Playgrounds Now Available in Five Additional Languages

Apple today announced that its Swift Playgrounds app for iPad is now available in five additional languages, including Simplified Chinese, Japanese, French, German, and Latin American Spanish. The app, which was introduced at WWDC 2016, was previously only available in English. Swift Playgrounds is an iPad app aimed at teaching both children and adults how to code through simple interactive coding exercises. It's meant to make learning to code "easy and fun" for everyone. Swift Playgrounds is free on the App Store [Direct Link] for the iPad Pro, iPad Air and later, iPad mini 2 and later, and the new 9.7-inch

Apple Debuts New 9.7-Inch iPad With A9 Chip to Replace iPad Air 2, Starting at $329

Apple today announced it is launching a new 9.7-inch iPad equipped with an A9 chip and a brighter Retina display to replace the iPad Air 2, which has been discontinued. The tablet, which Apple is simply calling "iPad," is Apple's new entry-level model at the 9.7-inch size, starting at $329 for 32GB and $429 for 128GB. The new 9.7-inch iPad is similar in many ways to the iPad Air 2, which had an A8X chip and started at $399, but slightly thicker and heavier with a faster A9 chip and a brighter Retina display. Another difference is that the new 9.7-inch iPad does not have a fully laminated display or anti-reflective coating per its tech specs. Beyond the A9 chip, those specs include a 9.7-inch screen with 2,048‑by‑1,536 resolution and 264 PPI, 8-megapixel rear-facing iSight camera, 1.2-megapixel front-facing FaceTime camera, two speakers, Lightning connector, 3.5mm headphone jack, Touch ID with Apple Pay, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, and Bluetooth 4.2.“iPad is the world’s most popular tablet. Customers love the large, 9.7-inch display for everything from watching TV and movies, to surfing the web, making FaceTime calls, and enjoying photos, and now it is even more affordable,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “New customers and anyone looking to upgrade will love this new iPad for use at home, in school, and for work, with its gorgeous Retina display, our powerful A9 chip, and access to the more than 1.3 million apps designed specifically for it.”Given its price point, the tablet lacks most iPad Pro features, including a True Tone

iPad Mini 4 With 128GB of Storage Now Starts at $399 as 32GB Model Discontinued

Apple today announced that the iPad mini 4 now offers more capacity for the same price. The 128GB model with Wi-Fi now starts at $399, which was previously the price for the 32GB model with Wi-Fi, which has been discontinued. A cellular model with 128GB of storage is also available for $529. Apple has also introduced a new low-cost 9.7-inch iPad and discontinued the iPad mini 2 as part of its tablet lineup refresh. Japanese website Mac Otakara had claimed that Apple would release a 7.9-inch iPad Pro, but other analysts had disagreed, and it turns out the rumor was indeed incorrect, at least for now. The newly priced iPad mini 4 is available now on Apple.com in Silver, Gold, and Space Gray with next-day shipping.

Apple's Online Store Down for Scheduled 'Maintenance' Break, Possibly Ahead of Product Updates

Apple's online store has been taken offline for a scheduled "maintenance" break between midnight and 5:30 a.m. Pacific Time. The extended downtime is fueling hopes that fresh hardware will be available when the store is brought back online, as has been the case many times in the past. Apple traditionally invites the media to Special Events to unveil new products, but it does not have one planned for today. Accordingly, any additions or changes to Apple's online store today are likely to be minor, and a press release would be an appropriate medium for sharing the announcements. Lending credence to this theory is that 5:30 a.m. Pacific Time happens to be exactly when Apple typically distributes press releases. Rumors suggest Apple is planning updated 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models, a 128GB iPhone SE, a red color option for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, and new Apple Watch bands, all of which could be minor enough to simply be added to Apple's online store and announced with press releases. Less likely to be announced today is a rumored 10.5-inch iPad Pro sporting a narrow bezel design, which seems too significant to be unveiled without an Apple event. If so, the 10.5-inch iPad Pro could be introduced at an upcoming Spring event, WWDC 2017, or possibly even later. One rumor said Apple would host an event in March, but that appears increasingly unlikely at this point. Apple has yet to invite the media to said event, and there are only ten days remaining in the month. A subsequent report said Apple will host an event in April, coinciding with the opening

Apple Online Store Going Down for 'Maintenance' Tomorrow Morning Ahead of Rumored Product Updates

Apple has updated its System Status page to indicate that its online store will be "updated and unavailable" due to "maintenance" tomorrow, Tuesday, March 21, between 3:00 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time. The timing of the downtime is notable given that Apple is rumored to launch new products as early as this week. Moreover, Apple commonly issues press releases at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time, which is exactly when the so-called "maintenance" update is scheduled to be completed. Last week, a well-known research firm that requested confidentiality told us that, based on their own sources, it expects Apple to announce new products later this month, most likely during this week. The research firm did not say which products it expects Apple to announce, but rumors have widely suggested new iPad Pro models could be unveiled as early as this month, including updated 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch models and an all-new 10.5-inch iPad Pro, although the latter is less likely without an Apple event. At this point, it remains unclear if the 10.5-inch iPad Pro is even ready, so its introduction could be delayed until a future Spring event or WWDC 2017. However, a press release would be appropriate for the more iterative updates expected for the 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch models, along with any other smaller announcements. Given that it is already March 20, and that Apple usually invites the media to its launch events at least 10 days beforehand, an update to its online store accompanied by a press release is likely at this point if new products are imminent. Japanese blog Mac Otakara

Samsung Introduces Siri Rival 'Bixby' Ahead of Galaxy S8

Samsung today officially announced Bixby, a new intelligent interface for its devices, starting with the upcoming Galaxy S8. Galaxy S8 renders leaked by Evan Blass Samsung said Bixby will be "fundamentally different" than virtual assistants like Siri and Cortana in that it will be deeply integrated within apps. The interface will be able to support almost every task that an app is capable of performing using conventional touch commands, rather than just a few selected tasks.When using a Bixby-enabled application, users will be able to call upon Bixby at any time and it will understand the current context and state of the application and will allow users to carry out the current work-in-progress continuously. Bixby will allow users to weave various modes of interactions including touch or voice at any context of the application.Samsung added that Bixby will be intelligent enough to understand commands with incomplete information and execute the commanded task to the best of its knowledge, and the interface will then prompt users to provide more information and "take the execution of the task in piecemeal." Samsung said Bixby, at its core, is about removing friction. The interface will have a dedicated button on the left side of the Galaxy S8, and its supposed completeness, contextual awareness, and cognitive tolerance is designed to make using the smartphone more seamless and intuitive. Dr. Injong Rhee, Samsung's head of research and development for software and services, speaking with The Verge:"A lot of other agents are focused on being knowledgeable, providing

AppleCare+ Can Now be Purchased Up to One Year After Buying an iPhone

A customer that purchases a new iPhone now has up to one year to purchase AppleCare+ for the device, compared to 60 days previously, according to multiple people familiar with the matter. Apple has yet to update the fine print on its website, but MacRumors confirmed the extension with a senior AppleCare advisor. The change means that AppleCare+ can now be added to an iPhone as long as the device remains within its standard one-year limited warranty period. This brings AppleCare+ for iPhone in line with AppleCare for Mac and Apple TV, which can also be purchased up to one year after those devices are purchased. The senior advisor said the extension only applies to the iPhone, and it is retroactive, meaning iPhones sold within the past year qualify for AppleCare+ now. Multiple sources insist that the one-year AppleCare+ purchase window applies to the iPad, iPod touch, and Apple Watch as well, but we cannot confirm this info yet. Apple's eligibility tool does appear to reflect the change for iPhones in the United States, but not in the United Kingdom, Canada, Hong Kong, or elsewhere, so it is possible the longer purchase window will be U.S. only. "Eligible for AppleCare+" did not appear for an iPad or Apple Watch in any country based on our check. iPhone 7 Plus purchased on September 21, 2016 eligible for AppleCare+ AppleCare+ costs $129 for iPhone 6s and newer and $99 for iPhone SE. The plan extends an iPhone's warranty coverage to two years from the original purchase date of the device, and adds up to two incidents of accidental damage coverage, each subject

iPhone 7 Pre-Orders in Indonesia Begin March 24 Following Apple R&D Investment

Indonesian carrier Smartfren has announced it will begin accepting iPhone 7 pre-orders on Friday, March 24. Pricing has not been disclosed, but customers can sign up on Smartfren's website to receive more information. In-store sales at select authorized resellers will begin on Friday, March 31. While the iPhone 7 has been available in many other countries since September, the Indonesian government recently enacted a policy that requires 4G-capable smartphones to have at least 30 percent "local content," which can be hardware, software, or in this case, a commitment to invest in the country. Apple satisfied the requirements of that policy when it committed around $44 million towards research and development in Indonesia over three years, which will include building an iOS App Development Center in the country. Apple received a "local content certification," allowing it to sell iPhones throughout Indonesia. iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus were the last smartphones that Apple officially sold in Indonesia, according to local website Coconuts Jakarta. Indonesia is the fourth most populated country in the world, with an estimated population of over 260 million