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 Says Third-Party iPhone Screen Repairs No Longer Fully Void Your Warranty

iPhones that have undergone any third-party screen repair now qualify for warranty coverage, as long as the issue being fixed does not relate to the display itself, according to an internal memo distributed by Apple today. MacRumors confirmed the memo's authenticity with multiple sources. Previously, an iPhone with a third-party display was not eligible for any authorized repairs under warranty. When a customer with an iPhone that has a third-party display seeks a repair for a non-display issue, Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers have been advised to inspect the device for any fraud or tampering, and then swap out the device or replace the broken part based on Apple's in-warranty pricing. iPhones with third-party displays must still be within their warranty coverage period, whether it be Apple's standard 1-year manufacturer's warranty or extended AppleCare coverage, in order for warranty service to be honored. If the iPhone is out of warranty, or the repair involves a display-related issue, customers will be offered the option to pay Apple's flat rate out-of-warranty pricing. If a customer declines this out-of-warranty pricing, then Apple Authorized Service Providers are instructed to decline service altogether. If the presence of any third-party part causes the repair to be unsuccessful or breaks the iPhone, Apple said customers will be required to pay the out-of-warranty cost to replace the third-party part, or the entire device if necessary, in order to resolve the issue that the iPhone was initially brought in for. If a customer

Samsung's Never-Ending Battle With Apple Over 'Slide to Unlock' May be Headed to Supreme Court

A longstanding lawsuit between Apple and Samsung over "Slide to Unlock" may be headed to the Supreme Court of the United States. Samsung has until March 29 to file a petition for a writ of certiorari, aka a request for Supreme Court review, per FOSS Patents. If it accepts the case, the Supreme Court will review the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit's decision to reinstate Apple's $119.6 million award last October. Apple successfully argued that Samsung copied its patents related to slide to unlock, autocorrect, and phone number detection. The lawsuit is so old that Apple does not even use "Slide to Unlock" anymore. Unlocking an iPhone on iOS 10 requires using Touch ID or pressing down on the Home button, which first brings up the passcode screen if you have one enabled. Swiping to the right now brings up a collection of Lock screen widgets. This case is not to be confused with another 2011 lawsuit in which Apple accused Samsung of copying the iPhone's design with its own Galaxy-branded smartphones. That larger case made it all the way to the Supreme Court and is now headed back to the same San Jose district court where it began for a possible damages

Apple Extended its MacBook Pro Anti-Reflective Coating Repair Program

If you purchased a 12-inch MacBook or MacBook Pro with Retina display and have experienced issues with the anti-reflective coating wearing off or delaminating, Apple will repair the notebook free of charge. Apple will replace Retina displays on eligible models purchased as far back as June 2012 until October 16, 2017, or within three years of the original date of purchase, whichever is longer. The program was extended to provide affected customers with a longer window of time to get their notebook serviced. The program has not been publicly announced, but Apple confirmed to MacRumors that repairs continue to be handled internally through AppleCare. Apple does not plan to announce the program publicly at this time, unlike its iPhone 6s battery replacement program and over a dozen others listed on its website. We recommend affected customers schedule a Genius Bar appointment at an Apple Store or contact Apple support by phone, online chat, or email. Click on "get help" on this page, and then select Mac > Mac notebooks > Hardware Issues > Display Issue and support options should be presented to you. Apple's support website will ask for your Mac's serial number, which can be found by clicking on the Apple logo in the top-left corner of the screen and clicking on About This Mac in the dropdown menu. Affected customers can also visit an Apple Authorized Service Provider to determine if their notebook is eligible for coverage. If you have already incurred out-of-warranty costs related to this issue, you may be eligible for a refund, which can be initiated by

Steve Jobs Would Have Been 62 Today While MacRumors Turns 17

Steve Jobs, born on February 24, 1955, would have celebrated his 62nd birthday today. The late Apple co-founder, who passed away on October 5, 2011 following a lengthy battle with cancer, is remembered not only as a visionary and marketing genius, but also as a friend, father, and husband. Jobs, who co-founded Apple in 1976 with Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne, introduced three of Apple's most iconic products in its history: the Macintosh in 1984, and after a twelve-year absence from the company, the iPod in 2001 and iPhone in 2007. His iconic career had its fair share of highs and lows. In 1985, following a power struggle with then-CEO John Sculley, Jobs resigned from Apple. He went on to found NeXT later that year, and while its hardware business was largely unsuccessful, Apple acquired the company in 1997 to use its NeXTSTEP operating system as the foundation of Mac OS X. Jobs would become Apple CEO again later that year and guide it from the brink of bankruptcy in the late 1990s to become the world's most valuable company just two months prior to his death. His legacy lives on at Apple, which recently said the theater on its new Apple Park campus will be named after him. Remembering Steve, whose words and ideals will always inspire us. “There is no reason not to follow your heart.” pic.twitter.com/MihKSnbYiQ— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) February 24, 2017 Apple CEO Tim Cook:“Steve’s vision for Apple stretched far beyond his time with us. He intended Apple Park to be the home of innovation for generations to come,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “The

Harman Could Bring Wireless CarPlay to Audi, VW, Mercedes-Benz, Chrysler, and Other Automakers

Harman today announced that it has achieved the first-ever implementation of wireless CarPlay in vehicles. It said its infotainment system is currently being deployed for a luxury German automaker, which more than likely refers to BMW, the only automaker that currently supports wireless CarPlay as a built-in feature. A number of BMW models have supported wireless CarPlay since late last year, and Harman's announcement comes just as the 2017 BMW 5 Series with wireless CarPlay hits the streets in the United States. Harman did not disclose plans to roll out wireless CarPlay to other automakers, but it has business relationships with several vehicle manufacturers, including Volkswagen Group, Daimler, and FCA, so it is plausible that wireless CarPlay could expand to brands such as Audi, VW, Mercedes-Benz, Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep in the future. Harman provided the following statement to MacRumors:HARMAN is the renowned Tier 1 supplier of infotainment systems to global automakers. Our customers include Audi/VW, Daimler, BMW, Chrysler/FCA, and many others. HARMAN has pioneered the introduction of many Apple features in the past into car – iPod out, CarPlay, etc – as well as other "smart apps" such as Android Auto and Baidu CarLife, for automakers across the world.Volkswagen actually wanted to demonstrate wireless CarPlay at CES 2016, but it said Apple blocked them from doing so for undisclosed reasons. Due to confidentiality agreements, it is likely we will have to wait for each of these automakers to announce wireless CarPlay individually, but Harman and BMW have

iPhone 8 With Longer Battery Life Said to Entice Those With Older iPhones to Upgrade

Apple's rumored iPhone with an edge-to-edge OLED display will have longer battery life, which will drive customers with older iPhone models to upgrade at an accelerated rate, according to Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty. Huberty also expects the high-end iPhone to have a significant form factor change with wireless charging, 3D sensors, and more advanced AI software capabilities, which are all features that have been previously rumored. An excerpt from Huberty's research note obtained by MacRumors:In addition to more modest updates to current iPhone SKUs, we expect Apple to launch a higher priced device with AMOLED display that allows for a curved form factor and longer battery life, wireless charging technology, 3D sensors, and more advanced AI software capabilities. While we see accelerated upgrades for Apple's highest end users in all regions, our work suggests China users are especially sensitive to new technology and form factor changes.Her research note said a larger base of customers that own at least a two year old iPhone, particularly in China, has resulted in "pent-up demand" for the significantly redesigned "iPhone 8," and this "supercycle" will help drive sales growth alongside modestly updated 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models. Morgan Stanley raised its Apple stock price target to $154 accordingly. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said the "iPhone 8" will have a stacked logic board design that provides room for a larger 2,700 mAh L-shaped battery. As such, while the "iPhone 8" is expected to have a 4.7-inch form factor, Kuo said it will have

Apple Expanding Seattle Hub Working on AI and Machine Learning

Apple will expand its presence in downtown Seattle, where it has a growing team working on artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies, according to GeekWire. The report claims Apple will expand into additional floors in Two Union Square, and this will allow its Turi team to move into the building and provide space for future employees.“We’re trying to find the best people who are excited about AI and machine learning — excited about research and thinking long term but also bringing those ideas into products that impact and delight our customers,” said computer scientist Carlos Guestrin, Apple director of machine learning. “The bar is high, but we’re going to be hiring as quickly as we can find people that meet our high bar, which is exciting.”Apple's director of machine learning Carlos Guestrin, who founded Turi and is a University of Washington professor, said the Seattle team collaborates "extensively" with groups at Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, including working on new AI features for upcoming Apple products and services. Guestrin said AI, for example, will enable the iPhone to be more understanding and predictive in the future:“But what’s going to make a major difference in the future, in addition to those things, for me to be emotionally connected to this device, is the intelligence that it has — how much it understands me, how much it can predict what I need and what I want, and how valuable it is at being a companion to me,” he said. “AI is going to be at the core of that, and we’re going to be some of the people who help with

Apple Has at Least Five Different Groups Working on Wireless Charging Ahead of iPhone 8

Apple is widely expected to launch its first iPhone with wireless charging capabilities later this year, but rumors remain conflicting about whether the feature will be based on inductive technology, which would require a charging pad or puck, or a truly wireless long-range charging solution. Apple recently joined the Wireless Power Consortium, a group of over 200 companies backing the Qi wireless charging standard, perhaps signaling that it is leaning towards an inductive solution. After all, the Apple Watch uses Qi, albeit a tweaked version that only works with Apple's own charger. Qi, pronounced "chee," is capable of scaling from less than 1 watt to more than 2,000 watts of power, making the standard more than adequate enough for charging any smartphone. Its backing members include Samsung, LG, HTC, Qualcomm, Dell, Canon, Sony, Huawei, Apple supplier Luxshare, and others. Apple is known to test many different technologies behind closed doors, some of which never see the light of day. Reuters today, citing "a person with knowledge of the matter," said there are still "at least five different groups" working on wireless charging technology within the company ahead of new iPhones. Just three months ago, Apple was said to have more than 10 different iPhone prototypes under development, so it could be experimenting with different charging solutions for future devices; however, with iPhone 8 production expected to begin relatively soon, Apple has likely already finalized the hardware. Apple will reportedly begin production of its upcoming iPhones as early as

iOS 10 Now Installed on Nearly 80% of Active iOS Devices

Just over five months after iOS 10 was released to the public, the operating system is now installed on 79% of active iOS devices, according to the latest adoption data shared by Apple. iOS 9 remains installed on 16% of active iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices, while 5% of devices are running an earlier iOS version, as measured by the App Store on February 20. iOS 10 adoption appears to be slightly outpacing iOS 9 adoption over the same time period. iOS 9 adoption briefly stalled at 77% of active devices last February. iOS 10 could see further adoption when iOS 10.3, which is currently in beta for developers and public testers, is officially released. The software update's key new features include "Find My AirPods" and a switch to the all-new Apple File System (APFS). iOS adoption continues to significantly outpace Android. Nougat, the latest version of Android, is installed on just 1.2% of active Android devices as of February 6, despite being released six months ago today. Android Lollipop, released in November 2014, is still installed on 32.9% of active devices. Apple's control over both hardware and software gives it an advantage over the Android ecosystem, while Apple persistently notifies iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users to update to the latest iOS version, including offering the option to have the software update install overnight while the device is plugged

Apple Names its New Campus Auditorium 'Steve Jobs Theater'

Apple today announced that the 1,000-seat auditorium at its new Apple Park campus will be named the "Steve Jobs Theater" in memory of the company's late co-founder, who would have turned 62 years old on February 24. Steve Jobs Theater, a 20-foot-tall glass cylinder with the world's largest freestanding carbon-fiber roof, is situated atop a hill at one of the highest points of the 175-acre campus, overlooking meadows and the main building. Apple CEO Tim Cook:“Steve’s vision for Apple stretched far beyond his time with us. He intended Apple Park to be the home of innovation for generations to come,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “The workspaces and parklands are designed to inspire our team as well as benefit the environment. We’ve achieved the most energy-efficient building of its kind in the world and the campus will run entirely on renewable energy.”Jobs' widow Laurene Powell Jobs:“Steve was exhilarated, and inspired, by the California landscape, by its light and its expansiveness. It was his favorite setting for thought. Apple Park captures his spirit uncannily well,” said Laurene Powell Jobs. “He would have flourished, as the people of Apple surely will, on this luminously designed campus.”Apple design chief Jony Ive:“Steve invested so much of his energy creating and supporting vital, creative environments. We have approached the design, engineering and making of our new campus with the same enthusiasm and design principles that characterize our products,” said Jony Ive, Apple’s chief design officer. “Connecting extraordinarily advanced buildings with

Qualcomm's and Intel's Latest LTE Modems for Smartphones Exceed Gigabit Speeds

Ahead of Mobile World Congress next week, Qualcomm and Intel have separately announced the latest LTE modems for smartphones with theoretical download speeds exceeding so-called "Gigabit LTE," aka 1 Gbps. Apple sources LTE modems for iPhones from both chipmakers. Qualcomm's new Snapdragon X20 modem is the first-announced modem to support Category 18 download speeds up to an ultra fast 1.2 Gbps, with Category 13 upload speeds of up to 150 Mbps. That builds upon Qualcomm's Snapdragon X16, which has a peak download speed of 1 Gbps. Qualcomm said the Snapdragon X20, built on a leading-edge 10nm FinFET process, supports more combinations of LTE carriers and a higher number of total LTE spatial streams. This "vastly expanded flexibility" will for more operators around the world to deploy Gigabit LTE in the future. Qualcomm said the first products with the Snapdragon X20 modem are expected to be available in the first half of 2018. Intel's new XMM 7560 modem [PDF] supports LTE Advanced Pro for up to Category 16 download speeds "exceeding" 1 Gbps, and Category 13 upload speeds of up to 225 Mbps. The XMM 7560 modem is Intel's fifth-generation LTE modem, and the first to be manufactured based on its 14nm process. Intel said the XMM 7560 modem is expected to sample in the first half of this year and move into production soon afterward. Both modems support 5x carrier aggregation, 4x4 MIMO configurations, up to 256-QAM, and other technologies. Both chips also work with a number of cellular technologies, covering most LTE, CDMA, and GSM standards, meaning that

New Touchscreen for 'Apple Watch Series 3' Said to Enter Production Later This Year

The tentatively named "Apple Watch Series 3" will feature a new glass-film touchscreen in place of the current touch-on-lens solution, with shipments to begin in the second half of this year, according to Taiwan-based DigiTimes. While it remains unclear if the switch to a film-based solution will have any obvious consumer-facing benefits, this is more interestingly the first rumor to surface about the supply chain ramping up for the next Apple Watch. The timeline matches a Chinese report last month that claimed the third-generation Apple Watch will be unveiled in the third quarter of 2017 with battery life and performance improvements. The report said Series 3 models, to be manufactured by Quanta, will lack any significant hardware changes. Few other details are known about the next Apple Watch models, which could feasibly launch alongside the "iPhone 8" in September. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and other sources have claimed the Apple Watch could gain an LTE chip for cellular capabilities as early as 2017, while a supply chain report last year said Apple may switch from OLED to micro-LED displays for the Apple Watch in the second half of 2017 at the earliest. Micro-LED displays have benefits such as thinness, lightness, improved color gamut, increased brightness, and higher resolutions. The panels do not require backlighting like traditional LCD displays, but they can be difficult and expensive to mass produce. Micro LEDs range in size from 1-micron to 100-micron. Apple has filed patents for a number of ideas that could eventually be included in

iPhone 8 Said to Have 3GB of RAM and 64GB/256GB Storage Options

The widely rumored 5.8-inch iPhone with an edge-to-edge OLED display will match the iPhone 7 Plus with 3GB of RAM and come in two storage options, 64GB and 256GB, according to Chinese research firm TrendForce. The report, which outlines several already-rumored features, added that the so-called "iPhone 8" will not have a fully curved display due to production and drop test issues with 3D glass. Instead, the high-end device will adopt the same slightly curved 2.5D cover glass used since the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in 2014. TrendForce said Apple will remove the Home button on the iPhone, as widely rumored, and integrate the related functions into the display. If that fact is accurate, it suggests rumored 3D facial recognition capabilities could supplement rather than fully replace Touch ID, which could be embedded into the display. TrendForce itself expects the "iPhone 8" to incorporate 3D sensing technology that can be used for facial recognition and augmented reality features. The research note said the 5.8-inch iPhone will be accompanied by updated 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models with LCD displays. The 5.5-inch model will allegedly have the same 3GB of RAM as the iPhone 7 Plus, while the 4.7-inch model is said to have 2GB of RAM. Both models are expected to include up to 256GB of storage. Rumors are generally shaping up to suggest the 5.8-inch iPhone with an OLED display will be a significant upgrade, but the model could cost upwards of $1,000 in the United States. Meanwhile, the new 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models are expected to be iterative but less

Apple Said to Debut New iPad Pro Lineup, 128GB iPhone SE, and Red iPhone 7 and 7 Plus at March Event

Apple will host a March event to introduce a new iPad Pro lineup and other products, according to Japanese website Mac Otakara. In terms of the iPad Pro lineup, the report claims Apple will announce new 7.9-inch, 9.7-inch, 10.5-inch, and 12.9-inch models. The 10.5-inch model may not ship until May, while the other sizes are said to ship in March. If the report is accurate, it would suggest Apple plans to refresh the iPad mini 4 with a new 7.9-inch iPad Pro model, update its existing 9.7-inch iPad Pro and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models, and introduce an all-new 10.5-inch iPad Pro, which is widely rumored to feature an edge-to-edge display without a Home button. Mac Otakara previously said the 10.9-inch iPad Pro—it now says 10.5-inch—will have the same overall footprint as the current 9.7-inch iPad Pro thanks to its edge-to-edge design. The earlier report said the top bezel will remain in order to provide space for the front-facing FaceTime camera, but it will likely be slimmer. The blog also previously said the 12.9-inch iPad Pro will feature a 12-megapixel rear camera and True Tone display like the current 9.7-inch model, using advanced four-channel ambient light sensors to automatically adapt the color and intensity of the display to match the light in the surrounding environment. Meanwhile, it said the 7.9-inch iPad Pro will feature a Smart Connector, True Tone display, four speakers, and a 12-megapixel rear-facing iSight camera with True Tone flash, as Apple works to standardize features across its tablet lineup. All new iPad Pro models will reportedly gain

Apple Shifts Towards Digital and Regional Ad Campaigns

Apple's shift towards regionally-focused digital and social media campaigns, and away from translating broader TV-focused campaigns for global markets, has led to layoffs and reorganizational efforts at its longtime global advertising partner TBWA\Media Arts Lab, according to Adweek. The agency's translation and transcreation teams were naturally among those hardest hit by the downsizing, the report claims. The exact number of employees laid off was not revealed, but the staff reductions are said to have occurred at TBWA's Los Angeles headquarters and other offices around the world. Nevertheless, the report said TBWA expanded other departments, most prominently digital and social media. The agency said its new operating model will allow it to "keep pace with the way people consume media and content," which increasingly involves platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, and YouTube.“TBWA\Media Arts Lab is reorganizing and introducing a new operating model to keep pace with the way people consume media and content,” an agency spokesperson told Adweek. “This will result in a reduction in areas such as localization and further investment in areas such as digital, social, data analytics, content creation and a more diverse set of strategic skills. We will also have greater integration with media partners at OMD.”A recent example of Apple's regional work is "Meu Bloco na Rua," a Brazilian Carnival-focused video promoting Portrait Mode on iPhone 7 Plus. Apple shared the 90-second spot on its YouTube account in Brazil last week ahead of the Carnival beginning on the

Here's the 'Stealth' Case Apple Uses to Conceal iPhone Prototypes During Transport

Long before Apple takes the wraps off a new iPhone, the smartphone goes through months of design work, testing, and production between Apple's headquarters in Cupertino and its manufacturing partners in China. It is during this time that iPhone parts usually begin to leak, despite Apple's best efforts to double down on secrecy. Nevertheless, noted leaker Sonny Dickson has provided MacRumors with a closer look at a few known measures the company takes to hide iPhone prototypes and prevent potential leaks. Foremost, Dickson said an iPhone prototype travels across the world in a "stealth" case designed to prevent onlookers from seeing how it looks. The case conceals most of the iPhone, while it has yellow "security" tape along the sides that would show any tampering by somebody trying to get it open. The prototype is accompanied by a "passport" at all times for quality assurance/control testing, according to Dickson. "Each component or product that is tested they document in the page," said Dickson. "The person writes their initials next to it and any notes about it passing or failing or any other comments. It makes its way through each test/person. It then is finally sent with its 'passport' from China to Apple." As known, the prototype itself, such as the iPhone 6 Plus pictured below, is engraved with a QR code for Apple to keep track of the product. As mentioned, these efforts have not entirely prevented iPhone prototypes from leaking. A mostly accurate picture of the iPhone 7 Plus with a dual-lens camera leaked in March 2016, six months before

Adobe Issues Critical Security Update for Flash Player on Mac

Adobe this week released Flash Player version 24.0.0.221 to "address critical vulnerabilities that could potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system," including Mac, Windows, Linux, and Chrome OS. Mac users with Flash Player version 24.0.0.194 or earlier installed should immediately update to the latest version using the built-in update mechanism. The update is also available from the Adobe Flash Player Download Center. Flash Player users who had enabled the option to "allow Adobe to install updates" will receive the update automatically. Likewise, Google Chrome will automatically update Flash Player to version 24.0.0.221. Select "About Google Chrome" under the Tools menu to verify the browser is up-to-date. Adobe said the critical security update resolves integer overflow, memory corruption, type confusion, heap buffer overflow, and use-after-free vulnerabilities that could lead to code execution. The vulnerabilities were reported by security teams from Google, Microsoft, Palo Alto Networks, and Trend Micro. Safari on macOS Sierra deactivates Flash by default, only turning on the plug-in when user requested. Chrome, Firefox, and most other modern web browsers also have web plug-in safeguards in place due to repeated security risks. Adobe has released fifteen Flash Player security updates over the past year. In 2010, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs shared his "Thoughts on Flash," in which he favored open web standards such as HTML5 over Adobe Flash. Jobs said Flash Player was "the number one reason Macs crash," while criticizing its

iPhone 8 Expected to Have 3D Facial Recognition Instead of Touch ID

Apple's widely expected 5.8-inch iPhone with an edge-to-edge OLED display will feature a front-facing 3D laser scanner for facial recognition, corroborating previous rumors, according to JPMorgan analyst Rod Hall. Hall said the scanner will replace Touch ID on the so-called iPhone 8, as Apple plans to remove the Home button to allow for the edge-to-edge display. His research note claims the so-called iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus could also have a 3D laser scanner based on increased volume of the module within Apple's supply chain. The scanner is said to add $10 to $15 per module to the iPhone 8's bill of materials, which coupled with the OLED display, glass casing, and other increased production costs, could make its retail price up to $100 more expensive than it would be without those features, if Apple looks to maintain a similar profit margin. The increased costs are in line with a recent report claiming the iPhone 8 could cost upwards of $1,000 in the United States. Hall believes the switch to facial recognition will help alleviate consumer frustration when Touch ID does not work under wet conditions. He added that facial recognition will potentially be more secure than Touch ID, which could increase Apple Pay adoption among banks and merchants. The research note said the 3D laser scanner could eventually be used for other purposes, such as augmented reality, but likely not until 2018 at the earliest.One obvious and potentially most compelling use would be AR/VR experiences in which the user’s hands and other real world objects are being scanned and

FCC Chairman Encourages Activation of the FM Radio Receiver Built Into Your iPhone

FCC chairman Ajit Pai has advocated for the activation of FM radio receivers built into nearly every smartphone, as part of opening remarks he made at the Future of Radio and Audio Symposium in Washington D.C. yesterday. Many smartphones sold today, including iPhones, have an FM receiver built into the LTE modem that would allow people to listen to FM radio over the air; however, many carriers and phone makers have not enabled the functionality, forcing users to use an app to stream FM radio over Wi-Fi or cellular data. Pai cited a NAB study that found only 44% of the top-selling smartphones in the United States had activated FM receivers as of last year. The vast majority—94%—of the non-activated smartphones are iPhones, according to the study. "We could be doing a lot better," said Pai, who was appointed as FCC chairman last month. "It seems odd that every day we hear about a new smartphone app that lets you do something innovative, yet these modern-day mobile miracles don’t enable a key function offered by a 1982 Sony Walkman." The activation of FM receivers in iPhones would have several benefits, including battery life savings, less data usage, and most importantly, the ability to receive emergency alerts over radio without service. "You could make a case for activating chips on public safety grounds alone," added Pai. "The former head of our Federal Emergency Management Administration has spoken out in support of this proposal. The FCC has an expert advisory panel on public safety issues that has also advocated enabling FM radio chips on

Verizon Has Fastest LTE Network in the West, While T-Mobile Tops the East in Latest Study

Verizon has the fastest LTE network in western regions of the United States, while its up-and-coming rival T-Mobile has the top speeds throughout the east coast, according to a recent study by OpenSignal, which crowdsourced signal data from nearly 170,000 smartphone users who downloaded the OpenSignal app. OpenSignal divided the United States into five regions—the Midwest, Northeast, Southeast, Southwest, and West—and found that Verizon had the fastest LTE speeds in the West and Midwest, while T-Mobile was tops in the Northeast and Southeast. Verizon and T-Mobile had a statistical tie in the Southwest. Verizon had an average download speed of 20 Mbps in the Midwest, for example, compared to 18.4 Mbps for T-Mobile. Meanwhile, in the Northeast, T-Mobile's average download speed was 18.6 Mbps versus 17 Mbps for Verizon. OpenSignal's testing was completed in the fourth quarter of 2016. LTE speeds among all "Big Four" carriers in the United States, namely AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile, were fastest in the Midwest overall, while lowest in the Southwest, said OpenSignal. The geographical breakdown is a follow-up to OpenSignal's latest State of Mobile Networks report published last week. The original report, which included a city-by-city breakdown, found Verizon had the faster network in a number of major cities, including Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, and San