AWT News Update: April 10, 2017

Happy Monday! A lot of news to cover on today's podcast:

  • Be sure to watch AWT TV tonight at 6:30 PM PDT / 9:30 PM EDT live on our YouTube channel
  • Teenagers love their iPhones, and they're even more excited about the 2017 model
  • The FCC is dropping 2013's plans to let people use their phones on airplanes to make calls
  • AT&T purchased Straight Path Communications, a critical step in being first to market with a 5G cellular network

The text version of the podcast can be viewed below. To listen to the podcast here, click the play button on the player below. Note to Apple News readers: you’ll need to visit Apple World Today in order to listen to the podcast.

Text Version

This is Steve Sande for Apple World Today, and you’re listening to the AWT News Update for April 10th, 2017. Many thanks to last week’s sponsor of Apple World Today — eversign, a comprehensive digital signature platform for enterprises and individuals. Find out more about eversign by clicking the link in the show notes.

Please note that there was NOT an AWT News Update last Friday as I was attending the home opener of the Major League Baseball Colorado Rockies here in Denver.

A reminder that tonight’s Monday night…which means it is time for AWT TV. I won’t be on tonight’s live show, but you can join my buddies Marty Edwards and Dennis Sellers on our YouTube channel at 6:30 PM PDT / 9:30 PM EDT. That channel’s at https://youtube.com/c/appleworldtoday.

If it seems that every teenager you see is carrying an iPhone, well, you’re right. According to a survey by investment firm Piper Jaffray, 76 percent of teens surveyed own an iPhone, up from 69 percent a year ago. 81 percent of teens surveyed expect their next phone to be an iPhone, and that number is up from 75 percent last year. Piper Jaffray thinks the jump in the numbers is due to excitement about the upcoming 2017 iPhone, which we expect to have an OLED display with an edge-to-edge design, a glass body, faster processor, no Home button, and wireless charging capabilities. The Apple Watch, however, still appears to be more popular with adults than teens, with only 13 percent of those surveyed saying that they expect to buy an Apple Watch in the next six months. What’s the most popular fitness band with teens? Fitbit at 71 percent, with Apple well behind in second place at 10 percent.

There’s good news today for frequent fliers. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai wants to continue disallowing full smartphone use on commercial flights, terminating 2013 plans to allow passengers to use their phones on airplanes during flight to make voice calls. Pai said it all in a statement made today: “I stand with airline pilots, flight attendants, and America’s flying public against the FCC’s ill-conceived 2013 plan to allow people to make cellphone calls on planes. I do not believe that moving forward with this plan is in the public interest. Taking it off the table permanently will be a victory for Americans across the country who, like me, value a moment of quiet at 30,000 feet.”

These days, we use 4G LTE networks for what seems like fairly fast cellular data connectivity, but it’s nothing compared to what’s in the works for the fifth-generation or 5G networks. These networks will most likely be available to future iPhones and will run anywhere from 10 to 100 times faster than existing cellular networks. Today, AT&T made a giant step towards establishing a nationwide 5G wireless network by purchasing Straight Path Communications for $1.6 billion. Straight Path is one of the largest holders of spectrum in the 28 and 39 gigahertz bands, which is where 5G is expected to operate. The company purchased the spectrum during auctions and apparently misrepresented its progress in getting things going in the 5G world. As part of a settlement with the FCC, Straight Path put itself up for sale and that’s when AT&T popped the question. This purchase could give AT&T a major edge in 5G deployment over Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint.

That’s all for today; I’ll be back tomorrow afternoon with another edition of the AWT News Update.