Rumor has it the Cupertino tech giant won’t release a 5G iPhone until 2020. Apple’s 2020 iPhone lineup will reportedly feature Intel’s 8161 5G modem chip. If so, Apple is being true to form and in this case is going to wait for better 5G coverage.
Carriers are starting to launch 5G, so Apple will probably release a 5G iPhone next year, right? Not so fast.
An unnamed source “with knowledge of Apple’s plans” told Fast Company that the Cupertino tech giant won’t release a 5G iPhone until 2020. Apple’s 2020 iPhone lineup will reportedly feature Intel’s 8161 5G modem chip.
The report notes that Apple is planning to use 5G modems from Intel exclusively, as long as the chipmaker can sort out overheating and battery drain issues caused by its first 5G modem, the 8060. As a backup, Apple has also had discussions with MediaTek about possibly using its 5G chips.
Apple did not immediately respond to PCMag’s request for comment.
Fast Company’s report backs up a prediction from PCMag’s Lead Mobile Analyst Sascha Segan, who also believes Apple will wait until 2020 to launch its first 5G iPhone.
“Apple has never been leading-edge on radio technology,” Segan pointed out. “The first iPhone came out as 2G in a 3G world. The first LTE iPhone, the iPhone 5, arrived almost two years after Verizon started rolling out LTE.”
While all four major US carriers—Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile—have said they’re launching 5G either this year or early next, Segan predicts Apple will wait until 2020 for better coverage.
Meanwhile, consumers aren’t exactly chomping at the bit for 5G, as a recent survey from PricewaterhouseCoopers revealed. Just 26 percent of the 1,000 US internet users PwC polled in September said they would buy a new 5G-compatible device as soon as their wireless provider starts offering the service in their area, even if they weren’t yet eligible for an upgrade. The other 74 percent said they would ride out their current contract before upgrading.