Apple’s latest tease: “Hi, Speed.” 5G speed, that is. The company is gearing up to introduce its iPhone 12 lineup next week, and the biggest new feature is likely to be something commonly found in Android smartphones; next-generation 5G cellular connectivity.
The new version of wireless networks started rolling out across the globe last year and picked up speed in 2020. Virtually all new Android phones arriving in the US today offer 5G, and the country’s biggest carriers have been talking nonstop about the connectivity. Now that Apple is jumping into the fray with its 5G-enabled iPhone 12 models, the buzz about 5G is only going to get louder — even if consumers in places like the US aren’t exactly clamoring for 5G devices.
Apple on Tuesday sent out its invites for a virtual event on Oct. 13, where it’s widely expected to show off its new iPhone lineup, with devices likely called the iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max. Most, if not all, of the phones will sport 5G connectivity, which has the potential to be much faster than 4G. The devices will likely go on presale late next week before arriving in stores the following week.
Apple typically isn’t the first to introduce new technology, like mobile payments and wireless charging. It was at least a generation behind in adopting 3G and 4G LTE cellular capabilities in earlier iPhones. But once it jumps in, it tends to dominate and shape the market in ways other handset makers can’t. The same thing is expected to happen with 5G, which industry observers think could drive a huge uptick in iPhone demand. It’s a clear way for Apple to differentiate its new devices from its older models, as well as spur new innovations and services that tap into the high speeds and zippy responsiveness 5G offers.
When Apple sells its first 5G iPhones this year, it’ll immediately become one of the top 5G phone vendors in the world, even though its first phones aren’t hitting the market until the fourth quarter.
This year, Apple will leapfrog Samsung — which has about a dozen 5G phone models available and which shipped over half of 2019’s 5G units — to become the second-largest 5G phone seller after Huawei, according to Strategy Analytics. And next year, Apple will be the world’s biggest 5G phone vendor, Strategy Analytics said, shipping an estimated 180 million of 2021’s 670 million 5G phones.
“There’s a so-called Apple effect,” Strategy Analytics analyst Ville-Petteri Ukonaho said. “Whatever Apple does, it almost immediately becomes a success.”
But first, the company’s task will be showing consumers why 5G is worth the upgrade.
Apple declined to comment ahead of its event.
When will Apple sell the iPhone 12?
Apple on Tuesday said its next event, which will be virtual, will take place Oct. 13, about a month later than its normal iPhone launch timing. Preorders are likely to start the 16th, followed by availability in stores — at least the ones that are open — the following Friday.
Apple in July warned that its newest iPhones would “be available a few weeks later” than normal because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It still held an event in September but focused on its Apple Watches and iPads instead of its phones…Read more>>