Apple to Wait Until at Least 2020 to Release 5G iPhones

Apple won't release an iPhone that can connect to 5G data networks until at least 2020, claims a new report out today.

According to Bloomberg's sources, Apple is planning to delay its support for the next generation of high-speed mobile services coming in 2019, just as it did for previous generations.

iphone xs 5g

As with 3G and 4G, the two previous generations of mobile technology, Apple will wait as long as a year after the initial deployment of the new networks before its main product gets the capability to access them, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing the company's plans.

According to Bloomberg, Apple delayed support for previous mobile network upgrades because it accurately predicted that the first versions of rival smartphones would suffer from problems like poor coverage.

However, 5G advocates argue that delaying support for the upcoming network upgrade is a bigger risk for Apple, since it represents a much bigger speed boost over previous generations, making the leap from 4G to 5G significant enough to become a major selling point for new devices.

5G advocates believe the danger for Apple is that it will be left behind by rivals like Samsung, who could exploit the delay and attract more consumers to its Galaxy smartphones, which are expected to support 5G networks next year. Likewise, Chinese mobile makers Oppo and Huawei have also signaled that they plan to offer 5G phones.

Bloomberg suggests that Apple's decision to wait another year before supporting 5G could be related to the company's feud with Qualcomm, a leader in 5G-enabled chips, and it's partnership instead with Intel, which won't have 5G chips ready in time for 2019 phones.

Rumors late last year suggested Intel and Apple were already working on 5G chip technology for future iPhone devices. Intel is said to have thousands of people working on 5G tech to catch up with Qualcomm and win Apple's 5G modem contract.

Huawei and Samsung have the manufacturing infrastructure to build 5G modems, but Apple is said to be unlikely to use chips from its smartphone rivals, who could struggle to produce adequate supplies for the iPhone's huge volumes anyway.

Whatever the reason behind the delay, some analysts believe Apple's decision could have an impact on its iPhone customer base.

"Apple has always been a laggard in cellular technology," said Mark Hung, an analyst at Gartner who spoke to Bloomberg. "They weren't impacted in the past, but 5G is going to be much easier to market. But if they wait beyond 2020, then I think they'll be impacted."

Related Roundup: iPhone 12
Buyer's Guide: iPhone 12 (Caution)
Related Forum: iPhone

Top Rated Comments

bluush Avatar
35 months ago
Classic Apple. Be the last one on the block to show up to the party, and charge the highest price for the honor.

Every product that could be out in 2019 is now pushed to 2020. Every other company will beat Apple to the punch.

"Think Different. Act much later."
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tromboneaholic Avatar
35 months ago

According to Bloomberg ('https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-12-03/apple-is-said-to-miss-rapid-5g-takeoff-sitting-out-tech-shift')'s sources,
You lost me at Bloomberg.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rmoliv Avatar
35 months ago
I will upgrade only in 2020 then.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
newdeal Avatar
35 months ago
5G, using up your data plan in a fraction of a second since 2020
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bbplayer5 Avatar
35 months ago
Ill be honest, I hardly even use the speed of LTE, let alone a 5G option. 5G seems more geared for home internet.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BootsWalking Avatar
35 months ago
Which means by the time these 5G iPhones come out Apple will be charging $2k for the base model with an LCD display.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

General Apps Messages

All Three Major U.S. Carriers and Google Adopt Rich Communication Services, But No Sign of Apple Interest

Tuesday July 20, 2021 1:15 pm PDT by
For the last several years, Google has been pushing a new communications protocol called Rich Communication Services, or RCS. RCS is designed to replace SMS, the current text message standard, and it offers support for higher resolution photos and videos, audio messages, bigger file sizes, better encryption, improved group chat, and more. Verizon today announced that it is planning to adopt...
AirPods Pro Beta Firmware

AirPods Pro Beta Firmware Now Available

Wednesday July 21, 2021 6:50 am PDT by
Upcoming AirPods Pro firmware updates are now available to Apple Developer Program members as beta versions. AirPods Pro firmware beta one features FaceTime Spatial Audio and Ambient Noise Reduction. Custom Transparency mode, including Conversation Boost, was initially expected to be included in the beta but appears to have been delayed for a later version. Apple made the announcement...
maxresdefault

Apple Music to Livestream Premiere of Kanye West's New Album 'Donda' on Thursday

Wednesday July 21, 2021 1:49 am PDT by
Apple Music on Thursday will host a global livestream for the premiere of Kanye West's tenth studio album, titled "Donda." The sold-out event will take place at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, and Apple Music's livestream will start at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The livestream was revealed in a Beats Studio Buds ad that aired during the NBA Finals. The ad features U.S. track...
ios wifi settings

Apple Confirms iOS 14.7 Fixes WiFi Bug and Many Other Vulnerabilities

Wednesday July 21, 2021 11:38 am PDT by
Following the release of iPadOS 14.7 this morning, Apple has shared details on the security updates that are included in iOS 14.7, iPadOS 14.7, macOS Big Sur 11.5, watchOS 7.6, and tvOS 14.7, all of which came out this week. Notably, Apple's documentation confirms that the iOS 14.7 and iPadOS 14.7 updates address a WiFi-related vulnerability that could impact iOS devices when joining a...
16 inch macbook pro m2 render

Gurman: Redesigned MacBook Pros to Launch Between September and November

Sunday July 18, 2021 7:39 am PDT by
Apple can be expected to release its redesigned 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros sometime between September and November, as part of another packed fall season for new product launches, according to Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman. In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Gurman says that the new MacBook Pros will go into production in the third quarter and can be expected to be...
macOS Malware Feature

Common Windows Malware Can Now Infect Macs

Wednesday July 21, 2021 8:13 am PDT by
A common form of malware on Windows systems has been modified into a new strain called "XLoader" that can also target macOS (via Bleeping Computer). Derived from the Formbook info-stealer for Windows, XLoader is a form of cross-platform malware advertised as a botnet with no dependencies. It is used to steal login credentials, capture screenshots, log keystrokes, and execute malicious files. ...
magsafe battery pack solo

Hands-On With Apple's MagSafe Battery Pack

Tuesday July 20, 2021 11:14 am PDT by
The new MagSafe Battery Pack that Apple debuted this week is arriving to customers starting today and it's also now available for in-store pickup in many Apple retail locations around the world. We snagged one this morning and thought we'd take a look at it to let MacRumors readers know if it's worth the $99 asking price. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. As the name ...
macOS Big Sur Feature Orange

Apple Releases macOS Big Sur 11.5 With Podcast App Updates and Bug Fixes

Wednesday July 21, 2021 10:15 am PDT by
Apple today released macOS Big Sur 11.5, the fifth major update to the macOS Big Sur operating system that launched in November 2020. macOS Big Sur 11.5 comes two months after the release of macOS Big Sur 11.4. The new ‌‌‌‌‌macOS Big Sur‌‌‌‌ 11.5 update can be downloaded for free on all eligible Macs using the Software Update section of System Preferences. macOS Big Sur...
apple tv 4k design green

Apple Releases tvOS 14.7 for Apple TV HD and Apple TV 4K

Monday July 19, 2021 10:04 am PDT by
Apple today released tvOS 14.7, the seventh update to the tvOS 14 operating system that initially debuted in September 2020. tvOS 14.7 comes two months after the launch of the tvOS 14.6 update. tvOS 14.7, which is a free update, can be downloaded over the air through the Settings app on the Apple TV by going to System > Software Update. ‌‌Apple TV‌‌ owners who have automatic software ...
ipad pro m1 feature

Apple Releases iPadOS 14.7 With Apple Card Merging Option, Fix for 3.5mm Headphone Jack to USB-C Adapter Bug

Wednesday July 21, 2021 10:18 am PDT by
Apple today released iPadOS 14.7, marking the seventh major update to the iPadOS operating system that came out in September 2020. Apple already released iOS 14.7 on July 19, but for some reason, delayed the iPadOS 14.7 debut until today. The iPadOS 14.7 update can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new ...