APPLE’S first 5G iPhone will be “late” if it arrives in 2020 as rumoured, a key rival has warned.
The tech giant is expected to launch the 5G iPhone next year, but we’re expecting the first wave of 5G handsets to arrive this year.
5G is the next generation of mobile internet, expected to deliver blisteringly fast download speeds – changing the way we use our handsets forever.
You’ll need a 5G phone contract – but you’ll also need a smartphone with a 5G chip inside, which lets it connect to the network.
Companies like Samsung, LG and OnePlus have all promised to deliver 5G smartphones in 2019 – but Apple is rumoured to launch its first 5G handset in 2020 instead.
“If you’re going to bring a device in 2020, you’re definitely going to be late for 5G,” blasted Jim Tran, who heads up handset tech at Qualcomm.
Qualcomm is a chip-making giant that is working with phone companies on supporting 5G.
Its new Snapdragon 855 smartphone chip can handle super-fast 5G connections.
And Qualcomm is working with Samsung and LG to get the chip inside 2019 smartphones.
“We’re ready to take consumers to a new age of 5G,” told reporters at this week’s CES 2019 tech show in Las Vegas.
“5G will be a reality in 2019. There are over 20 plus operators committed to working with Qualcomm to deliver this to consumers.”
A report by Bloomberg late last year suggested that Apple isn’t sure 5G networks will be good enough in 2019.
This belief is based on early network coverage from 3G and 4G networks.
“Apple’s previous calculations – proven correct – were that the new networks and the first versions of rival smartphones would come with problems such as spotty coverage, making consumers less compelled to immediately make the jump,” the report noted.
And Apple is also locked in an ongoing legal battle with Qualcomm, with rumours suggesting Apple is building its own rival 5G chip with Intel – to avoid working with Qualcomm.
“We believe right now the current timeline is for Apple to release its 5G phone in 2020 on a core Intel chip,” Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives previously told The Sun.
5G is expected to deliver significant boosts to smartphone internet speeds.
“You’ll be able to have 8K video streaming, where today you might only have 720p [screen resolution],” explained Tran.
“You’ll be able to download 4K movies in seconds.”
How fast will 5G be?
Here's what you need to know…
- 5G handsets will provide significantly faster internet speeds than modern handsets.
- Some users will be able to download several gigabits of data every second.
- At speeds of 1 gigabit-per-second, it would take eight seconds to download 1 gigabyte of data.
- Netflix says 4K video takes up about 7 gigabytes of space per hour of footage.
- So downloading an hour-and-a-half Netflix film in 4K to watch offline would require roughly 10GB of space.
- With a 5G connection, that would take just 1 minute and 20 seconds.
- And regular HD footage takes up about 3GB of footage per hour, so the same movie could be nabbed in High Definition roughly half the time.
- Qualcomm says one of its 5G chips – the Snapdragon X50 – promises around 4.5 gigabits-per-second speeds, based on testing.
- That could cut a 4K movie download down to around 20 seconds, if networks can beam those sorts of speeds to actual users.
The bad news for everyone is that 5G phones are likely to cost more than a bog standard handset.
“We believe based on initial industry feedback that price points will be £100 to £300 higher depending on the model when they officially launch,” Ives previously told The Sun.
Ives, of Wedbush Securities, said: “5G will be a potential game changer in terms of speed and functionality, and we expect higher price points on the horizon when they hit the ground.”
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Smartphone makers haven’t confirmed pricing for 5G phones just yet however, and Apple has not released any information on plans for a 5G iPhone.
As such, take all rumours with a pinch of salt until we receive official details.
We’ve asked Apple for comment and will update this article with any response.
Are you hoping to buy a 5G smartphone this year? Let us know in the comments.
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