Apple won't be the first major vendor offering a 5G smartphone, but all three iPhones scheduled for release in 2020 will accommodate the new cellular network.
Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of TF International Securities said 5G will be on all the new phones, not just on the two highest-end models, CNBC reported on Monday (July 29).
The 2020 iPhones will be able to better compete with lower-priced Android phones, Kuo said. Limited 5G support is already available on $250 Android phones.
“Apple has more resources for developing the 5G iPhone after the acquisition of Intel baseband business,” Kuo said in his note to the news outlet. “Consumers will think that 5G is the necessary function” by the time they’re launched, he added.
Most Android phones will support the sub-6GHz version of 5G, but not the mmWave version, which offers more speed, Kuo said.
“Therefore, iPhone models which will be sold at higher prices have to support 5G for winning more subsidies from mobile operators and consumers’ purchase intention,” according to his statement.
Last month, Kuo reported that next year’s 5.4-inch and 6.7-inch iPhone models would support 5G, while a third, a cheaper 6.1-inch iPhone XR successor would only access LTE networks. This new report from Kuo comes on the heels of Apple’s $1 billion purchase of the majority of Intel’s modem business.
Apple is also reportedly making its own 5G chips, which could be ready as soon as 2022 or ‘23. The company is moving forward on the tech despite the U.S. ban on Huawei.
Lackluster demand for iPhones in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan promoted Apple to slash prices by close to 6 percent. Additionally, the smartphone market is getting saturated. Consumers are holding on to their phones for longer, lengthening the replacement cycle. All of that has hurt Apple the most, with its stature declining in the country.
The new 5G technology allows for faster data speeds, and won’t just be used in phones, but also in cameras, self-driving cars and all kinds of Internet of Things (IoT) devices in cities and homes.