AT&T: Economic Pressures Could Curb Consumer Enthusiasm For iPhone 5G

AT&T is warning against too much optimism over the rollout of new Apple 5G iPhone technology supposedly slated for October, CNBC reported.

AT&T Communications CEO Jeff McElfresh said he'd "always tried to soften folks’ expectations around 5G,” according to CNBC.

This comes after Apple predicted mass swathes of people coming online with the new, speedier technology, asking suppliers for around 75 million 5G-capable iPhones. The tech giant plans to ship as many as 80 million worldwide, according to PYMNTS.

McElfresh said the speed will be akin to home broadband, which some users will readily pay for. But others, he said, won't want to pay extra money, as they could be satisfied with the 4G technology, CNBC reported.

McElfresh clarified that he didn't think the much-touted rollout would be a non-event, but that the consumers, facing the current coronavirus economy, will make frugal decisions based on what's best for them, according to CNBC.

5G technology has been touted as the future of internet connectivity, with faster speeds than ever before and the potential to unlock new facets of the technology like autonomous vehicles and smart appliances. But the rollout has been slow, and most customers might not see benefits that big businesses or other larger customers do, CNBC reported.

While that's going on, McElfresh told CNBC that AT&T engineers are working on 6G, which will work with the progress made in the past decade on connected machines and artificial intelligence.

Apple's plans are to launch four new 5G phones this October, which wasn't officially announced but has been only a casually-guarded secret this year, PYMNTS reported. Some of the benefits tech gurus have seen include dressing room technology to hit customers with more personalized ads. The tech will come with the ability to connect spaces for retailers more easily, meaning they can share data and use “smart shelves” to communicate when items need to be re-stocked.



The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.