Why Apple’s ‘iPhone 11’ will sell perfectly well, despite lacking 5G

While some suggest that Apple’s 2019 iPhones may not necessarily be a worthwhile investment without 5G connectivity, the vast majority of existing iPhone owners are still interested in upgrading according to a recent survey.

Mike Wuerthele and Malcolm Owen for AppleInsider:

A survey by smartphone and electronics buyback firm Decluttr suggests analyst expectations on consumer behavior for the iPhone 11 may be an underestimation. According to the survey of 2,003 smartphone owners at the start of August, 82% of consumers claimed the speculation and rumors of a lack of updates to the iPhone 11 “hasn’t changed their intent to purchase,” or became more interested in purchasing the models. The remaining 18% were swayed by the rumors, making them less inclined towards the new releases.

Pricing remains a major factor in whether or not consumers upgrade to the newest model. Approximately 19% of consumers are willing to pay more than $1,000 for a smartphone, with 82% saying they could pay between $500 and $1,000. The price sensitivity could affect the sales of upper-tier models if they are priced into four figures, or could push more consumers towards acquiring the cheaper iPhone XR replacement.

Of iPhone users surveyed, 64% either didn’t know when 5G was coming to an Apple device, or believe it is already available to use. Only 9% were aware of the difference between 5G and 5GE, AT&T’s name for its improved network in some locations. Further emphasizing the point that there is mass consumer confusion about 5G, the survey found that about 28% of people had the impression 5G will increase data storage space on their devices, and 16% thought 5G improves screen resolution. Ultimately, only 25% of those surveyed agree it was important to own a smartphone with 5G, whereas a vague “faster performance” need remained the most important feature improvement at 64%.

MacDailyNews Take: Can’t wait for those 5G Retina displays!

Of course, iPhone could have [no new features] and still sell 40+ million units every 90 days. And, also of course, Apple will have a new A13 that’s more efficient along with iOS 13 which will also improve efficiency, so better battery life is likely in the offing. New cameras, especially on the back, along with new features for Apple’s Camera app are a given and will be the major focus for selling these pre-5G placeholder iPhones to customers through fall 2020 when The Mother of All iPhone Upgrade Cycles™ finally hits! — MacDailyNews, August 18, 2019

As for AT&T peddling ‘fake 5G’ with their misleading “5GE” moniker:

The “G E” stands for Gigantic Exaggeration.

“ATT” stands for Attempts To Trick.

“5G E.” Ugh. False advertising by any other name would smell as foul. — MacDailyNews, January 9, 2019


  1. The poor peasants of Monaco, the world’s first fully 5G wireless phone nation, are disappointed. If Apple can’t keep on the leading edge, are they no longer worthy to be considered a top phone innovator? These key formerly Apple-demographic folks will just have to shop for Google OnePlus7, Huawei Mate X, Huawei P30, LG V50 ThinQ, Oppo Reno, Samsung S10, or Xiaomi MiMIX3 phones this year. What if they find they like these phones as well as their old iPhones?

  2. Not to me my next purchase of $1000 plus phone will be one which includes 5G nothing else makes sense. I want to 5G phone whether or not I use the feature or not. Sticking with my XS Max

  3. Apart from Apple, every company’s flagship smartphone will come with 5G support and if that’s what consumers really want, then Apple will have a difficult time selling their iPhone. I would hardly think 5G matters to most consumers as their aren’t yet enough 5G cell towers to go around. I still think the deciding factor of iPhone sales is the price and if Apple charges less, then they’ll sell more iPhones whether they have 5G or not.

    Only a few tech-heads are going to be demanding 5G because they always have to boast about their smartphone having the latest features. I get that many consumers have to have bragging rights, but many consumers should will be willing to wait for another year for the 5G infrastructure to catch up. What’s the point of buying a 5G smartphone if that feature can rarely be be taken advantage of. I also wouldn’t think it likely that many consumers will leave the iOS ecosystem for a 5G Android smartphone when they can just wait until next year for a 5G iPhone.

    I have my doubts about the iPhone selling perfectly well when the price is so high, but we’ll just have to see about that.

  4. Even if your phone has 5G. Won’t do you much good, when there’s no 5G towers to be had.

    First wide spread effective use of 5G won’t be ready, coast to coast, until 2022. Just wait until 2022, before then, it’s just marketing.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.