Apple does not need an ‘iPhone 5G’ this year

Danny Vena, The Motley Fool:

The coming of fifth-generation cellular technology (5G) is bearing down, bringing with it a paradigm shift regarding what can be accomplished on mobile networks… Average download speeds are expected to about 1 gigabyte per second (GBps), which is as much as 100 times faster than what is currently available.

Rumors about Apple’s upcoming iPhones abound, and many believe that the company will be holding a product launch on Sept. 10 that will include updates and new versions of its most popular devices. One of the more recent reports suggests that 5G won’t be available for the products expected to debut next month.

By most accounts, the rollout of 5G technology is only just beginning, so Apple won’t be missing the boat. The most comprehensive wave of the speedier wireless technology isn’t expected to launch until 2020 or beyond, so Apple will have plenty of time to perfect its 5G-compatible devices before the biggest upgrade cycle begins. Apple does plan to release 5G-ready devices in 2020, according to Bloomberg.

MacDailyNews Take: Exactly.

We’ll hear a lot of noise from the very vocal super-minority about how “Apple’s fallen behind” by not offering a radio that can communicate with a network that isn’t available to pretty much everyone yet, but that’s all it’ll be: meaningless noise that won’t affect regular people’s iPhone purchases. Late 2020 is the beginning of the 5G revolution, not 2019. — MacDailyNews, August 22, 2019


  1. It’s not a matter of need. It’s a matter of marketing bragging rights. Every Android smartphone manufacturer will point out how their smartphone has 5G and how the iPhone doesn’t. They can tell potential iPhone buyers that they shouldn’t be paying more to get less. Who cares if you need to live under a 5G cell tower to get blazing fast speeds? Tech-heads want to live in the fast lane even if they exceed their monthly data cap in a matter of minutes. If those same people walk around the corner and 5G suddenly drops back to 4G, they can always run back to standing beneath the 5G cell tower and run a speed test to keep themselves amused.

    Every Youtuber in the world will be happy to tell everyone who’s tuned in to their channel how the iPhone doesn’t have 5G and how Apple has lost all of its innovation chops. Every flagship Android smartphone will have Qualcomm’s 5G chip except for Apple’s iPhone. I agree 5G shouldn’t really matter this year, but marketing will say it does and Apple ends up looking stupid. If iPhone sales are down for other reasons, the analysts will still claim it’s because the iPhone doesn’t have 5G and everyone will believe “Apple has fallen behind” because they enjoy hearing how David slew Goliath stories. I think most consumers don’t give a damn about 5G and many consumers in the U.S. are lucky to get full 4G, but companies need to sell features to get higher sales. I have no interest in 5G because where I live, there are plenty of WiFi hot-spots and that’s more than good enough for me.

    I grew up with dial-up modems so I know things are still pretty quick on 4G but these young people can’t wait for anything. They whine and moan if some action is a few milliseconds too slow. It’s really quite stupid but that’s just how things are.

  2. I’m deeply skeptical about these reports of super high download speeds with 5G. Yes, the phone to the antenna may be very fast, but the back end is often slower. LTE is very fast, but in crowded places the actual download speed is much slower.

    1. I agree. Also, even if true, how would 100x faster downloads not drain your battery 100x faster… i.e. kill it in a couple minutes flat, if it doesn’t overheat and explode first?

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