Apple prepares to launch 5G iPhones into unprepared U.S. market

Apple is set to feature 5G as a significant new technology to this year’s batch of iPhones, but the U.S. network is still not ready for 5G for the masses.

Image: iPhone 12 render (image via
iPhone 12 render (image via

Mark Gurman for Bloomberg:

The country’s three largest wireless carriers, Verizon Communications Inc., AT&T Inc. and T-Mobile US Inc., have yet to roll out 5G in a way that provides consistently higher data speeds or widespread coverage.

Apple has asked suppliers to build as many as 80 million of the new iPhones this year, Bloomberg News has reported. Investors and analysts are bullish about the devices, partly because 5G networks are more built out in China. This year’s crop of new iPhones also marks the first major redesign in three years, which could spur more upgrades.

Tests by IHS Markit’s RootMetrics across 125 U.S. areas in the first half of 2020 showed that 5G speeds on AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint are only slightly faster than 4G LTE. AT&T and T-Mobile, which is buying Sprint, have both claimed their 5G networks are available “nationwide,” a metric that means they can reach 200 million people, but coverage is still often sporadic and data speeds are not consistently faster.

Verizon has a much quicker 5G network that uses ultra wideband, or millimeter wave technology, but that is only live in parts of 36 cities and suffers rapid signal degradation due to its frequency.

MacDailyNews Take: 5G doesn’t really arrive until it arrives on Apple’s iPhone. Once there are 5G-capable iPhones in customers’ hands, the carriers will begin competing for the world’s most-coveted smartphone users and 5G will spread in the U.S. and around the world much more rapidly.


  1. Don’t use the cellular data network. The new spec that really matters is 802.11ax WiFi 6. I only use WiFi and I’ve already upgraded my home network to WiFi 6. This is a much more efficient use of data. Battery life will be much longer under WiFi 6.

    1. Yes. this is what I’d like to find out.. is it using the new chips that support WiFi 6E that utilizes the 6GHz spectrum… or is it just WiFi 6 limited to 5Ghz. 6ghz hasn’t been approved in most of the other countries, so maybe that’s another reason why there is a difference for phones sold in U.S..

  2. 5G networks are much more advanced around the world than in the US, and at more usable frequencies. Apple is not launching this iPhone to spur rollout abroad – its to keep up with other manufacturers in the RoW. Apple is a global company that happens to originate in the US. Worth being less US centric in consideration.

  3. I seem to recall a raft of articles last year about how Apple was late to 5G and all of its competitors had 5G and the sky was falling and Tim Cook should be tarred and feathered and blah blah blah.

  4. Apple follows and finally gets 5G out to the market. Apple will also try and persuade its fanboy base that they were the first to bring out 5G handsets and they will also say they invented 5G along with radio waves etc. Next year Apple may try to be innovative and who knows…my money will be on the much rumoured iToaster. Not only will iToaster be able to toast but it will also update you on Apple Inc share price and has two small speakers to play back your favourite songs and not forgetting a touchscreen to control the toaster.

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