India presses Apple for faster 5G software upgrades in iPhones

India’s government is pushing Apple and others to expedite software upgrades to support the flavors of 5G in the country, amid concerns that iPhones and iPhone knockoffs are not ready for the just-launched high-speed service in India.

India presses Apple for faster 5G software upgrades in iPhones

Aditya Kalra and Munsif Vengattil for Reuters:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched 5G services on Oct. 1 amid much fanfare, with leading telecom operator Reliance Jio saying it would make the service available in four cities and rival Bharti Airtel in eight. Both companies said the service would be expanded next year.

But Apple’s iPhone models, including the latest iPhone 14, and many of Samsung’s premier phones do not have software compatible for supporting 5G in India, according to three industry sources and Airtel’s website.

Concerned by this, top bureaucrats from India’s telecoms and IT departments will chair a meeting on Wednesday for early 5G adoption, asking smartphone executives from foreign companies Apple, Samsung, Vivo and Xiaomi, as well as domestic telecom operators Reliance, Airtel and Vodafone Idea to be present, according to a government document seen by Reuters.

Airtel’s website on Tuesday showed “Apple yet to update software” for all of Apple iPhones’ 12 to 14 models under its 5G compatible section. For Samsung too, many models were not ready, Airtel stated, while more than three dozen models of China’s Xiaomi and Vivo were shown as ready for use with its 5G service.

“Apple has been taking a lot of time. Airtel has been concerned about this as many of their premium clients are on Apple devices,” said a second industry source with direct knowledge of the situation, who added Apple and Airtel have been holding talks.

A third source with direct knowledge of the issue said Apple was in the process of testing and validating different 5G offerings from network providers in India.

MacDailyNews Take: Don’tcha know 5G kills bees?

(For those of you in Rio Linda, that was a joke.)

Seriously, though, it’s very early in India for 5G and it takes time to field test these updates and Apple, at least, wants to guarantee that their 5G iPhones will work reliably with India’s 5G flavors.

Patience, Padawans.

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1 Comment

  1. The real issue is India’s internal telecoms not supporting international standards and the Indian government supporting that fiasco. The telecoms support waveforms that are nearly unique to India. If the Indian government had required the Indian telecoms to support what the vast majority of the world supports then this would be a non issue.

    Because the Indian government did not push for its telecoms to support what the vast majority of the world does, it is now complaining that the major mobile phone manufacturers (all headquartered outside India, obviously) are not doing enough for the Indian people. It really is just leverage to get these companies to do more manufacturing and software development in India.

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