With 5G wave slowly taking off among the Android side, Apple seems to be in no mood to rush as the company is planning to hold on until at least 2020 for a 5G iPhone, according to sources. This delay will give a huge advantage to rivals like Samsung and Huawei to win over consumers by bringing phones with 5G early next year.
Similar to 3G and 4G, Apple will wait as long as a year after the initial deployment of the new networks before its main product gets the capability to access them. Apple’s calculations, which were proven correct in the past were that the new networks and the first versions of rival smartphones would come with problems such as spotty coverage, fluctuating speeds which would make consumers less compelled to immediately make a shift.
However, this time the 5G switch is a much bigger speed upgrade which is making Apple’s decision to wait riskier. The decision to sit on the sidelines may be related to the company’s feud with Qualcomm, who currently is the leader in 5G-enabled chips, and its alliance instead with Intel, who won’t have chips available in time to support 2019 phones.
It worked out for Apple in the past to wait until its rival brought out versions, but going into 2019, the stakes are higher and the leap from 4G to 5G is significant enough that it may become a major selling point for new devices. Samsung plans to launch 5G phones in its Galaxy range next year. Wireless carriers like Verizon Communications Inc. and AT&T Inc. are likely to prioritize the marketing of 5G phones in order to get customers to migrate over as soon as possible.