Apple Expected to Launch 3 New iPhones With 5G Compatibility Next Year

The deal between Apple and Intel won't close until the last quarter of 2019 and that leaves the company a little over a year to develop in-house 5G modems for the iPhone.

Another reason for Apple's confidence is that it recently acquired a "majority" of Intel's modem business for $1 billion, bringing in much-needed talent to reduce its reliance on Qualcomm.

Apple holds its annual iPhone event in early September with availability coming later in the month, which means if Apple sticks with the same timeline this year, we're about two months away from the new iPhones coming out. "But the key is that consumers will think that 5G is the necessary function in 2020", Kuo was quoted as saying. Ming-Chi Kuo is one of the most reliable Apple analysts so it seems more likely at this point, though Apple could always change its plans. Therefore, iPhone models which will be sold at higher prices have to support 5G for winning more subsidies from mobile operators and consumers' purchase intention.

In addition Kuo predicts that by the second half of 2020 the price of 5G Android phones expected to start at around $250-350 will force Apple to provide 5G even on its entry-level device.

Finally, he believes boosting 5G development will boost Apple's augmented reality ecosystem.

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Kuo reckons all three new iPhone models in 2020 will support mmWave and sub-6GHz spectrums for the USA market, but the company may also target the lower-end market by making a device that only supports sub-6GHz. Kuo had previously predicted that only premium 6.7-inch and 5.4-inch iPhones would support 5G.

The good news is Apple has several ways it can still make money from the 900 million iPhones in use today. Apple's current lineup has two OLED models (iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max) and one LCD model (iPhone XR).

An important thing to note here is those Android phones won't support both mmWave and sub-6Ghz bands, while the next year iPhones will - at least the US models.

Sub-6GHz 5G networks aren't as fast as those using mmWave technology, but the signals travel farther and can penetrate barriers such as walls and glass that stop short-range mmWave signals.

  • Delia Davidson