Apple is reportedly launching a new generation of iPhone 12s next week, with increased support for the 5G network. Unfortunately, so far, U.S. mobile operators are not fully prepared for the technology. Apple announced in the early hours of October 7th that it would hold a global launch at 1am Beijing time on October 14th, which would be Apple’s second autumn launch this year.
Apple will release the long-awaited new generation of iPhone 12, the report said.
The 5G will be a central topic at the launch and one of the main selling points of the iPhone 12. Compared to current 4G LTE technology, 5G will make the iPhone cellular network download many times faster. But in some developed markets, such as the United States, 5G network coverage is still limited.
Verizon Communications, AT&T and T-Mobile, the three largest mobile operators in the U.S., have so far not launched a “real” 5G network, or a truly high-speed or widely-reached 5G service. If these companies don’t upgrade their networks quickly, many consumers who buy the latest iPhones may find that the main features of the iPhone 12 have become bland.
In the first half of this year, RootMetrics, a unit of research firm IHS Markit, tested 5G networks in 125 U.S. regions. The test found that the 5G network speeds of AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint were only slightly faster than the 4G LTE.
Both AT&T and T-Mobile claim that their 5G networks cover “the United States,” meaning they can reach 200 million people in the United States. But in fact, their 5G network coverage is still sporadic, and data speeds are not always fast.
Verizon’s 5G network, which uses millimeter-wave technology, is much faster, but can only be used in parts of 36 cities. Also, the signal deteriorates rapidly due to frequency.
Verizon, of course, expects to announce the launch of 5G services nationwide as early as next week, according to people familiar with the matter. In addition, T-Mobile has recently boasted about speeding up.
In the first quarter of this year, Samsung-led handset makers shipped 3.4 million 5G handsets in the U.S., a fraction of the market, according to State Analytics, a research firm.
In other countries, by contrast, 5G fared much better. In the second quarter of this year, 5G accounted for a third of all phones sold in China, according to Countrypoint Research, another research firm.
For next Wednesday’s fall launch, apple will release four new iPhones, the iPhone 12 Mini (5.4 inches), the iPhone 12 (6.1 inches), the iPhone 12 Pro (6.1 inches) and the iPhone 12 Pro Max (6.7 inches), starting at $699, $799 and $1099, respectively.