• Wednesday, Jun 23, 2021
  • Last Update : 05:53 pm

Analysis: New Apple iPhone 12 to offer 5G speeds US networks can't deliver

  • Published at 08:36 am October 13th, 2020
Apple Inc
File photo: The Apple Inc. logo is seen hanging at the entrance to the Apple store on 5th Avenue in Manhattan, New York, US, October 16, 2019 Reuters

The device can tap into fifth generation wireless technology that theoretically operates as much as 10 to 20 times faster than current 4G wireless networks

5G will finally get its US closeup with the expected debut of Apple Inc’s next iPhone on Tuesday. But the blazing speeds promised will not materialize for most people.

The device, dubbed the iPhone 12 by analysts, can tap into 5G, or fifth generation wireless technology, that theoretically operates as much as 10 to 20 times faster than current 4G wireless networks.

Using the next iPhone or any 5G enabled device on today’s network, however, will be “like having a Ferrari ... but using it in your local village and you can’t drive to up to 200 miles per hour, simply because the roads cannot maintain those speeds,” explained Boris Metodiev, associate director of research firm Strategy Analytics.

Apple, which is expected to unveil the new phone at a virtual event on Tuesday, will need to walk a tightrope between enticing consumers to upgrade their phones while not over-promising what 5G can do today.

Current 5G US networks mostly use low-band wireless spectrum, or airspace, that is slower than high-band spectrum, but more reliable over longer distances. It will likely take years before the massive speed boost phone carriers promise will make augmented reality and real-time cloud gaming seamless.

Several US telecom operators have deployed networks based on lower spectrum bands, with slightly higher speeds than 4G. A noticeably faster variant of “mid-band” 5G is also being rolled out, but it is unlikely to reach three-quarters of Americans until 2025, estimated longtime Apple analyst Gene Munster of venture capitalist firm Loup Ventures.

The fastest speeds touted by carriers are a type of 5G called millimeter Wave, or mmWave, that work over shorter distances. Verizon Communications Inc has the largest current mmWave network, available only in limited areas.


Also read: Report: Apple to unveil iPhone 12 on Oct 13


Although Verizon 5G users could connect almost 10 times faster than on Sprint and T-Mobile, actual average speeds were far lower, according to research firm OpenSignal’s mobile signal experience report in June.

On average, AT&T Inc and Verizon customers with 5G phones saw only a small bump up from 4G speeds, according to the same study.

In South Korea and in China, faster 5G networks are more pervasive. But Apple will be competing against local brands including Samsung in South Korea, which is already on its second line of 5G phones, and China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, whose sales have surged after the telecom giant was banned in the United States.

The other big letdown is that applications using higher speeds to deliver something new have yet to be created. It is a chicken and egg problem at this part of the tech cycle, executives said, noting that interest in 4G was fueled by Facebook Inc’s mobile apps and Alphabet Inc’s YouTube.

“The applications we will be dazzled by, that will really take advantage of the network, will only be developed once the network and devices are available,” said Morgan Kurk, chief technology officer of CommScope, a telecom equipment maker.

US consumers most motivated to buy a 5G phone would be those who need a new smartphone right now and are looking to protect their investments.

“If you’re buying a phone that you’re going to have for three years, you’re going to want to make sure that it’s going to support the latest networks,” said Geoff Blaber, vice president of research at CCS Insight.

Just know what to expect, Blaber added. “There’s going to be relatively little that you can do on a 5G iPhone you can’t do on a 4G iPhone today.”

50
Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail