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Why Hasn't Apple Released a 5G Handset?

Although 5G has not extensively rolled out across the country yet, it is certainly here. Of course, to access this new, faster network you do need to have a compatible 5G device and 5G contract.
iPhone 5G
iPhone 5G
Nearly all manufacturers have released at least one 5G enabled handset with one glaring omission. As yet we have seen nothing in the way of a 5G enabled iPhone, so just why is this? 

Fashionably Late 


This is not the first time that Apple has waited and released new features long after other handset manufacturers. It certainly seems as if they like to be fashionably late and make a statement. Some years back now they took exactly the same stance; when the rest of the world was busy switching to 3G they left their handsets on 2G for much longer.

So, What Do We Know? 


Well, it is suspected that Apple will release a 5G enabled iPhone in their new raft of 2020 releases. The main handset launch event tends to take place in September; however, we don't yet know whether the pandemic will have any knock-on effect to this. Based on news from other manufacturers and a statement that Apple itself released that there will be some kind of delay and with such a change of technology they may hold off on the 5G release for now. The pandemic has slowed everything down including roll out of the 5G network. Network engineers have also had to contend with conspiracy theories that the new 5G masts are to blame for the virus, with many have been vandalised and damaged. 

Current Rumours 


Just a few days ago, it was suggested in a publication by the Wall Street Journal that the iPhone 12 launch will indeed be shifted back to an early October reveal which means it will be launching to market in late October. We also know that they have been moving things around in order to accommodate the newer 5G modem. we don't expect any change away from their proprietary a series bionic chips however it is likely that they will not use their own modem instead favouring a Qualcomm X60 5G modem.

It had previously been suggested that the company was unhappy with the antenna provided by Qualcomm, so was going to look into making their own. However, Qualcomm then took the step of releasing a smaller antenna which is called the QTM535 and it looks like this may have been to ensure that Apple worked with them. 

Which Handset? 


While it is difficult to second guess which handset Apple will pick, it would make sense for the high-end flagship phones to either have an alternative 5G option, or for both of them to be 5G enabled.  This year we had the iPhone 11 Pro and the iPhone 11 Pro Max so we would expect the naming convention to continue. Therefore, it would be likely the iPhone 12 Pro and the iPhone 12 Pro Max could be the first foray into 5G technology for the company with the iPhone 12 not competing at this point. 

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