Skip to main content

iPhone may not get on the 5G bandwagon until 2020 at the earliest

If your excitement regarding 5G is already at a fever pitch — fueled by the endless promises of data speeds so fast our ears will bleed — but you are a staunch iPhone owner, the latest leaks have some bad (and entirely expected) news. Apple will apparently not release a 5G-capable iPhone until 2020 at the earliest.

The rumor comes from sources familiar with Apple’s plans, stating the company has decided to pass on 5G for the 2019 iPhone, and may even do the same for the 2020 model as well. This means owners of at least one, potentially two generations of future iPhone devices, 4G LTE will be the fastest possible connection available. Bloomberg, which reports on the rumor, says this may help rivals “win over consumers” in 2019 with 5G devices.

Samsung, Huawei, OnePlus, and many other manufacturers are expected to launch a 5G smartphone in 2019, with some coming before midyear. They will be the first phones to connect to a 5G network, leaving Apple behind in terms of connectivity. However, the first 5G networks will not cover wide areas, and will be restricted to certain cities around the world. While carriers in the U.S. are promising 5G will be operational in 2019, widespread coverage will likely not come until 2020 or later.

It’s entirely possible this is one of Apple’s reasons for not including the technology. It didn’t introduce a 4G LTE iPhone, or even a 3G iPhone until other manufacturers had already broken the new connectivity in, and the coverage was high enough that more consumers could take advantage of it. It’s therefore not a surprise it intends to do the same with 5G.

While 5G is a large generational jump, in that it’s significantly faster and more capable than 4G LTE, it brings with it some new challenges including power management, and may force some design changes on early devices too. As has been the case in the past, until Apple deems a feature worthy of integrating into an iPhone, it will simply ignore it. We may see faster 4G LTE modems inside next year’s iPhones to compensate for any differences, as carriers will continue to develop 4G networks for a while yet.

Apple may frustrate early adopters with a decision to ignore 5G until the next generation of data connectivity is ready (or at least more prepared) for prime time, but it arguably has never cared about early adopters in the past, with few long-term consequences.

Editors' Recommendations

Andy Boxall
Senior Mobile Writer
Andy is a Senior Writer at Digital Trends, where he concentrates on mobile technology, a subject he has written about for…
iPhone Flip: what we know about Apple’s first foldable phone
Folding iPhone concept from iOS Beta News.

In the past few years, Samsung has become one of the leading manufacturers of foldable devices, including the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Galaxy Z Flip 5. Though it's not the only brand making foldable devices, it offers the most mainstream and available options, especially in the U.S. That leads to the question of whether Apple will follow suit with a foldable iPhone — or even an iPad.

There have been long-standing rumors that Apple could be working on such a device, including a foldable iPhone, which we'll call "iPhone Flip" for now. Apple's a secretive company, so there may very well be at least some research and development taking place on such a device. But, of course, this continues to just be all speculation for now. From the latest news, rumors, and reports, here's everything we know so far about Apple's folding iPhone.
iPhone Flip: design and display

Read more
How to save text messages on iPhone and Android
iMessage on an iPhone.

We receive a lot of important information via text. Whether it’s a date you need to set or important work-related info, you might find yourself wanting to save a text message. Modern smartphones all offer a way to back up your core data and transfer it to another device. However, transfers sometimes don’t include your text messages unless you save them ahead of time or are transferring across the same mobile operating system.

Here's how to save your text messages in Android and iOS.
How to save your text messages on iPhone
There are multiple ways to backup your iPhone text messages. Here are the easiest.
How to make iPhone text message backups using iExplorer
The most universal method of saving your iPhone text messages is via the iExplorer program.

Read more
Nomad’s new iPhone accessory is unlike anything you’ve seen before
Personal taking iPhone 15 Pro out of pocket with Rustic Brown Nomad Magnetic Leather Back attached.

Well-known leather case maker Nomad has a pair of sleek and elegant iPhone cases ready to adorn your iPhone 15 Pro or iPhone 15 Pro Max in time for Valentine’s Day.

Known for its quality leather cases, Nomad has long been a favorite of those who want to dress up their iPhone with a bit of style, and its two latest accessories mark the return of a fan favorite — plus something entirely different and unquestionably cool. They're definitely the most stylish among the roster of the best iPhone 15 Pro cases. 
The Magnetic Leather Back is something else

Read more