As Apple launches the iPhone 12, there are worries that the blazing speed it promised its customers might not materialise for most people.
The upgraded version according to the iPhone maker can tap into the 5th generation (5G) wireless technology which operates up to 20 times faster than the current wireless 4G networks. Unfortunately, analysts think that this decision by Apple is like compelling people in remote locations to use sophisticated gadgets. “Like having a Ferrari…but using it in your local village and you can’t drive up to 200 miles per hour, simply because the roads cannot maintain those speeds,” Boris Metodiev, an associate director of research firm strategy analytics explained.
This is definitely going to be a tightrope for Apple. As many customers anticipate the unveiling of the new device, the tech needs to careful about enticing their customers to upgrade their phones when in fact, they cannot confidently promise what they can achieve with the 5th generation technology.
At present, 5G US networks use low band wireless spectrum. Although this is slower than high-band spectrum, it is more reliable over longer distances. With the look of things, it will take years before the speed boost that phone carriers promise becomes a reality.
Telecom operators in the US have deployed networks based on lower spectrum brand with speeds slightly higher than 4G. It’s considerably safe to call this variant a mid-band 5G; but it is unlikely to reach a large scope of Americans until 2025.
Imagine splurging a fortune to get a device and waiting to fully enjoy the benefits three years after?
Millimeter wave is a type of 5G network operating currently in the US, but works over shorter distances only. Verizon Communications Inc. has the largest mmWave but is available in only limited areas.
It’s no doubt going to be a competitive market for Apple. In China and South Korea, 5G networks are more pervasive; yet, they are the major competing partners. This means Apple will be competing with against Samsung in South Korea which is already on the second phase of 5G technology and with Huawei Technologies which is the pioneer of the 5th generation technology, whose sales have surged after the telecom was banned in the United States.
For Apple, this is a delicate situation. Deciding to hold on with the launch will put the tech giant backward with Huawei and Samsung sitting at the forefront. iPhone in 2015, had lost its position as second fastest selling device with Huawei and Oppo taking its position as second and third respectively. This misfortune could be attributed to the trade war between Washington and Beijing which ultimately affected the tax system, putting iPhone on edge to sell its devices at higher prices globally.
Analysts think that applications using higher speeds to deliver something new are yet to be created. Facebook’s mobile apps and Google’s YouTube propelled the interest in 4G, so this shouldn’t pose a big problem according to Morgan Kurk, chief technology officer of CommScope, a telecom equipment maker.