Apple’s New iPhones Won’t Be 5G Ready

Apple’s New iPhones Won’t Be 5G Ready

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The Cupertino company is expected to release a host of product revamps and upgrades in September, but 5G likely won’t be on the docket until next year.

Danny Vena

The coming of fifth-generation cellular technology (5G) is bearing down, bringing with it a paradigm shift regarding what can be accomplished on mobile networks. This next generation of mobile internet connectivity is poised to offer lightning fast speeds, lower latency (the amount of time between when you click and when the network responds), more reliable connections, and move greater amounts of data than what was possible in the past. Average download speeds are expected to about 1 gigabyte per second (GBps), which is as much as 100 times faster than what is currently available. 

Rumors about Apple‘s (NASDAQ:AAPL) upcoming iPhones abound, and many believe that the company will be holding a product launch on Sept. 10 that will include updates and new versions of its most popular devices. One of the more recent reports suggests that 5G won’t be available for the products expected to debut next month.

A hand holding a smartphone with digital images of 5G emerging from the device

Image source: Getty Images.

New products and features

Apple will introduce a host of new devices at its annual September product reveal, including three new iPhones, similar to its practice in previous years. The anticipated “Pro” models will take the place of the iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max, according to a report in Bloomberg citing “people familiar with the situation.” The devices will likely begin selling in September, making them available for the critical holiday sales season.

One of the defining features of the updated iPhones is a triple-lens camera on the back of the device that will capture wide-angle shots and more professional-looking videos. The new camera setup will capture three images simultaneously and use artificial intelligence to seamlessly merge them together into one photo.

The upcoming iPhones will sport increased shatter-resistant technology and enhanced water resistance that will allow them to be submerged for much longer than the 30-minute limit available on current devices. They will also include an improved multi-angle Face ID sensor and a wider field of view that will make logging in to the iPhone even easier.

The devices will incorporate a reverse wireless charging capability that will let owners recharge the newest AirPods by laying them on the back of the Pro iPhones, using an optional wireless charging case.

The iPad Pro will also be getting an upgrade, sporting an improved camera and speedier chips, and the company will introduce the first overhaul of the MacBook Pro in years. There will also be revamped versions of the Apple Watch, new AirPods, and a smaller, less expensive HomePod speaker.

Behind the curve?

That’s not to say that Apple won’t be incorporating 5G technology into its flagship devices. Apple acquired Intel‘s (NASDAQ:INTC) smartphone modem business in July in a deal that was estimated to be worth about $1 billion. This was a clear sign of the company’s aspirations in 5G. Wedbush Securities analyst Daniel Ives said that this was a “doubling down” on 5G by Apple, and having these chip assets in its library of intellectual property would give the company “further control over its supply chain and core chip design.” 

By most accounts, the rollout of 5G technology is only just beginning, so Apple won’t be missing the boat. The most comprehensive wave of the speedier wireless technology isn’t expected to launch until 2020 or beyond, so Apple will have plenty of time to perfect its 5G-compatible devices before the biggest upgrade cycle begins.

Apple does plan to release 5G-ready devices in 2020, according to Bloomberg.


Danny Vena owns shares of Apple and has the following options: long January 2021 $190 calls on Apple and short January 2021 $195 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of Intel and has the following options: short September 2019 $50 calls on Intel, short January 2020 $155 calls on Apple, long January 2020 $150 calls on Apple, short January 2020 $155 calls on Apple, and long January 2020 $150 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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