APPLE could launch a 5G iPhone as soon as 2020, according to a new report.
The Californian tech giant is reportedly working on a super-fast smartphone that could download 4K movies in just a few seconds.
5G is the future of mobile internet – a major upgrade on the current 3G and 4G networks we use today.
It promises significantly faster download speeds and less lag when gaming, but it’s not yet here.
Mobile carriers like EE and Vodafone need to get their networks ready for 5G, and phone makers need to install 5G modems in their phones.
And Apple is planning to do just that, according to Fast Company.
The report cites a “source with knowledge of Apple’s plans” as saying that a 5G iPhone will arrive in 2020.
The device is tipped to use Intel’s 8151 5G modem chip, although it’s reported that there are ongoing heat issues with a prototype of the modem.
Overheating negatively affects battery life and device performance, which isn’t ideal in an iPhone.
But Apple and Intel are expected to have resolved the issue by 2020.
We spoke to expert analyst Daniel Ives, of Wedbush Securities, who agreed that Apple’s 5G iPhone is likely.
“We believe right now the current timeline is for Apple to release its 5G phone in 2020 on a core Intel chip,” he told The Sun.
“Cook & Co. have a slew of releases and new technology slated for the coming years with the red carpet rolled out for 5G in 2020.”
We also spoke to industry expert Ben Wood, of CCS Insight, who said the story is “very consistent” with his own predictions.
“Apple’s decision to use Intel as a partner for the chips that connect to the mobile networks means that it is unlikely to have a 5G iPhone until 2020,” Wood told The Sun.
“Apple is fortunate that the strength of its brand and the exceptional levels of customer loyalty it commands probably mean this won’t be an issue, but operators trying to kick start 5G will be frustrated – particularly in markets such as the US and China.”
We’re expecting to see the first 5G Android phones early next year.
According to Wood, Apple may need to move its iPhone launch date away from the traditional September launch to compete.
“Its annual cadence is disrupted by the staggered timing of commercial launches of 5G networks in China and North America,” a CCS Insight report notes.
“Escalating pressure to preserve its market share in the vital Chinese market pushes Apple to shift the release of a 5G model away from its traditional September date.
“But the launch is still over a year after products from the likes of Samsung, Huawei and Google.”
5G handsets will provide significantly faster internet speeds than modern handsets.
Some users will be able to download several gigabits of data every second.
At speeds of 1 gigabit-per-second, it would take eight seconds to download 1 gigabyte of data.
Netflix says 4K video takes up about 7 gigabytes of space per hour of footage.
So downloading an hour-and-a-half Netflix film in 4K to watch offline would require roughly 10GB of space.
With a 5G connection, that would take just 1 minute and 20 seconds.
And regular HD footage takes up about 3GB of footage per hour, so the same movie could be nabbed in High Definition roughly half the time.
Intel rival Qualcomm’s own 5G chip – the Snapdragon X50 – promises around 4.5 gigabits-per-second speeds, based on testing.
That could cut a 4K movie download down to around 20 seconds, if networks can beam those sorts of speeds to actual users.
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Chinese smartphone firm OnePlus has already pledged to release its first 5G smartphone in 2019 – to roughly coincide with early 5G networks going live around the world.
It’s very likely other phone makers have similar plans.
We’re expecting loads of new 5G smartphones to be announced early next year, to coincide with Barcelona’s annual Mobile World Congress.
The event runs between February 24 and 28, and will likely see mobile titans like Samsung and LG showing off their latest gadgets.
Apple declined to comment on this story.
What new features would you like to see from a future iPhone Let us know in the comments!
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