On Sunday, MacRumors reported that Apple would be releasing three different 5G-enabled iPhones next year. The publication got the scoop from industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Last month, the Apple expert stated that the Big Tech firm would only be releasing two 5G-enabled mobile handsets in 2020. However, Kuo has since noted a change in strategy on the part of the electronics company.
Like the rest of the mobility sector, Apple has come to believe 5G will be a major sales driver.
Why Apple Is Going All-In on 5G
In June, Kuo reported that Apple would offer 5.4-inch and 6.7-inch iPhones with 5G capability next year. However, he believed that the company wouldn’t include next-generation chipsets in its lower-cost 6.1-inch models. Kuo now forecasts that the company will release all three of its 2020 iPhones with 5G modems.
Apple reportedly made the change to stay competitive with the makers of 5G Android handsets. The firm believes that without next-generation data speeds, consumers would pass over the 6.1-inch iPhone in favor of lower-priced 5G smartphones.
The corporation lost significant market share to Huawei in Q1 because the Chinese conglomerate offers a range of high-quality, low-cost Android handsets. Though Huawei’s disputes with the U.S. government have seen its products banned in the U.S., the firm is still a threat to Apple’s international business.
Indeed, Kuo predicts most 5G-enabled Android smartphones will retail for $249-$349 next year. By diversifying its 5G product range, Apple is pushing back against its rivals by splitting the difference between accessibility and exclusivity.
Full-Spectrum 5G iPhones
Furthermore, the analyst notes that Apple isn’t sold on one particular type of 5G technology. Kuo wrote that next year’s iPhones would support both mmWave and Sub-6GHz spectrums. While mmWave offers data transfer speeds of up to 1Gbps, it’s difficult to deploy in nonurban areas. Conversely, Sub-6GHz isn’t as fast as mmWave, but its mid and low range bands make it more effective in rural and suburban areas.
Currently, AT&T and Verizon are utilizing mmWave and low-band spectrum to establish their 5G networks. Conversely, after its merger with Sprint, T-Mobile intends to offer 5G service using low, mid, and high band spectrum.
Initially, Apple wants its 2020 iPhones to appeal to the broadest possible range of customers. As such, its devices will work on both forms of 5G.
However, Kuo reports that the firm is also looking into producing Sub-6GHz iPhones for markets that aren’t supporting mmWave, like China. That said, Apple may not want to dedicate its production resources to making two different iterations of its 5G products.
MacRumors also notes that Apple’s first 5G iPhones will feature chipsets made by Qualcomm. In April, the Cupertino, California-based company ended its ongoing legal disputes with the chipmaker. Afterward, Apple entered into a new supply agreement with the San Diego-based components manufacturer.
However, as Apple recently spent $5 billion acquiring Intel’s mobile chipset business, its 2021 iPhones will likely feature 5G modems made in-house.