In a new note to clients, Arcuri suggests that the chance of a 5G-capable iPhone for 2020 are “not good.”
The reason for this, he says, is the lack of a suitable 5G modem chip. He doesn’t believe that Intel will be ready to make a suitable chip. Samsung and MediaTek are also “unlikely solutions.” (Although he doesn’t mention 5G innovator Qualcomm, Apple’s legal battles with the company probably rule it out.)
While Arcuri thinks that Apple is aiming to offer 5G in 2021, this could still prove a “big technical hurdle.”
When will we get our 5G iPhone
Personally, I doubt that Apple is going to rush to deliver one of the first 5G handsets. With both 3G and 4G, the company waited a while before hopping on the bandwagon. 3G phones were already around when Apple launched its first iPhone in 2007. However, Apple didn’t launch a 3G iPhone until 2008. The same is true with the jump to 4G. While Sprint’s HTC Evo shipped in early 2010, Apple waited until 2012 before it shipped the 4G iPhone 5.
This allows Apple to wait for others to make mistakes. In this case, it will mean avoiding early spotty 5G coverage.
Timothy Arcuri certainly doesn’t seem too bothered, though. He acknowledges that a lack of 5G could cost Apple in the short-term. But he also thinks that the company’s install base and customers looking to replace handsets will ultimately help it keep growing.
UBS has a “buy” rating on Apple with a price target of $215 per share. AAPL is currently trading at $194.88.
How big of a selling point for you is 5G? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.