You’ll still have to wait until 2020 for an iPhone with 5G

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iPhone XS crazy performance means speed at your fingertips.
Apple’s new deal with Qualcomm won’t speed up a 5G iPhone.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple has settled it’s long-running legal dispute with Qualcomm. It almost certainly means that Qualcomm will again supply modem chips for the iPhone. But we won’t see a 5G iPhone any sooner.

A new report warns that Apple will still struggle to catch up with rivals like Samsung, which have already launched 5G handsets, and that the first iPhone with 5G still won’t arrive before 2020.

5G iPhone now virtually certain in 2020 [Opinion]

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5G iPhone
While a 5G iPhone won’t come as soon as we might hope, the wait won‘t be as long as we might fear.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Most people probably shrugged their shoulders at the news Apple and Qualcomm ended their long, bitter legal war. But this is actually going to benefit every iPhone user.

It means that Apple is almost guaranteed to introduce a handset with super-fast 5G next year. Before now, there was some question about whether that was possible.

Huawei ready to provide modems for a 5G iPhone

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Huawei launched the Balong 5000 5G modem in January.
Huawei launched the Balong 5000 5G modem in January.
Photo: Huawei

Apple apparently has another option for 5G modems. Huawei reportedly is willing to provide future iPhones with these chips.

If true, this significantly improves the chances that a 5G iPhone will launch in 2020. Still, there are reasons to question the wisdom of any such deal.

Verizon 5G ramps up for April launch

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AOL just got bought by the king of mobile.
AOL just got bought by the king of mobile.
Photo: Verizon

Well behind arch-rival AT&T, Verizon will begin rolling out its 5G wireless network in two cities early in April.

This is the carrier’s first step in having this faster replacement for LTE available in 30 cities by the end of the year.

Qualcomm might miss out on 5G iPhone

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Qualcomm headquarters
Analysts recommend Qualcomm make up with Apple soon.
Photo: Qualcomm

Qualcomm needs to settle its lawsuits with Apple soon if it wants to be in the first 5G iPhone. Time is running out on this chip maker to supply 5G modems for Apple’s 2020 offering, according to an industry analyst.

And that would hurt Qualcomm more than Apple.

Noted analyst lists four ways that 5G will be a huge win for Apple

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No matter what your AT&T iPhone says, everyone else says “5G E” is 4G.
Apple has years to get a real 5G iPhone on the market, according to a well-known analyst.
Photo: Cult of Mac/@Siddavarapu

The faster cellular data networks being rolled out now will bring tremendous benefits to Apple, according to a well-known industry analyst. Gene Munster even said today, “Apple will be one of 5G’s biggest beneficiaries.”

He listed a number of current and future products that will see gains from this nascent wireless tech.

AT&T’s bogus ‘5G E’ icon pops up on iPhones

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No matter what your AT&T iPhone says, everyone else says “5G E” is 4G.
No matter what your AT&T iPhone says, everyone else says “5G E” is 4G.
Photo: Cult of Mac/@Siddavarapu

iPhone is getting caught up in AT&T’s controversial rebranding of its LTE network as “5G Evolution.” Some developers who installed today’s iOS 12.2 update noticed that their iPhone claims to be connected to a “5G E” network.

All of AT&T’s competitors say that this network is 4G, but that hasn’t stopped the carrier.

5G iPhone probably can’t launch before 2020

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This Intel modem will likely power the first 5G iPhone.
This Intel modem will likely power the first 5G iPhone.
Photo: Intel

The estimated release date for Intel’s first 5G modem makes it very unlikely a 5G iPhone will be released before 2020. Android devices with this speedy new cellular-wireless technology are expected a year before then.

The 5G iPhone delay is a result of the ongoing legal battle between Apple and Qualcomm.

Why AT&T customers could have a first shot at a 5G iPhone

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AT&T logo
AT&T is way, way ahead of the competition in rolling out mobile 5G.
Photo: Luismt94/Wikipedia CC

Anyone eagerly awaiting a 5G iPhone probably should be an AT&T subscriber. This wireless service provider will have mobile 5G service in a dozen cities before any of its rivals have it in even one.

Still, rival Verizon hit a milestone today by making the world’s first 5G NR call from a smartphone-size device.

5G iPhone will cost Apple a pretty penny

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iPhone 5G
Making the 5G iPhone is going to be a complex and expensive business.
Graphic: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

There’s no doubt Apple will eventually make a 5G iPhone. The high-speed standard was finalized a few months ago, and wireless service providers are building 5G networks.

The next step is for the companies that developed the technology to decide what they’ll charge Apple and other phone makers to license their patents. The total might be more than you expect.