Why you shouldn’t expect too much from 5G on iPhone 12

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Tim Cook seems really excited about 5G. Should you be?
Tim Cook seems really excited about 5G. Should you be?
Photo: Apple

One of the biggest reasons to upgrade to iPhone 12 this year is for its 5G connectivity. It promises to be significantly faster than the 4G networks we’ve become accustomed to, making things like mobile gaming, content streaming, web browsing — basically everything you do online — better than ever.

You should be excited, but not too excited. 5G can be as spectacular as Apple led us to believe during this week’s iPhone 12 unveiling … but only if you can get good 5G coverage — and the right kind of 5G connection.

Allow us to explain what you need to know about 5G.

Report claims only a single iPhone 12 variant will offer fastest 5G

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iPhone 12 might mix iPhone 11 and iPad Pro designs
And only in select markets.
Concept: Ben Geskin

Those who plan to upgrade to iPhone 12 for its 5G connectivity may need to be careful about which variant they choose this fall. A new report claims only one will offer the fastest 5G technology.

While all iPhone 12 units are said to feature Sub-6 5G capabilities, one source claims you’ll need to opt for the largest, most expensive model to also enjoy faster mmWave 5G.

AT&T takes 5G nationwide, greasing the skids for a super-fast iPhone

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AT&T 5G expended by 40 markets on Thursday
AT&T 5G coverage is now available for a majority of Americans.
Photo: AT&T

AT&T’s 5G network expanded to cover 395 markets in the United States on Thursday. Which is coverage for 205 million current and potential customers. That puts the telecom close to T-Mobile in 5G coverage area, and well ahead of Verizon.

So at least some US carriers will be ready for the 5G iPhone if it debuts in a few months, as expected.

Exclusive: iPhone 12 faces delays, with faster 5G limited to key countries

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iPhone 12 might mix iPhone 11 and iPad Pro designs
Prepare for iPhone 12 delays and confusion.
Photo: Ben Geskin

A number of iPhone 12 models currently face delays and may not become available in key markets until later in the year, a trusted source familiar with Apple’s plans revealed to Cult of Mac.

Options also could be limited in the United States and in other countries, where faster mmWave 5G technology is available. Elsewhere, customers may have a complete iPhone 12 lineup to choose from, but with slower 5G technology, according to the source.

Apple still on track to deliver complete 5G iPhone lineup in 2020

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iPhone 11 continues to shine while iPhone 11 Pro Max sales flatten out
Don't believe the scaremongers.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Apple’s 5G iPhone lineup is still on track for a fall 2020 release, according to one reliable analyst.

A recent report suggested faster wwWave handsets, which are expected to succeed iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max, may not arrive until early 2021. But those claims appear to be inaccurate.