Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo expects that Apple’s three iPhones set to be released in 2020 will be equipped with 5G capabilities, according to Mashable. Kuo is not an Apple employee, so the report doesn’t come straight from one of the tech giant’s staff members, but he is a “highly regarded analyst,” so the tech world is taking his predictions seriously.
Kuo made the initial prediction in June, but his July prophecy is informed by some new updates.
To start, Apple recently acquired Intel’s modem business for $1 million, a major step towards the company’s goals to build customized modems specifically for the iPhone.
Android phones with 5G capabilities are expected to fall drastically to as low as $250 dollars in 2020 (many are above the 1K mark right now), another indication that companies are catching wind that the iPhone is entering the 5G competition.
“Apple has more resource for developing the 5G iPhone after the acquisition of Intel baseband business,” Kuo writes in the new note. He continues, “But the key is that consumers will think that 5G is the necessary function in . Therefore, iPhone models which will be sold at higher prices have to support 5G for winning more subsidies from mobile operators and consumers’ purchase intention.”
The phones whose prices are expected to diminish significantly are those whose 5G capabilities are limited to support of the Sub-6 GHz spectrum, which is a slower version of 5G that’s more useful in rural areas where people are spread out. The fast and futuristic 5G that you’ve been hearing about is cut from a different cloth called mmWave, which is better equipped to serve dense, urban populations.
Apple has two completely separate 5G projects: one that is delivering phones with Sub-6 GHz spectrum and one that supports both versions of 5G.
Kuo also predicts that Apple is wading further into the 5G pool because widespread adoption of 5G technologies “could benefit Apple’s [augmented reality] ecosystem.”