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iPhone may not feature 5G connectivity until 2021: report

Apple's ongoing legal spat with Qualcomm may kill any hope of a 5G-capable iPhone in 2020

iPhone XS Max

In what would likely be a significant setback for Apple, the company may prove unable to secure a 5G modem supply for its 2020 iPhone lineup.

According to a new note obtained by MacRumors, investment bank Barclays says time “seems to be running out” for Apple to secure 5G modems for the 2020 iPhone from Qualcomm — currently the only company in the west that has a 5G modem on the market — unless the two tech giants can resolve their ongoing legal spat. The bank adds that it believes the modem design for 2020 iPhones “needs to be set now,” and that the late 2019 availability of Intel’s first 5G modem “does not work with Apple’s timeline.”

It’s important to note that Barclays is making an educated guess here.

That said, I think it’s hard to even guess how much of a setback the iPhone not featuring 5G connectivity for two years would be for Apple.

The first 5G-ready Android smartphones will ship later this year. If Apple doesn’t launch an iPhone with 5G connectivity until late 2021, that’s more than two years in which some of its Android competitors will have 5G handsets in the market. In that time, with the help of consumer feedback and real-world use, Android OEMs will be able to work a lot of kinks that are sure to surface with the switch to 5G, while Apple will be basically starting from scratch. The iPhone already lags behind Android’s high-end when it comes to LTE speeds, and that trend may continue into the 5G era. That’s not a good place Apple wants to be with iPhone sales declining.

Source: MacRumors

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