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iPhone 12: accelerating 5G adoption

October 15, 2020 - Ani Radountcheva

Following the Apple event this week, Ani Radountcheva, Senior Digital Marketing Executive, talks about how the launch of the iPhone 12 will kick-start the 5G conversation among average smart phone users

The much anticipated new iPhone was unveiled this week at the virtual launch event from California. The event went into detail about some of the new physical changes and internal improvements to the devices but also boasted that all 4 of the new iPhone devices will now come with 5G capabilities. This, in my opinion, is the most significant jump for Apple in recent years seeing as previous devices are not worlds away from their previous versions.

My initial thoughts were that this will now bring the 5G conversation to the average smartphone users, earlier in the week I spoke with two friends who were asking about 5G and how it compares to 4G. These conversations indicate to me that the average phone users will now start to engage in more dialogues around 5G than ever.

So what does it really mean? The last iPhone sales statistics from Apple in Nov 2018 show that there were 2.2 billion iPhones sold. Sooner or later we will see loyal Apple users upgrading to the 5G phones. Alongside the other 5G compatible phones already in the market, this means the general public will start to look at the operators and what they are offering. We will start to see more 5G use cases as users expand their understanding of 5G capabilities and operators will look to entice with the likes of 4K video when streaming, low latency when gaming, AR capabilities and much more.

A recent survey was completed by Global Wireless Solutions during the start of the month leading up to the launch of the new Apple devices. The results indicated that 49% of US smartphone users believe their current iPhone can use 5G. The study insights highlight the understanding of 5G among the general public and the way people are still unsure of what it is or the benefits of it.

Apple conducted 5G testing on over 100 operators in over 30 regions, boasting results of impressive peak speeds. One of the new features is Smart Data Mode which allows the iPhone to jump from 5G to LTE in order to save battery, but when 5G matters the iPhone jumps back onto it. This is ideal for the transition to 5G as people move in and out of areas of coverage.

As Apple joins other smartphone manufacturers in the 5G game the pool of 5G ready handsets expands. With more people using these handsets there will be a greater demand and push for the adoption of 5G. When it comes to handset availability, this is miles apart from the launches of 3G and 4G. In 2009 when 4G launched in Sweden, the first couple of years there were just dongles offering 4G. Similarly with 3G there was a delay in getting handsets. For 5G the handsets are there and the opportunity now lies within the service operators to be 5G ready and give users the opportunity to use their devices to their full potential.

In the UK, we are already seeing EE announce more 5G locations in anticipation for the drop of the new iPhone. In the US Verizon announced nationwide 5G coverage to coincide with the launch of the iPhone 12. Ultimately, this iPhone launch is a driver of the 5G conversation like never before and will contribute to the need for operators to get 5G ready.

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