While Apple may be waiting until 2020 to introduce a smartphone with support for 5G, the same can’t be said for Android manufacturers. During an interview with CNET, Qualcomm President Cristiano Amon revealed that every Android manufacturer will have a 5G smartphone for sale in time for the 2019 holiday shopping season. And some manufacturers, of course, will introduce devices with support for 5G much sooner than that.
“When we get to exactly this time of year one year from now,” Amon explained, “we will see every [handset maker] on the Android ecosystem, their flagship across all US carriers will be a 5G device.”
That Android handset manufacturers will be rolling out 5G smartphones before Apple shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. After all, Verizon just this week announced a new partnership with Samsung wherein the two tech giants will introduce a 5G smartphone during the first half of 2019. And this past August, you might recall that Sprint announced its own partnership with LG to introduce a 5G smartphone during the first half of 2019 as well.
Without question, 5G is an absolute game-changer that will offer up incredible speed improvements that consumers will appreciate immediately. It certainly stands to reason that 2019 will be a huge year for Android manufacturers as consumers will presumably upgrade in massive numbers.
Apple, meanwhile, will be sitting on the sidelines when the 5G revolution commences next year. According to rumblings from the rumor mill, we won’t see a 5G capable iPhone until 2020 at the earliest, a fact which shouldn’t come as much of a surprise given Apple’s penchant for patience when it comes to supporting new network technologies. Recall that the first iPhone didn’t even support 3G and that the company didn’t introduce an LTE capable device until the iPhone 5 in 2012.
The broader takeaway here is that while the smartphone market may be saturated, we can expect an avalanche of upgrades once 5G devices start appearing on store shelves.