If we’re being honest, the rollout of 5G has been a little bit anti-climactic. Sure, 5G is blazing fast, but the simple reality is that 5G coverage — for most people — still isn’t expansive enough to justify purchasing an expensive new 5G phone. That will likely change, though, by the time Apple introduces its 5G-enabled iPhone next year. Indeed, carriers are furiously scrambling to expand their 5G coverage with each passing month.
For a while, Apple’s 5G plans remained a bit murky, in large part due to the company’s ongoing lawsuit with Qualcomm. The two companies, however, settled all of their lawsuits this past April, thus paving the way for Apple to introduce a 5G iPhone in late 2020. Notably, reports have indicated that Apple will incorporate Qualcomm’s most advanced 5G modem — the X55 — into the entirety of its 2020 iPhone lineup. The chip, which naturally delivers incredible performance, is also said to be more energy-efficient than Qualcomm’s other 5G modems.
In light of all that, it’s perhaps not surprising that Apple is expecting its 5G iPhone models — which will likely be dubbed the iPhone 12 — to fly off the shelves. While initial reports claimed that Apple was planning to ship anywhere between 75 million and 80 million iPhone 5G units, a more recent report from Nikkei relays that Apple is now expecting to sell upwards of 100 million 5G iPhones in 2020.
As a quick aside, Qualcomm has previously stated that it expects 5G smartphone shipments next year to fall somewhere between 175 million and 225 million units, which is to say that the iPhone may account for half of Qualcomm’s 5G modem sales.
Incidentally, 5G won’t be the only upgrade to hit Apple’s iPhone 12 lineup next year. Recently, a rumor emerged claiming that Apple’s iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro will both incorporate updated OLED technology which will allow for thinner panels.
With iPhone sales on the decline recently, the impending iPhone 12 release may finally see Apple post year-over-year iPhone sales growth for the first time in a while, which would obviously be huge for the company despite its recent success in growing its services business.