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5G is coming to Apple’s iPhone 12, and it might be a bigger deal than we thought

Published Jan 21st, 2020 6:03PM EST
iPhone 12 Release
Image: Ray Tang/LNP/Shutterstock

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About two years ago or so, there was quite a bit of hype claiming that 2019 was going to be the year 5G took over and bestowed us with blazing-fast connectivity. That’s not exactly how things panned out, however. Thanks in part to spotty 5G coverage — which has improved over the past few months — there were only a small handful of 5G capable devices even available.

As it turns out, there’s growing evidence that the 5G revolution may actually get underway this year. In fact, a new report from Gartner claims that global device shipments will actually grow by 0.9% in 2020 thanks to the advent of 5G devices. That may seem insignificant, but it’s a shift from previous years which saw declining mobile phone sales on account of users holding onto their devices for longer periods of time than ever before.

“2020 will witness a slight market recovery,” Gartner senior research director said. “Increased availability of 5G handsets will boost mobile phone replacements, which will lead global device shipments to return to growth in 2020.”

Gartner estimates that 5G models, by 2022, will account for 43% of all newly sold mobile devices. Adoption, naturally, will rise drastically as coverage improves and the price of 5G smartphones inevitably goes down. By 2023, Gartner anticipates that 5G smartphones will account for 50% of all mobile phones shipped.

Though Gartner doesn’t mention the iPhone specifically, there’s no doubt that the most anticipated 5G device of the year will be Apple’s iPhone 12. Set to be released this fall — presumably in September if history is any indication — Apple’s 2020 iPhone lineup will consist of as many as four 5G-capable devices that will reportedly all boast sub-6GHz and mmWave support right out of the gate.

Samsung, meanwhile, is also poised to unveil new smartphones with 5G support at its upcoming Unpacked event, including a trio of next-gen Galaxy S20 devices.

All told, 2020 is shaping up to be a huge year for upgrades across the board. While smartphone owners today are somewhat reluctant to upgrade when their devices are still working fine, the allure of 5G will seemingly change that.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.