Apple may not have a 5G-ready iPhone in people’s hands this year, but all signs point towards a 2020 debut for the highly anticipated device.
TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo seems to think so, anyway. Kuo is known for being generally spot-on when it comes to all things Apple, and in a Monday research note cited by CNBC, he said Apple could ship a 5G iPhone next year.
Specifically, Kuo said Apple will likely get 5G parts from both Qualcomm and Samsung in order to mass produce a 5G iPhone by at least September 2020. That’s the time of year when Apple usually announces its newest line of iPhones.
This might only be possible because Apple settled its long-lasting legal disputes with Qualcomm last week. The iPhone maker will need Qualcomm’s extensive 5G resources to make a phone that’s compatible with the high-speed wireless standard, at least in the short term.
Once Apple settled with Qualcomm, it seemed likely that a 5G iPhone would come sooner rather than later. Kuo’s note on Monday is only further confirmation of that theory. Prior to the legal settlement, some analysts believed Apple would take much longer to hop on the 5G bandwagon due to the difficulty of developing modems without Qualcomm’s help.
Most cities in the United States don’t have comprehensive 5G support yet, so it probably isn’t the worst thing in the world for Apple to wait until 2020 to release a 5G iPhone. Samsung is releasing its first 5G-compatible phone in the U.S. soon.
Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and other major carriers have begun planting seeds for 5G networks in the U.S. By the end of 2020, it could be much more widespread, making it a perfect time for Apple to capitalize on it.