IPhones finally have 5G. Apple made the long-awaited announcement Tuesday at one of its famous new product launch events, as the next generation of ultra-fast mobile phones takes off in Asia and the rest of the world.
“Today is the beginning of a new era,” said Tim Cook, CEO of the US electronics and technology giant, during the presentation broadcast online from the company’s headquarters in Cupertino, California.
More than a year after rivals Samsung and Huawei, Apple introduced its first 5G-capable range, the iPhone 12, which will go on sale in the coming weeks with base prices ranging from $ 699 to $ 1,099. .
“We have tested 5G with more than 100 operators in 30 regions and the observed speeds are impressive,” said Arun Mathias, group vice president.
He also claimed that the iPhone 12 has “more 5G bandwidth than any other smartphone.”
Despite these announcements, Apple shares fell nearly 3% on Wall Street.
The range includes the iPhone 12 and 12 mini, which will go on sale this month, and the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max, scheduled to launch in November.
“This is Apple’s most important new product cycle since the iPhone 6 in 2014,” said analyst Dan Ives, Wedbush Securities.
– 5G rollout –
“Until now, most of the people were expectant,” said Hans Vestberg, the head of Verizon present at the marketing event to announce that the US operator would roll out its 5G network throughout the United States in order to cover 200 million people. in 1,800 cities.
“5G has just taken shape,” he added.
5G is still far from having an impact on everyday life or industries. In covered areas, users notice the difference in downloading content, which is faster.
The new telecommunications infrastructures will have applications in fields as varied as autonomous vehicles, augmented reality and connected health.
According to Stephen Mears, an analyst at Futuresource Consulting, last year use cases and network deployment were still incipient. “In 2020 the situation will not have changed much, but Apple will not want to be two generations behind 5G phones,” he added.
By contrast, the deployment of relay antennas is well advanced in some parts of Asia. Major Chinese cities have 5G and 90% of South Korea’s population lives in already covered areas, according to Futuresource.
– Opportunities –
The consultancy predicts that 5G smartphone sales worldwide will increase from 145 million phones in 2020 to 303 million in 2021 and 515 million in 2022.
Furthermore, US telecommunications groups, already making massive investments, need means to justify their expenses.
Operators “are waiting for the 5G iPhone to hit the gas pedal in America,” said Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights & Strategy.
South Koreans Samsung and Huawei, the world’s two largest smartphone providers, launched their first 5G-capable models in spring / summer 2019.
Google, for its part, recently unveiled two new devices from its Pixel brand that can also use the new waves.
“Apple and its Asian suppliers anticipate higher demand for the 6.7-inch model,” said Dan Ives.
Tim Cook’s firm could sell more than 75 million devices.
The analyst estimates that more than a third of the 950 million iPhones in circulation in the world, some 350 million devices, are likely to be replaced by a newer model in the coming months.
juj / lo / bh / ll / lda