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The 5G iPhone probably isn’t coming until 2020

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Next year's iPhone will surely be shiny, but it probably won't have a 5G chip inside.
Next year’s iPhone will surely be shiny, but it probably won’t have a 5G chip inside.

Image: Dustin Drankoski/Mashable

Apple’s next iPhones, which are likely to come out in 2019, won’t come with a 5G modem, a Bloomberg report claims. 

The report, which cites people familiar with Apple’s plans, claims Apple won’t launch a 5G iPhone until “at least” 2020. This means Apple will be at least a year behind rivals such as Samsung, who are said to be planning to launch 5G phones in 2019. 

The report is in line with a Fast Company report that came out last month, saying essentially the same thing. Both reports point out that Apple has made a deal with Intel to be the sole supplier of 5G modems for its iPhones, but Bloomberg now also claims Intel won’t be able to produce these modem chips in time for a 2019 5G iPhone launch.

5G wireless technology brings a number of improvements over 4G (which is what most smartphones currently have), the biggest of them being far better data transfer speeds. 

Apple has traditionally waited longer than its rivals to adopt new mobile network technology. The original iPhone, for example, infamously launched only with 2G support, even though 3G was fairly commonplace at the time. And Apple took its time with the first 4G iPhone as well; the first Apple phone to have a 4G iPhone was the iPhone 5, which came out in 2012. 

Bloomberg says this time might be a bit different for Apple, as 5G is a significant leap compared to 4G and, as such, a potentially major selling point for smartphones. Besides Samsung, other phone makers including Xiaomi and Huawei plan to have one or more 5G phones debut in 2019, and many carriers are on board as well. 

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