Apple will not be releasing an iPhone with 5G connectivity until late 2020 according to sources quoted in a report by Bloomberg, a not so surprising move considering Apple's usual delay in adopting new mobile tech in the past.
If the rumors prove to be true, Cupertino will follow on the tracks of previous mobile tech adoption behavior from the past, seeing that they also postponed adding 3G and 4G radios in iPhone models it launched when the two techs were deployed.
This move will most probably allow rivals such as Samsung and Huawei to quickly gain market share on the short term since they will, in all likelihood, launch 5G-powered smartphones as soon as the new mobile network standard is available.
"The leap from 4G to 5G is significant enough that it may become a major selling point for new devices. Samsung plans to have 5G phones in its Galaxy range next year," says Bloomberg. "And in China -- the largest market for smartphones -- major producers Oppo and Huawei Technologies Co. also have indicated they plan to offer 5G phones."
Samsung already has plans to release a 5G smartphone during 1H 2019
According to Bloomberg's report, Apple's decision could also Steam from its legal problems with Qualcomm, the world leader in 5G solutions at the moment, and Intel's delay to have 5G chips ready on time.
“Apple has always been a laggard in cellular technology. They weren’t impacted in the past, but 5G is going to be much easier to market. But if they wait beyond 2020, then I think they’ll be impacted," added Mark Hung, a Gartner analyst.
Verizon and Samsung already announced the release of a commercial 5G smartphone on the U.S. market during the 1H of 2019 with a prototype device ready to be showcased during the Qualcomm Snapdragon Technology Summit, December 4 - 6, 2018, in Maui.
Furthermore, Samsung's 5G smartphone will feature the "upcoming flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon Mobile Platform with the Snapdragon X50 5G NR modem and antenna modules" according to the joint press release.