Those hoping to stream on a superfast 5G connection with their iPhone 11 will be sorely disappointed – Apple has no plans to bring the emerging network technology to its hugely-popular smartphone range this year. However, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo – one of the most reliable sources when it comes to unannounced Apple products – believes 5G will make an appearance in the iPhone series launched next year.
- 5G UK: the phones, networks, and deals you need for 5G in the UK
- Best 5G phones available right now
- OnePlus 7 Pro 5G review
The first 5G-enabled iPhones will launch at the annual September hardware event in 2020, according to the almost infallible analyst. The handset is tipped to use a Qualcomm-built modem while Apple still works to build its own in-house solution.
It sounds like the arrival of 5G support will come as part of a major redesign of the flagship iPhone line-up, according to Kuo. The forthcoming iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max successors will sport a 5.4-inch and 6.7-inch OLED display, respectively.
That's smaller than the 5.8-inch screen on the iPhone XS, and bigger than the 6.5-inch panel on the iPhone XS Max. That sounds like Apple plans to shake-up the form-factor of its flagship iPhone smartphones – potentially shrinking the size of the notch needed for Face ID, embedding the system in the display like the Samsung Galaxy S10, or hiding it inside a pop-up drawer à la OnePlus 7 Pro.
As well as a follow-up to the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, Ming-Chi Kuo says the company is preparing a successor to the iPhone XR that will keep the 6.1-inch screen size, colourful cases, but see an upgrade to OLED, instead of the LCD (or "Liquid Retina HD," as the marketing team at Apple refer to it) panel in the current model.
All three iPhone models will get 5G support by 2021, Kuo says.
As it stands, there are only a handful of 5G-enabled smartphones available in the UK right now. EE is the only company will its superfast 5G network up-and-running, with Vodafone set to follow suit early next month, and Three to join the fray in August.
All three networks have promised to roll-out to a few dozen cities and towns by the end of the year, but the next-generation network is hardly widespread. As such, a 5G-enabled iPhone next year seems about right.
As for what we can expect from the new iPhone models out this September, Apple looks set to keep the same screen sizes and design seen on the iPhone X and iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. However, the company is widely-tipped to increase the rear-camera from a dual set-up to three lens in a bid to tackle competition from the likes of Huawei, Oppo and Samsung, which offer much greater optical zoom and low-light photography than the iPhone can muster. The ability to wirelessly charge accessories from the back of the handset is also expected, as well as a fast-charger in the box.