When the iPhone 12 arrives, 5G will finally be put to the test
As we start out tech tember the most anticipated release is the next iPhone which is rumored to be called the iPhone 12.
It was safe to say that 2020 has been a garbage year for humans.
It's actually been a fruitful one for phones, cameras and gaming consoles.
Now iPhone 12 rumors and leaks point to a slew of new features including a high refresh rate display, more size options and LIDAR but the most significant addition won't be the cameras or the expected a 14 processor.
It will be the support for 5G That means the biggest feature on the iPhone 12 will largely be out of Apple's control and firmly in the hands of AT&T, T-mobile and Verizon.
And depending on your carrier and where you live Your 5G experience on an iPhone 12 could vary greatly.
And it's an unusual position for Apple which is known for its insistence on crafting virtually every aspect of its products from the hardware to the software to the way it sells them.
By contrast, the current state of 5G in the US is.
Mix of hype, hope and whatever the opposite of harmony is, depending on the carrier 5g comes in a variety of frequencies, some that offer truly mind bending speeds but lack the reach to connect to your phone all the time.
Other frequencies have a long read and stable connectivity but offer speeds that aren't much faster than 4g LTE.
Now some parts of the US have 5g networks from all three major US carriers.
Other parts have absolutely zero coverage.
Does this mean that 5g will determine if the iPhone 12 is a flop or not?
Well in terms of sales, of course not, Apple will likely sell millions of new iPhones.
But that doesn't mean that everyone who buys an iPhone 12 will have a great experience getting it connected and working on a 5g network and the hundreds of thousands if not millions of new users that do get connected.
Will drive a massive spike in traffic on 5g networks that are still in their infancy.
Now there is a huge potential for many people to have a bad 5g experience on their brand new iPhone.
That remember back when the iPhone 5 launched in 2013 with 4g LTE support.
I bought it in September when it first came out, and I experienced lightning speeds.
But by the time Thanksgiving rolled around, and a lot of other people had an iPhone five, my 4G LTE speeds leveled up due to all the new traffic on that same network.
Luckily over the years 4G LTE got stronger and networks were able to handle.
More capacity on them.
But when it comes to 5g, things get well complicated because not all 5g is created equal.
That superfast 5g I mentioned earlier well it requires different antennas then mid band and low band 5g.
Those different antennas mean multiple models of the same iPhone 5g suffers from fragmentation.
And even for someone like me who is pretty knowledgeable about such things, the topic is easily overwhelming.
So why is Apple taking a gamble with it?
Well, the company has to, even if the path isn't fully paved now in a couple years, 5G will be the way most of us get cellular data.
The other reason is 4G LTE is a great Safety Net, someone on an iPhone 12 without a 5G Tower in their neighborhood would still be able to connect via 4G LTE, but it would be a shame if that same person paid a premium to get a 5G iPhone only to have zero or spotty 5G coverage.
But if my friends and family members are any indication, a 5G iPhone is something many of them are pining for.
And it's not that the iPhone 11 or 11 Pro aren't great or that my friends are particularly excited about 5G.
To them a 5G iPhone is all about future proofing.
Even if 5G connectivity isn't really there for them out of the gate.
Now, if you've been waiting to buy an iPhone until it has 5G support.
Then chances are you'll be rewarded this fall but do your research about 5g connectivity in your area and what your carrier offers.
Now if you don't care about 5g and are on an upgrade here for your iPhone then you are in a great position.
You'll still be able to use the reliable and comfortable 4g LTE that you've grown accustomed to.
Over the coming years, you might notice faster service as 5G and its multiple flavors of connectivity expand more robustly across the US and That should offer a modicum of comfort in this horrible year.
But I want to hear from you.
Are you excited about the next iPhone having 5G and have you been holding off on getting a new iPhone until it does have 5 D?
Throw your thoughts in the comments.
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