Tech

Apple will add 5G to 2020 iPhones to compete with Android, top analyst says

Key Points
  • All three models of Apple's 2020 iPhones will support 5G, according to TF Securities' analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
  • Kuo originally said just two would offer 5G support, but Apple will need to compete with lower-cost Android phones that have 5G.
  • The 2019 iPhones, expected in September, won't support 5G.
Apple CEO Tim Cook (R) and Apple chief design officer Jonathan Ive (L) look at the new Apple iPhone X during an Apple special event at the Steve Jobs Theatre on the Apple Park campus on September 12, 2017 in Cupertino, California.
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Top Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of TF Securities says all three models of Apple's 2020 iPhones will support 5G in order to better compete with 5G Android devices.

In June, Kuo said only two models of Apple's planned 2020 iPhones would ship with 5G support, while a third would offer 4G LTE to help keep costs down. But competition against Android in the low-cost segment will force Apple to add 5G, Kuo said in a note Sunday.

"Apple has more resource for developing the 5G iPhone after the acquisition of Intel baseband business," Kuo said in his note. "We expect that the prices of 5G Android smartphones will decline to $249–349 USD in 2H20," he added, noting that "consumers will think that 5G is the necessary function" by the time they're launched.

Kuo also said the more expensive iPhone models will need 5G to win favor from wireless carriers that will be pushing the new technology.

5G is a faster wireless network technology that's just beginning to roll out in the United States. Only a few Android phones currently support it, and coverage is so limited that most people can't take advantage of it. But 5G will be more widespread in 2020. The new iPhones that are expected this September won't offer 5G.

In earlier notes, Kuo said the iPhones will ship with 6.7-inch, 6.1-inch and 5.4-inch screen size and that all will have the newer OLED screens that are on Apple's high-end iPhone XS Max and iPhone XS.

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