iPhone 13 event proves you don't care about 5G

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Tim Cook didn’t mention 5G at all this year.

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it’s part of the story apple eventOur full coverage of the latest Apple news.


Apple executives left no exaggeration when talking about the new iphone 13 And this iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max. The iPhone 13 Pro was the “most pro” phone yet. camera got an upgrade, and Apple tapped Academy Award-winning director Kathryn Bigelow to show off her abilities. The new cinematic mode will open up opportunities for aspiring directors. The phones will be the longest lasting, with New, bigger battery across the line.

Somewhere in the middle of an 80-minute presentation, roughly 90 seconds were spent 5G

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That’s a far cry from when Apple put out its shiny new iPhone 12 nearly a year ago. Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg joined Apple CEO Tim Cook to talk about 5G, which served as the reason for the marquee feature and upgrade. Even as recently as July, during Apple’s fiscal third-quarter earnings conference call, Cook said 5G was “in a very early innings” and suggested a higher threshold. Yet on Tuesday it was hardly a blip.

5G’s exile from center stage to side act underscores the rugged introduction of next-generation wireless technology. Once touted as a game-changer with blazing speed, the reality for 5G has been a wildly inconsistent set of experiences based on devices and location. The result: Consumers poured some excitement and enthusiasm into wireless service over what the carriers had expected.

“From an Apple consumer-focused standpoint, there’s no killer app other than speed testing — which really takes advantage of faster speeds and lower latency,” said Roger Entner, an analyst at Recon Analytics. “Why advertise something that the consumer won’t experience as a real benefit?”

The experience you got with 5G was already inconsistent with last year’s iPhone 12. Verizon touted an ultra-fast flavor powered by millimeter wave spectrum, the kind of connection that would let you download seasons of TV shows in seconds, but the service was only available in stadiums or crowded city centers — which that were almost empty because of the pandemic. On the other end, T-Mobile spoke of full nationwide coverage with a version of 5G that was only marginally faster than 4G.

But Apple had to spark some ingenuity and interest in 5G, just like everything from mobile payments to wireless charging. Other companies jump into new technologies quickly, but Apple comes up with a polished version that gets the masses pumped. Apple adding all the flavors of 5G to all of its devices was an impressive feat.

“5G is the most exciting step yet,” Cook said in his speech last year.

“5G just got real,” Vestberg said of the iPhone’s embrace of technology.

iPhone 12 sales were brisk right out of the gate. A new design for the iPhone, which includes upgraded cameras, as well as typical Apple fan devotion, fueled record sales of its latest flagship device. My colleague and Nerdshala editor Ian Sher says it was such a success that it pushed Apple’s sales and profits to new records despite launching in the pandemic.

But 5G was more along for the ride than the driver of interest.

More 5G in more places

Cook did not mention 5G this year. Kayn Drance, Vice President of iPhone Marketing for Apple, dedicated a 90-second segment on the broader embrace of technology with the new iPhone. He mentioned that the iPhone 13 would be able to connect 5G networks from over 200 carriers This year in more than 60 countries and territories.

“5G will be far more relevant to consumers in Europe and the US this year than last year, as carriers build out their midband 5G networks,” said Avi Greengart, an analyst at Techsponential. speed and range.

Even in the US, network rollouts are still happening.

“5G is still not really ubiquitous despite carrier claims,” ​​said Maribel Lopez, an analyst at Lopez Research.

But beyond that short segment, Apple only offered a token mention when talking about 5G. new ipad mini And 9th generation ipad.

Apple was more than eager to talk about the 5G capabilities in its iPhone a year ago. Drance talked to me and my colleague Patrick Holland about the technique they used to 5G. radio involved By being a total power hog on the iPhone 12 (Android manufacturers had similar settings).

Instead, Apple this year focused on core features like the iPhone 13’s better camera, As well as extra battery life.

Still, that won’t stop carriers from rolling out the new iPhone, which represents one of the biggest opportunities to capture new customers or hunt down customers from rivals with few. good deals. For example, AT&T and Verizon have already gone on the offensive. Trade-in offers for new iPhones, while T-Mobile has a “Forever” upgrade plan that gives you $800 for a new iPhone every two years.

Not that 5G is a bust. The talk about technology, as complicated as it is, has a lot of potential. It is still seen as the foundation for other breakthroughs such as self-driving cars and telemedicine.

Verizon and AT&T are racing to roll out a new flavor of midband spectrum that’s supposed to give 5G a big boost, something T-Mobile is already doing this year.

Maybe at that point, Apple will be interesting enough to bring 5G again during a future iPhone launch.

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