Apple may delay launch of mmWave 5G iPhone by several months

Apple is on track to launch a 5G-ready iPhone this year, but it may release the next-gen model several months after a standard iPhone 12, according to analysts at Susquehanna.

Mehdi Hosseini said in a note on Monday that Apple could split its next iPhone launch in two in a similar manner to the newly designed iPhone X, which arrived a couple of months after the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus in late 2017.

Ultrafast 5G will be a major focus for manufacturers in 2020, and Apple is on course to deliver a faster mmWave model during the next 12 months.

However, its standard September unveiling could just see a slower sub-6HZ variant of the 5G tech being included in the next iPhone due to a short delay behind the scenes.

Hosseini said that the setback “stems from Apple’s decision to in-source the Antenna-in-Package (AiP) modules instead of purchasing from the third party”.

Apple is believed to be working hard to develop a 5G modem of its own and that in-house advances have enabled it to bring a possible release date in from 2025 to 2022.

5G-based networks are more confusing in the US, where operators including T-Mobile have rolled out a 600MHz network that is only a slight improvement on current 4G LTE.

The mmWave tech is faster though and promises to deliver a 10 times uptick in download speeds, but services offered by T-Mobile, Verizon and AT&T remain limited to specific locations.

All four major operators in the UK are also rolling out 5G with a slow but steadily growing list of cities and towns being switched on.

Apple will be waiting to see what Samsung has in store next month when it is expected to announce the 5G-capable Galaxy S11.

For now, it seems that the immediate successor to the iPhone 11 will only support slower networks.

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