While smartphone companies are busy hitching their wagon to the 5G smartphone future, Samsung has stolen a march on their competitors with its announcement that it will introduce a 5G device early in the first half of 2019.
In particular, Samsung will get a full year of sales after Apple declared they would not introduce their 5G device until 2020.
Clearly, 5G is the future of the smartphone. It will offer lower latency and faster connection speeds. 5G mobility service will provide increased bandwidth, better connectivity and should improve network reliability. And when fully implemented, will offer the capacity and download speeds so much faster than a 4G LTE network.
5G will usher in a new era of mobile connectivity, allowing people to connect to data, experiences and other people in ways never thought possible.- Brian Higgins: VP Wireless Device & Product Marketing, Verizon
In February last year, some 18 manufacturers laid out their plans for introducing 5G phones, including Motorola. So, consumers should have a wide range of choices. But that won’t include Apple.
Apple announced this week they will wait until 2020 before releasing an iPhone capable of 5G connectivity.
Apple has form in this wait and see attitude. Back in 2007 the original iPhone came without 3G capabilities, even though at the time 3G was widely available. They finally released their phone with 3G a year later. Indeed, they did the same with 4G.
So, it was no surprise Apple made the announcement. The main reason for Apple’s strategy is due to its desire for device effectiveness. In essence, Apple waits for the trial versions of rivals to be introduced, so they can learn from rivals’ mistakes and then release a better product with less of the glitches, that inevitably occur.
But some commentators believe that this time Apple may risk losing valuable sales and market share as the move from 4G to 5G is a major selling point for many of the new phones.
Service providers are also gearing up for the 5G revolution. In October Verizon, the American telecommunications giant, launched the world’s first commercial 5G network across the US.
Samsung’s 5G phone has been partnered with Verizon for its 5G Home offering since the beginning of 2018. And earlier this year AT&T teamed up with Samsung in the first 5G Innovation Zone to test business use cases for 5G.
Image: Maurizo Pesce