We’re almost due for the next big leap in cellular communications. The 5G standard began rolling out this year and is already available in dozens of cities – and that number is set to increase massively over the next few years as carriers work to spread 5G coverage as wide as possible.
Compared with 4G, this new protocol will boast much faster download speeds and lower energy usage for a seamless and speedy connection. The improvement from 4G to 5G is comparable to the switch from 3G to 4G in 2008. Of course, like that previous switch, the last-gen technology will likely stick around for a long time to cover the blind spots where the new tech doesn’t reach. So there’s no need to throw out your old iPhones just yet.
In fact, hardly any smartphones are compatible with 5G yet, with zero Apple devices currently supporting the protocol. That’s been long-rumored to end, though, with a 5G-compatible iPhone supposedly on the horizon.
Well, now we have proof that Apple is working on a 5G iPhone, and working as fast as possible. The head of chip-maker Qualcomm confirmed a multi-year partnership with Apple in which it will be developing various parts like modems and antennas to help the iPhone support 5G.
“Priority number one of this relationship with Apple is how to launch their phone as fast as we can,” said Qualcomm’s president. “That’s the priority.”
Of course, it’s interesting to note that he doesn’t commit to a specific timeframe here, but it’s probably safe to assume Apple is aiming for a 2020 release if at all possible. The scale at which iPhones are made, and the fact that Qualcomm admits its somewhat late to starting work on 5G components, might make it too much of a challenge for everything to fall into place by next September.
But for those interested in living on the cutting edge of communication, the good news is that we shouldn’t be waiting too much longer for a 5G iPhone.