Apple is expected to unveil a highly anticipated iPhone 12 lineup Tuesday featuring models tuned to new super-fast 5G telecommunications networks in an update deemed vital to the company’s fortunes.
One broadcast event was cryptically mocked with the message “Hello, speed” in an apparent reference to the faster wireless networks that are being introduced in many parts of the world.
Analysts expect Apple to introduce a selection of iPhone 12 models in various sizes, some of which ship earlier than others due to the toll the pandemic has had on the company’s supply chain.
“We believe the iPhone 12 represents the most important product cycle for Cook & Co. since the iPhone 6 in 2014 and will be another defining chapter in Apple’s growth story,” Wedbush analyst Dan Ives said in a note. to investors, referring to CEO Tim. Cook.
The time has come, analysts said, for Apple to hit the market with an iPhone tailored to the ultra-fast 5G telecommunications networks that are taking hold around the world.
“Apple absolutely needs 5G right now,” said Techsponential analyst Avi Greengart, “not for the United States, but for China, where 5G is driving purchasing decisions.”
Some Apple rivals have already produced 5G models, and China is far ahead of the US when it comes to next-gen networks.
5G networks are touted as promising an exponential leap in the amount and speed of wireless data, enabling advancements in autonomous vehicles, virtual reality, connected health, and more as sensors and servers instantly communicate.
“5G is happening in China with or without Apple; in fact, more 5G phones are sold in China than non-5G phones, ”said Moor Insights & Strategy analyst Patrick Moorhead.
Next-generation 5G networks have also formed in South Korea and parts of Europe.
Meanwhile, US telcos are viewing a 5G iPhone as a catalyst for consumer interest that will justify the large investments required for those networks, according to analysts.
“US carriers are waiting for Apple to announce a 5G iPhone to hit the full throttle in the US,” Moorhead said.
– Boosting the “ecosystem” –
Apple also needs a 5G-capable iPhone to maintain its premium image, the analysts added.
Powerhouses Samsung and Huawei already have 5G smartphones on the market.
Google recently introduced two new 5G wireless-capable smartphones under its Pixel brand, which showcases the Android mobile system but has limited market share.
“Apple got away with not releasing a 5G device last year because the 5G use cases and network coverage just weren’t there,” said Stephen Mears, research analyst at Futuresource Consulting.
“Apple will not want to be perceived as two generations ago in 5G phones.”
The broadcast event comes a month after Apple introduced new service packages and smartwatch models linked to the iPhone, which remains at the heart of its money-generating ecosystem.
Adding 5G iPhones to its lineup should help Apple “move forward” with that lucrative combination of hardware, software, services and digital content, Mears said. From the health-focused Apple Watch to music and TV subscriptions, the iPhone is at the center of the user experience.
Apple remains the most expensive company on Wall Street, where it ended the formal trading session on Friday with a value of $ 2.03 billion, based on its share price.
– The pandemic slows down sales –
Rumors circulating ahead of the event include that Apple will introduce new iPhones in a variety of sizes, from a small model with a 5.4-inch (13.7-centimeter) screen to one with a 6.7-inch screen, measured diagonally.
Overall, it has been a difficult year for the smartphone industry as the pandemic has disrupted economies and supply chains.
“Recovery will be slow, and tough market conditions are expected to continue through 2021,” Mears said.
Total smartphone sales fell 16 percent in the second quarter, according to research firm IDC.
Their survey showed Huawei leading the market, ahead of Samsung, Apple, and Chinese firms Xiaomi and Oppo.