With mobile networks in Australia and across the world preparing for the arrival of 5G, it was a reasonable expectation that next year’s crop of smartphones and connected tablets would hit the market with 5G. But that doesn’t seem to be the certainty most of us expected. Heat dissipation issues with the latest modem chips suggests Apple will hold back on 5G for a year, meaning we won’t see 5G iPhones till 2020.
A report at Fast Company, says the spectrum being used for 5G in some international markets requires some “heavy lifting” on the part of the modem chips. As a result, this generates excessive heat resulting in battery life issues and the body of the phone getting too hot for comfortable use.
Other rumours are already doing the rounds when it comes to the next generation or two of Apple’s flagship smartphone.
Upgraded FaceID cameras that will measure the time it takes for a light dot – the FaceID system uses over 30,000 infrared dots to map a face – to travel from the camera to the subject are being developed. And Apple won’t want to be left behind as makers like Huawei keep upping the ante, at lower prices, while delivering new features.
It is important to note Apple rarely leads markets with new technology. As new standards like 5G emerge, the company tends to wait until the tech matures so they can deliver a market-ready, rather than market-leading solution. They weren’t the first maker to bring 3G or LTE to smartphone buyers.
Of course, if Intel, Apple’s sole provider of modems, is able to solve the technical issues quickly, and carriers broaden the footprint of 5G faster than expected, it may be possible to see a 5G iPhone next year. And a lot will depend on what Samsung does with the latest Galaxy, which is expected to land during Mobile World Congress next February.