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Apple’s iPhone 13 event just proves that it doesn’t care about 5G

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Tim Cook made no mention of 5G this year.

Screenshots / CNET This story is part of an Apple Event that fully covers the latest news from Apple.

Apple executives spared no superlatives when they announced the new iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max on Tuesday. They said the iPhone 13 Pro was the “most professional” phone ever. With the camera upgraded, Apple took advantage of Academy Award-winning director Kathryn Bigelow to showcase its features and predicted that the new cinematic mode would open up opportunities for aspiring directors. They also said the phone would last the longest ever and new, larger batteries would spread throughout the line.

In the middle of an 80-minute presentation, I spent about 90 seconds on 5G.

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This is far from when Apple held up with the new shiny iPhone 12 almost a year ago. Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg joined Apple CEO Tim Cook at the 2020 keynote to talk about marquee features and 5G, which served as the reason for the upgrade. Just recently in July, at Apple’s third-quarter conference call, Cook said 5G was “very early” and offered a high cap. Still on Tuesday it was barely a blip.

The demotion of 5G from center stage to side act underscores the bumpy introduction of next-generation wireless technology. Once known as a game changer at an incredible speed, the reality of 5G has been a very inconsistent set of experiences, depending on the device and location. As a result, consumers shrugging what carriers wanted will inject some enthusiasm and excitement into wireless services.

Roger Entner, an analyst at Recon Analytics, said: “Why do you advertise something that consumers don’t experience as a visible benefit?”

The experience gained with 5G was already inconsistent before the iPhone 12 last year. Verizon advertised an ultra-fast flavor with a millimeter-wave spectrum. This is a connection that allows you to download the season of the TV show in seconds, but the service is only available in stadiums or crowded city centres that were virtually empty thanks to the pandemic. Meanwhile, T-Mobile advertised nationwide coverage with a slightly faster version of 5G than 4G.

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But Apple, as in all cases from mobile payments to wireless charging, should have caused some simplicity and interest in 5G. While other companies dive into new technologies early on, Apple offers sophisticated versions that excite the masses. It was an impressive feat that Apple added all the flavors of 5G to every device.

“5G is the most exciting step ever,” Cook advertised in a speech last year.

“5G has become a reality,” Bestberg said of the iPhone’s adoption of this technology.

Sales of the iPhone 12 were immediately strong. The new design of the iPhone, including an upgraded camera, and the dedication of typical Apple fans have spurred record sales of the latest flagship devices. My colleague and CNET editor, Ian Sherr, was so successful that he set a new record for Apple’s sales and profits despite the pandemic.

However, 5G was more comfortable to ride than the drivers of interest.

More 5G in more places

This year, Cook didn’t mention 5G. Kaiann Drance, Apple’s Vice President of iPhone Marketing, has devoted a functional 90-second segment to the widespread adoption of technology in the new iPhone. She said the iPhone 13 can connect to 5G networks from more than 200 carriers in more than 60 countries and territories this year.

Avi Greengart, an analyst at Techsponential, said: Of speed and range.

Networks are still being deployed in the United States.

Maribel Lopez, an analyst at Lopez Research, said:

But beyond that short segment, Apple only offered token references to 5G when promoting the new iPad Mini and 9th generation iPad.

Apple wanted to talk more about the iPhone’s 5G features a year ago. Drance talked to me and my colleague Patrick Holland about the technology they built into the radio to prevent 5G from completely consuming power on the iPhone 12 (Android makers had similar settings).

Instead, Apple this year focused on core features such as the iPhone 13’s improved camera and additional battery life.

Still, carriers can’t stop pushing new iPhones. This is one of the biggest opportunities to steal new customers or steal subscribers from rivals at great prices. For example, AT & T and Verizon have already made proactive proposals to trade in new iPhones, but T-Mobile has a “Forever” upgrade plan that offers $ 800 to new iPhones every two years.

5G is not the bust. What’s about this technology, which is as confusing as it was introduced, is that there are still many possibilities. It is still seen as the basis for other breakthroughs such as self-driving cars and telemedicine.

Verizon and AT & T are competing to develop a mid-band spectrum of new flavors that should bring significant speed gains to 5G. This is what T-Mobile is already doing this year.

Perhaps at that point, Apple will find 5G interesting enough to come back up with future iPhone launches.

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