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Apple is right: 2019 will be too early to buy a 5G phone

This week has 5G hype, the creative title the successor to 4G mobile internet connectivity, going from a queuing to…

This week has 5G hype, the creative title the successor to 4G mobile internet connectivity, going from a queuing to cook like Qualcomm, AT & T, Verizon and Samsung rattled of a series of launch plans early next year, while Apple reported that put the technology up to at least 2020. As much as I love the thrill of introducing the new networking standard, I’m inclined to believe that Apple is right: neither of us should be factoring 5G for our phone purchases in the coming year.

It’s not that the 5G is not very promising. Samsung released a press release saying it has achieved a throughput of 1

.7 Gbps with a combination of Verizon’s spectrum and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X50 5G modem. It’s the best case, but Qualcomm’s true modeling also suggests a still impressive jump to speeds of around 490 Mbit / s, a size enhancement from the 4G LTE network we currently have, which usually offers connections of around 20 Mbps to 50 Mbps. 19659003] But pay attention to the circumstances here: both Samsung and Qualcomm are telling about their lab results. No operator or manufacturer walks around cities with actual 5G devices yet and gives us true measurements. At Qualcomm’s big 5G meeting in Hawaii yesterday, my colleague Sean Hollister only saw a Samsung 5G phone, which he was not allowed to touch, a 5G Moto Mod and a pair of thin 5G mobile hotspots and none of

Verizon 5G hot spot is not small. Photo by Sean Hollister / The Verge

Each participant in the limited Hawaii demonstrations had the same excuse: the test 5G network was in a hurry by Ericsson, and the actual devices and the “set and optimized” (according to Verizon Director of Architecture Chris Emmons) multi-gigabit speeds. Coming .

Aside from the fact that there are still more recipes than a fully cooked dish, 5G also has a particularly unpleasant aspect. The fastest speeds come from airwaves in the millimeter frequency range, called mmWave. Verizon has 28 GHz, and AT & T operates at 39 GHz. The one who has ever tried the failed LTE rival who was WiMAX knows the biggest problem with these high-frequency transmissions: they are struggling to penetrate walls or other physical obstacles. The downturn of lower frequency, sub-6GHz 5G will happen, but we say that “the silicon to support the FDD spectrum will not be available until later 2019”, according to Gordon Mansfield, AT & T VP for Converged Access, and [19659008] To put it simple, the first 5G units get a lot of of their time to drive on 4G LTE networks because it’s the most compatible and available thing they need to connect to.


Motorola’s 5G Moto Mod. Photo of Night Garun / The Verge

Even when you beat a friend of faster speed 5G in your vicinity, you will quickly discover that you do not have all that you can do with what 4G can not handle . The previous move from 3G to 4G unlocked any user cases for mobile apps and services – such as storing your photos in the cloud or streaming your music instead of downloading it – desperately waiting for more bandwidth. In Hawaii this week, the 5G advocates showed a virtual virtual reality demonstration, but VR is still part of the technology that is still developing and looking for a truly convincing application. Without anyone like Nintendo creating an amazing VR game or any other high-bandwidth interactive experience in 2019, 5G’s immediate future will be one of the high costs of a little reward.

5G in 2019 will face many of the same obstacles that 4G must overcome in 2011. The new networks will have little geographical coverage to begin and the silicon required to connect to them will not be close to energy or space-efficient as the now mature 4G technology. So the first flavor you get from the new hot tech will be a quick exhaustive battery on a steeper than usual device. (Seriously, there are smaller computers than Verizon “puck” above, and AT & T’s 5G hot spot is no less.) I would like to believe the mobile industry is smart enough not to repeat the mistake that was HTC ThunderBolt – 2011’s poster child to a phone that has added 4G for fast and paid price in suboptimal battery life and design – but I’m not sure many answering machines will have the freedom to choose.


Samsung’s 5G demo device. Photo by Sean Hollister / The Verge

Samsung, Huawei and Xiaomi have announced their intention to offer a 5G phone 2019, while OnePlus has even gone so far as promising it will have the first 5G phone in Europe. In the hypermarketing kingdoms of Android smartphones, you either copy Apple without delay, or follow the status to get a tech first, whether it’s shakeless or collapsible, fingerprints, or 5G. Discrete features of this kind are important sales outlets for manufacturers, so whether network or chip technology exists or not, when a company jumps into fray, all others must inevitably follow.

Only Apple has been shown to be part of the relentless self-esteem for new features and specs that previously hit the 2011 mess of horrible 4G phones before they launched its first 4G iPhone the following year. The luxury of Apple’s sustained customer loyalty allows the company to skip the bloodbath of development products and deliver only a refined when time is right. At this time, Apple is also limited by its relationships: it’s bad with the 5G leader Qualcomm, and its partner Intel will not have 5G modems ready for 2020. So, if it’s Apple that is judicious or just limited by circumstances, first The 5G drive is far from.

I do not doubt that 5G will be a huge leap forward in mobile connectivity, to be matched only by our intolerable, irrational hunger for higher speed and bandwidth. But we’re just getting a glimpse of the future in 2019, and I do not think these flashes will be worth paying for. In the coming year, operators like AT & T and Verizon and phone makers like Samsung and Huawei will figure out how to optimize their equipment, maximize coverage, and harmonize the different wireless components underneath the “5G” banner. When the job is done, I gladly recommend my recommendation and urge everyone to embark on the 5G hype train. Just not yet.

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