Apple's new 'iPhone 12' has a 5G problem

Apple is slated to showcase its first 5G iPhone at an event on Tuesday ... but most Americans may not be available for burning network speeds that next-gen wireless technology can do for things like augmented reality, real-time cloud gaming and improved viewing of movies are promised.
The problem lies with America's wireless carriers. AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile are not quite up to date with their nationwide 5G rollouts, leaving many users stuck on networks that are slightly faster than 4G - but not as fast as 5G speeds, which are theoretically 10 up to 20 times faster.
Apple, expected to announce what analysts are calling the iPhone12 at a virtual event on Tuesday, has to walk a tightrope between luring consumers to upgrade their phones without being too promising of what 5G can do today.
It is years away from getting US cellular networks to deliver what 5G promises to be. That means developers were in no rush to build apps for a 5G world. Without scintillating apps to drive demand, some Americans may choose not to upgrade to an expensive 5G iPhone ... A different scenario than upgrading to 4G when there are noticeable changes to Facebook's mobile app and Alphabet's YouTube convince users to get rid of slower devices.
But Apple can't wait for networks or app developers to catch up. Apple is currently running behind rivals Samsung and Huawei. Competitors are already busy with their second 5G models to use networks in countries like South Korea and China, where higher speeds are currently a reality.
Video transcript
Apple is expected to showcase its first 5G iPhone at an event on Tuesday. But the blazing network speeds promised by next-generation wireless technology for things like augmented reality, real-time cloud gaming, and enhanced movie viewing may not be available to most Americans.
The problem lies with America's wireless carriers. AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile are not quite up to date with their nationwide 5G rollouts, leaving many users stuck on networks that are slightly faster than 4G but not as fast as 5G speeds, which theoretically 10 up to 20 times faster. Apple, which is slated to announce what analysts are calling the iPhone 12 at a virtual event on Tuesday, has to walk a tightrope between luring consumers to upgrade their phones without promising too much of what 5G can do today.
It is years away from getting US cellular networks to deliver what 5G promises to be. That means developers were in no rush to build apps for a 5G world. Without dazzling apps to drive demand, some Americans may choose not to upgrade to an expensive 5G iPhone. This is a different scenario than upgrading to 4G when noticeable changes to the Facebook mobile app and Alphabet's YouTube have convinced users to get rid of slower devices.
But Apple can't wait for networks or app developers to catch up. Apple is currently running behind rivals Samsung and Huawei. Competitors are already busy with their second 5G models to use networks in countries like South Korea and China, where higher speeds are currently a reality.

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