Apple is expected to launch its first range of smartphones equipped with 5G technology tomorrow, the highly anticipated "iPhone 12", more than a year after its two rivals Samsung and Huawei.
This launch comes at a time when the new generation of mobile telephony takes off, even if it is still far from disrupting daily life or industries.
The American giant is faithful to its "patient" business habits which "lead the market rather than follow it," notes Stephen Mears, analyst for Futuresource Consulting. Apple announced its marketing event with a cryptic phrase, “Hi, Speed”, which appears to refer to the speed acceleration promised by 5G.
In the areas covered, users notice the difference in the download of content, which is faster. Ultimately, the new telecommunications infrastructures will have applications in fields as varied as autonomous vehicles, augmented reality and connected health. “Last year the use cases and network deployment weren't there yet,” says Mears. "In 2020 the situation will not have changed much, but Apple will not want to be two generations behind 5G handsets."
The deployment of relay antennas is very advanced in parts of Asia. Major Chinese cities have 5G and 90% of South Korea's population lives in served areas, according to Futuresource. The firm predicts that sales of smartphones with 5G worldwide will increase from 145 million handsets in 2020 to 303 million in 2021, and 515 million in 2022.