“This is the start of a new era,” announced Tim Cook, Apple boss, to mark the highly anticipated entry of iPhones into 5G, the next generation of ultra-fast mobile telephony, which is taking its flight in Asia and around the world. The American electronics and technology giant launched the iPhone 12 on Tuesday, during a presentation with a lot of dramatic staging and music, online and without an audience, the Covid-19 pandemic requires.
More than a year after its two rivals Samsung and Huawei, Apple will market its first line of smartphones with 5G, at base prices ranging from $ 699 to $ 1,099. It comes with the iPhone 12, 12 mini, 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max, which will be on the shelves from October 23 (12 and 12 Pro) and November 13 (12 mini and 12 Pro Max).
The iPhone 12 has “more 5G bandwidths than any other smartphone,” said Arun Mathias, a vice president of the California group. American models will even be able to use so-called “millimeter” waves, ultra powerful (but covering precise and limited areas).
“We have done 5G tests with more than 100 operators in 30 regions,” he continued. “Under ideal conditions, we measured speeds of over 4 gigabits per second (Gb / s), and up to 1 Gb / s under typical conditions.” “This is the most important new product cycle for Apple since the iPhone 6 in 2014,” commented analyst Dan Ives, Wedbush Securities.
Despite these announcements, the title of Apple slipped nearly 3% on Wall Street, after having climbed Monday thanks to the anticipation of the news.
The missing piece of the 5G puzzle
“Apple is going to do more for 5G than 5G is going to do for the new iPhones,” Thomas Husson, vice president of Forrester, commented on Twitter. Because 5G, far from upsetting everyday life for the moment, is not yet a selling point in the United States or in Europe. But the apple brand was expected as the Messiah by the industry. Its entry on the scene signals that technology can no longer be satisfied with disjointed deployments: now is the time for operators to work extra hard.
“Until now, most people were wait-and-see”, noted Hans Vestberg, the boss of Verizon, present at the marketing event to announce that the American operator was going to deploy its 5G network on the scale of the United States , in order to cover 200 million people in 1,800 cities. “5G has just taken shape,” he added.
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 or connected health.
In the United States and in Europe, infrastructures have fallen behind, in particular because of the trade war between Washington and Beijing, the Chinese supplier Huawei being the leader in the sector.
In Asia, on the other hand, 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.
From the iPhone SE released in the spring – an entry-level model at $ 400 – to the iPhone Pro Max and its 6.7-inch (17 cm) screen starting at $ 1,100, Apple is playing on all fronts .
Tim Cook’s firm could sell more than 75 million iPhone 12s, according to Dan Ives, who estimates that more than a third of the 950 million iPhones in circulation in the world, or 350 million devices, are likely to be replaced by a more recent model in the coming months.
Prices are aligned with those of previous models and competitors. “Apple has taken into account the situation of many consumers in 2020 with the health crisis,” notes Stephen Mears of Futuresource. “The reasonable prices of the iPhone 12 will not be a problem for the majority of their customers.”
The apple brand has also released a new version of its connected speaker: the HomePod mini, equipped with the voice assistant Siri, will be sold from $ 99, and will give the impression that “the iPhone and the speaker are physically connected to each other, “promised Tim Cook.