Although Apple is reportedly holding off on offering a 5G-capable iPhone until 2020, Android manufacturers are going for it in 2019. Qualcomm president Cristiano Amon recently said that “every” Android manufacturer will offer a flagship 5G-capable smartphone by the end of next year.
The first devices for the fast, next-generation network will hit the market in early 2019. Samsung, for one, said it will have a phone for Verizon, AT&T and other networks in the first half of the year. By the holidays next year, every flagship handset — at least when it comes to those running Google’s Android software and using Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processor — will tap into 5G, said Qualcomm President Cristiano Amon.
“When we get to exactly this time of year one year from now … we will see every [handset maker] on the Android ecosystem, their flagship across all US carriers will be a 5G device,” he told CNET in an interview Tuesday at Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Technology Summit in Hawaii. “Every Android vendor is working on 5G right now.”
Apple and Qualcomm are currently engaged in a patent battle, which has resulted in Apple giving its modem orders to Intel. While Apple is said to be considering Intel’s upcoming 8160/8161 5G modem for use in the iPhone, that modem won’t be available in wide production until the second half of 2019. That makes the first half of 2020 the best estimate for when handsets with the new chip could begin appearing on shelves.
Reports that Apple is holding off on including 5G capabilities in their iPhone shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that is familiar with the iPhone’s history. The Cupertino firm has historically held off on adopting new cellular standards, waiting for them to mature before including them in their devices.