- Apple isn't likely to release a 5G iPhone until 2020, perhaps as much as a year after rival Samsung introduces its next generation of high-speed smartphones to U.S. consumers, Bloomberg reported.
- Verizon and Samsung on Monday said they plan to start selling a 5G smartphone in the first half of 2019. The companies will introduce a prototype that uses Qualcomm's Snapdragon modem chips at the chipmaker's technology summit in Maui, Hawaii this week.
- "Apple has always been a laggard in cellular technology," Gartner analyst Mark Hung told Bloomberg. "They weren't impacted in the past, but 5G is going to be much easier to market. But if they wait beyond 2020, then I think they'll be impacted."
5G technology promises to make mobile data speeds 50 to 100 times faster than current 4G networks, opening the door to more bandwidth-intensive video content on mobile websites and apps. Removing download delays is likely to help ad viewability and could prevent smartphone users from installing ad blockers. Two-thirds of U.S. consumers using ad blockers could be convinced to stop using them if access to content isn't impeded in some way, among other reasons, according to an IAB study. 5G will be able to handle more data, which means smartphones can carry high-resolution ads, such as 4K video, and more personalized content in real time, Digiday reported. 5G connections are also expected to bring mixed-reality streaming, immersive games, instant movie downloads, self-driving car navigation and remote healthcare.
Apple's delay may give Samsung a chance to convince Apple users to trade in their iPhones if 5G is the mobile panacea that has been promised. Apple in the past hasn't rushed to develop phones that work with the newest wireless networks. It has preferred to wait until cellular carriers have better coverage, such as for 4G LTE, which took several years to expand nationwide after being introduced in 2010.
AT&T and Verizon are likely to promote 5G smartphones to urge customers to upgrade their service, but many dedicated iPhone users may be willing to wait until Apple introduces a 5G model instead of jumping ship to Google's Android platform. Apple's share of the U.S. smartphone market grew to 39% in Q3 2018 from 33% a year earlier on the strength of its latest iPhone models. Samsung's share rose to 25% of the U.S. smartphone market in Q3 2018 from 23% a year earlier, according to Counterpoint Research.
5G's rollout will be a significant part of AT&T's and Verizon's content and advertising strategies as they compete more directly against Facebook and Google for mobile ad dollars. AT&T, which this year completed its acquisition of media giant Time Warner and also bought AppNexus, wants to automate the buying and selling of TV advertising, provide more concise ad targeting and create a marketplace for premium video, digital display and native advertising, Adweek reported. Meanwhile, Verizon this year shut down Go90, its ad-supported mobile video streaming platform, and is reworking its strategy for Oath to focus on sports, finance, entertainment and news programming, Adweek reported.