Editorial It doesn’t matter that Apple’s ‘iPhone 8’ may not support 4G Gigabit LTE or 5G

A report claiming Apple’s “iPhone 8” won’t supporting some next-generation connectivity generated some confusion about the new device’s prospects —but it really won’t matter. AppleInsider explains the technology, and why the next crop of iPhones won’t be impacted if Apple limits connectivity speed.

Apple not supporting the latest and greatest connectivity and speeds in networking isn’t new. The iPhone 3GS shipped when LTE was coming out, and more recently, the Qualcomm modem in some iPhones was limited somewhat so that it and the Intel modem in some devices would perform the same across the board.

Couple Apple’s periodic reticence to adopt the new technologies, some practicality hurdles, and the company’s licensing battle with Qualcomm, and it actually seems probable that it won’t support 4G Gigabit LTE, or 5G in the next batch of iPhones.

5G isn’t even close

The so-called “5G” is the next wave of telecommunications coming from the carriers. There are no standards for the technology yet, with research going in a few different directions.

As promised the “5G Standard” demands 100 megabits per second for metropolitan areas, better spectrum efficiency, lower latency, and “tens of megabits” for tens of thousands of users.
How often can you say that you meet peak connectivity requirements now?
While the U.S. has set aside 5G spectrum, there’s not much there, yet. There’s no delivery technology standard, and Verizon and AT&T are part of the effort in the U.S. with competing efforts to set the standard for the future.

At the earliest, there will be 5G networks available beyond limited testing in the end of 2018. However, wide-spread use of the technology isn’t expected until 2020 with deployments stretching well into the next decade. Where we stand today is not all that dissimilar to the initial 4G research a decade ago versus today’s deployments.

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