Consumers are looking forward to the 5G iPhone, but they haven’t had a choice for a year.
Editor’s note: This article is from WeChat public account “PingWest play” (ID: Wepingwest), author Jianguo.
The 5G train came faster than we thought. On June 6, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology issued 5G commercial licenses to the three major operators. China became the first “passenger” for 5G trains, along with South Korea, the United States, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. In China, operators and mobile phone manufacturers have started the first shot. China Telecom has preemptively established, and it has been confirmed that it will be officially commercialized in September, and will announce the package fee. The other side of China Unicom has exposed a large number of upcoming 5G mobile phones in advance.
▲China Unicom Weibo screenshot
In addition to the already released ZTE Axon 10 Pro and Huawei Mate 20 X (5G), there will be a vivo iQOO Pro, Samsung Note 10 5G version, Xiaomi 9S and so on. Mobile phone manufacturers are vying for the first traffic of 5G, and no one wants to step behind. Among them, there is no 5G version of the iPhone.
Consider caution on 5G
Apple did not put the 5G iPhone in a recent schedule.
In July, when Apple announced its third-quarter earnings report, Apple CEO Cook responded to the Apple 5G program for the second time. He said: “5G is still in a very early stage, the company is currently The product lineup is very satisfying and excited about the hardware and software supply chain.”
▲Image from CNET
In other words, Apple is cautious, and Cook believes that the current 5G technology is still notMature enough, Apple will not rush to launch the 5G iPhone.
In a recent report from Tian Ming International analyst Guo Mingxi, he predicted that the iPhone will not support 5G until 2020, with a total of three iPhones. He also predicted that the 5G iPhone will account for 60% of the total iPhone shipments.
The three iPhones that will be released this year are still 4G phones, and Guo Mingxi believes that they will continue to adopt Intel’s 4G baseband.
For those who want to experience the 5G network first, this year’s iPhone will be a product that loves and hates.
Do your own 5G baseband
Cook’s attitude towards the 5G iPhone is closely linked to the development of the 5G baseband.
Most of the 5G phones that have been released use two 5G basebands. One is Qualcomm’s X50 baseband, which is mounted on a smartphone by plug-in; the second is Hayes Unicorn’s Baron 5000, which is not only used in mobile phones, but also in 5G CPE – Kirin does not sell chips.
The dispute between Apple and Qualcomm led Apple to choose to jointly develop the next generation 5G baseband with Intel. Intel formed a team of thousands to work with Apple. So far, the cooperation between the two parties has not yet produced a product that is suitable for the scene.
Intel first introduced the XMM 8060 5G baseband in 2017, but it is reported that the baseband chip for the 5G iPhone can not be solved well, so the second year Intel introduced XMM 8160 5G The baseband is expected to be available in 2020.
▲Intel XMM 8160 Image from Intel
The incident shift occurred on April 17 this year. The grievances of Apple and Qualcomm were written off. The two sides reached a settlement agreement and gave up all legal proceedings in the world. Dramatically, on the same day, Intel immediately announced its withdrawal from the 5G smartphone modem chip business.
Apple won’t give up longIn cooperation with Intel, on July 25th, Apple announced the acquisition of Intel’s smartphone modem division business for $1 billion. Includes approximately 17,000 wireless and RF patents, 2,200 employees, and related equipment.
After experiencing the baseband and antenna design issues of the iPhone X to iPhone XS series, Apple finally decided to “master the core technology” and develop its own 5G baseband. Of course, antenna design, 5G baseband power consumption and heat dissipation issues have become more comfortable than before.
In fact, as early as February of this year, Apple has already dug away Umashankar Thyagarajan, chief engineer of 5G chips from Intel, who is a key player in the baseband production of iPhone XS and iPhone XR.
According to the British “Daily Telegraph” report, Thyagarajan was responsible for building a mobile RF team after joining Apple.
After this toss, the timeline of the 5G iPhone was disrupted. According to analysts’ predictions, Apple will not be able to use the self-developed 5G baseband for the iPhone until 2022. Therefore, during the transition period of the 5G self-developed baseband chip, the iPhone should use Qualcomm’s 5G baseband.
Slow heat and 5G dividend period
Apple’s slow heat in network technology is not the first time.
On December 16, 2009, Sweden became the world’s first 4G commercial country. One year later, on December 5th, US telecom operator Verizon announced the start of commercial 4G networks (FDD-LTE) in 38 cities dominated by the Northeast.
But Apple is not eager to follow up on the new network. Apple has not released 4G phones for the next two years. Until September 2013, Apple officially released iPhone 5s that support 4G networks. The iPhone 5s that year set a sales record for the first week with 9 million.
It is worth mentioning that the iPhone 5s is the first time in China. It directly helped Apple’s Chinese market share between September and October increase from 3% to 12%. At the end of 2013, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology issued 4G commercial licenses to the three major operators, and the iPhone 5s just caught up with the domestic 4G exchange.
There is data showing that the iPhone 5s became the top seller in the world for two consecutive months after its launch, and it was also the most popular smartphone for Chinese users. The iPhone 5s shows that even if Apple doesn’t take the lead, it can sell well.
However, the current smartphone market is no longer the same.
The development of domestic manufacturers in recent years is particularly rapid. Among the top five mobile phone brands in the world, three are from China. Secondly, the global smartphone market has experienced negative growth for several consecutive years, and the user change cycle has been lengthened. It is just that China has become the first batch of commercial 5G countries. Domestic mobile phone manufacturers have bet 5G ahead of time, and want to make a layout before the 5G change.
Even before 5G was officially commercialized, domestic manufacturers left their impressions in various ways and were very effective.
The headphone of the mobile phone industry in the first half of 2019 released today shows that when it comes to 5G, the first brand that consumers are most concerned about is Huawei, the second is Apple, and the third is Samsung. Among them, Huawei’s attention is much higher than the last few. However, when the target is switched to a specific model, the top three become Huawei Mate X, OPPO Reno and Samsung Galaxy Fold.
This reveals a signal that consumers have great expectations for the 5G iPhone, but they have no choice. At least one year before the launch of the 5G iPhone, if you want to use a 5G phone, you can only buy other brands. Apple may miss the 5G dividend period and be at a disadvantage in the late 5G user battle.
But the development of 5G network in the coming year is still unknown. Next year’s 5G iPhone can reproduce the brilliance of iPhone 5s, it depends on iPhone users andApple has it.