San Francisco (AFP)
Apple is expected to unveil a much-anticipated iPhone 12 lineup on Tuesday featuring models suitable for the new super-fast 5G telecommunications networks in an update seen as vital to the company’s fortunes.
A broadcast event was hugely teased with the message “Hi, speed” in an apparent reference to the faster wireless networks being introduced in many parts of the world.
Analysts expect Apple to showcase a selection of iPhone 12 models in multiple sizes, with some shipping earlier than others due to the dire consequences of the pandemic on the company’s supply chain .
“We believe the iPhone 12 represents the most significant product cycle for Cook & Co. since the iPhone 6 in 2014 and will be another defining chapter in Apple’s growth story,” said the Wedbush analyst Dan Ives in a note to investors, referring to chief executive Tim Cook.
Now is the time, analysts say, for Apple to hit the market with an iPhone suited to the super-fast 5G telecommunications networks that are taking root around the world.
“Apple is in dire need of 5G right now,” said Avi Greengart, analyst at Techsponential, “not for the United States, but for China, where 5G is driving purchasing decisions. ”
Some of Apple’s rivals have already produced 5G models, and China is way ahead of the United States when it comes to next-gen networks.
5G networks are touted as promising an exponential leap in the amount and speed of wireless data, enabling advancements in autonomous vehicles, virtual reality, connected health and more, as sensors and servers communicate instantly.
“5G is happening in China with or without Apple; in fact, more 5G phones than non-5G phones are sold in China, ”said analyst Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights & Strategy.
Next-generation 5G networks have also taken shape in South Korea and parts of Europe.
Meanwhile, US carriers are eyeing a 5G iPhone as a catalyst for consumer interest that will justify the large investments needed for these networks, analysts say.
“US carriers are waiting for Apple to announce a 5G iPhone to rock the US,” Moorhead said.
– Feeding “the ecosystem” –
Apple also needs a 5G-capable iPhone to maintain its premium image, analysts added.
The powers Samsung and Huawei already have 5G smartphones on the market.
Google recently unveiled two new smartphones with 5G wireless capability under its Pixel brand, which features the Android mobile system but has limited market share.
“Apple managed not to release a 5G device last year because the 5G use cases and network coverage just weren’t there,” said Stephen Mears, research analyst at Futuresource Consulting .
“Apple won’t want to be seen as two generations behind 5G phones. ”
The streaming event comes a month after Apple unveiled new service packages and smartwatch models tied to the iPhone, which remains at the heart of its remunerative ecosystem.
Adding 5G iPhones to its lineup should help Apple “move forward” with this lucrative mix of hardware, software, services and digital content, Mears said. From the health-focused Apple Watch to music and TV subscriptions, the iPhone is at the center of the user experience.
Apple remains the most expensive company on Wall Street, where it closed the official trading session on Friday at a value of $ 2.03 billion, based on its share price.
– The pandemic slows down sales –
According to pre-event rumors, Apple will unveil new iPhones in a range of sizes, from a small model with a 5.4-inch (13.7-centimeter) screen to one with a 6.7-inch display. , measured diagonally.
Overall, it has been a difficult year for the smartphone industry, with the pandemic disrupting economies and supply chains.
“The recovery will be slow, with difficult market conditions expected to continue through 2021,” Mears said.
Total smartphone sales fell 16% in the second quarter, according to research firm IDC.
Its survey showed that Huawei led the market, ahead of Samsung, Apple and Chinese companies Xiaomi and Oppo.
© 2020 AFP