What you need to know

  • Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes Apple will release three iPhone models that support 5G in 2020.
  • Kuo previously said Apple would only release two devices that feature 5G next year.
  • Kuo's revised prediction comes after Apple acquired Intel's smartphone modem business.

Come 2020, Apple will reportedly release three iPhone models that support 5G, according to a new report. Kuo previously said Apple would only release two iPhone models that offer 5G, but his forecast has been changed following Apple's acquisition of Intel's smartphone modem business.

Here's what Kuo said, via an analyst note obtained by MacRumors:

We now believe that all three new 2H20 iPhone models will support 5G for the following reasons. (1) Apple has more resource for developing the 5G iPhone after the acquisition of Intel baseband business. (2) We expect that the prices of 5G Android smartphones will decline $249-$349 USD in 2H20. We believe that 5G Android smartphones, which will be sold at $249-349 USD, will only support Sub-6GHz. But the key is that consumers will think that 5G is the necessary function in 2H20. Therefore, iPhone models which will be sold at higher prices have to support 5G for winning more subsidies from mobile operators and consumers' purchase intention. (3) Boosting 5G developments could benefit Apple's AR ecosystem.

Kuo goes on to say that he expects Apple's devices to support both mmWave and sub-6GHz spectrum, unlike many Android phones, which will only support sub-6GHz. This will give Apple a leg up in terms of quality and speed, but it could result in the three iPhone models being more expensive than the competition.

The three iPhone models mentioned in Kuo's report will allegedly feature technology from Qualcomm, as Apple expedites work on its own custom 5G chip. If all goes according to plan, consumers could see Apple devices with Apple's custom 5G chip as early as 2021.