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Half of iPhone owners think they already have access to 5G and carriers should be ashamed

Qualcomm 5G
Qualcomm 5G (Image credit: Qualcomm)

What you need to know

  • 49% of iPhone owners surveyed said they had 5G.
  • No iPhone currently shipping boasts 5G connectivity.
  • The first 5G iPhone will start shipping before the end of October.

A new study has found that a massive 49% of iPhone owners think that they have 5G connectivity already, despite the fact Apple hasn't yet sold a single iPhone that supports it.

Just as crazy is the news that 29% of those questioned, regardless of the smartphone they owned, didn't know whether they had 5G or not.

  • 49% of Apple iPhone users across all carriers think their current smartphone is 5G capable.
  • 29% of all smartphone users are unsure whether their phone is capable of accessing 5G. Even when looking only at users that bought smartphones this year, 24% are unsure whether their phone is capable of accessing 5G.

The news comes thanks to a study by Global Wireless Solutions that involved more than 5,000 adults across the United States.

This, of course, is all down to carriers. AT&T, for example, started putting 5Ge in iPhone status bars earlier this year thanks to the arrival of iOS 14.2. Apple clearly OK'ed the move, something that it shouldn't be forgiven for – just as AT&T should be ashamed of the confusion it's causing.

Despite saying 5Ge in iPhone status bars, AT&T iPhones don't actually support 5G. No iPhone sold today supports 5G, in fact. Carriers can talk about 5G Evolution and carrier aggregation all they want, but calling it 5G is false and dishonest.

The fact 49% of iPhone owners think they already have access to 5G is, frankly, ridiculous. And I don't blame them one bit.

Oliver Haslam
Contributor

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.

2 Comments
  • Just FYI, 49% is not half. Plus, it is only 49% of those polled, which is not an accurate representation of "iPhone users" which implies all iPhone users. Please don't fall into the clickbait trap of trying to get more viewers.
  • What generation of cell technology their phone supports is irrelevant to the vast majority of phone users. They know they can watch videos, stream movies, tik tok, and video chat with their friends. All they know is what they see on TV, which is BS across the spectrum (pun intended) these days. Of course they think their new phone supports 5G, they've been seeing ads for it blanketing the country for 3 years or more.