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Apple 'to introduce 5G iPhones in 2020' but is unlikely to increase cost

A 5G iPhone would come at a time when the US company is going through one of the toughest phases in its recent history

Apple is predicted to launch four 5G iPhones in Fall next year. Bloomberg
Apple is predicted to launch four 5G iPhones in Fall next year. Bloomberg

Apple will launch four iPhones in September next year but will not "significantly" increase the cost, according to a Hong Kong analyst from TF International Securities, which follows the company closely.

The technology giant is predicted to release a 13.7 centimetre iPhone, two 15.4cm models, and one 17cm version with 5G connectivity in the autumn.

Fifth generation components will raise the production costs by up to $100 (Dh367.3) but Apple will offset the price by “cutting on supply chain expenses”, said the financial services firm’s analyst Ming-Chi Kuo in his latest research note, reported MacRumors.

A 5G network promises an internet speed of up to 1.2 gigabits per second, which will gradually reach 10Gbps — more than 100 times faster than 4G. It has a latency of less than one millisecond, compared with 20 milliseconds for a 4G network. Many smartphone manufacturers such as Samsung, Huawei, LG and OnePlus already sell 5G phones. Apple has yet to announce anything officially.

Apple’s cheapest phone now starts at $550 but prices spike beyond $1,500 for high-end models.

The decision to offer cheaper 5G iPhones has come at a time when the Cupertino company is going through one of the toughest phases in its recent history.

Sales of the iPhone dropped more than 13 per cent year-on-year at the end of the fiscal year on September 28 – a sign the company needs to rethink its strategy around its flagship device.

Apple could also change its product launch strategy, according to American financial services company JP Morgan. The company is expected to start releasing iPhones twice a year from 2021, it added.

Apple is reportedly also planning to introduce a lower cost iPhone in 2020 to compete with mid-range smartphones from Samsung and Huawei.

Global smartphone shipments grew 3 per cent in the third quarter, according to US market researcher Strategy Analytics. This was the first quarter of positive growth in the past two years.

Samsung boosted shipments of its smartphones in the period by 8 per cent year-on-year and stayed on top with a 21.3 per cent market share. It was followed by Huawei with an 18.2 per cent market share and Apple with 12.4 per cent.

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Updated: December 12, 2019 04:36 PM

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