Here's why Apple won't be adding 5G to the 2019 iPhone 11

Sometimes it pays not to be first.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

Are you annoyed by all the rumors that 5G won't be coming to the iPhone until 2020? Does this make you want to switch to Android so you can get 5G now?

The truth is, it isn't that the iPhone isn't ready for 5G, it's that 5G isn't ready for the iPhone.

Must read: The 2019 iPhone 11 will be annoying, boring, and expensive

ZDNet's sister site CNET has been looking at 5G from the perspective of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 launch, and the conclusion is that 5G isn't ready for prime time.

"5G is live, but it's hardly lived up to expectations," writes Roger Cheng. "CNET's speed test of 5G networks around the world, spanning everywhere from Seoul to London and many cities in between, have found startling high speeds but limited or spotty coverage. All new network deployments have their fair share of growing pains, but this generation's rollout has been far more problematic."

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Now, it makes sense for carriers and handset makers to hype 5G into the stratosphere -- the carriers have put enormous amounts of cash into the infrastructure, and for handset makers, it's a way to sell more smartphones -- but for buyers, it seems like 5G isn't ready for mainstream use.

And while a 5G-capable iPhone would no doubt legitimize the technology, Apple neither needs 5G to sell iPhones nor does it need the blow-back from consumers who are dissatisfied with what it has to offer.

Similarly, AT&T has decided 5G isn't yet ready for prime time.

"We're not distracted by the 5G popularity contest," an AT&T spokesperson told CNET. "Our focus is on our customers."

A year from now, 5G will be established and ready for the iPhone.

Do you want 5G today? Would you be willing to switch from iPhone to Android to get it?

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