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Kagan: The good and bad about Apple iPhone 12 with 5G

Most years, the new version of Apple iPhone doesn’t move the needle much. This year is different. With 5G, upgraded camera, MagSafe and more, there is plenty users will be happy about. There are also several areas of concern you should be aware of. Let’s take a closer look at the good, the bad and the ugly.

This year should be good for Apple. This new iPhone 12 is the first one with 5G. That’s what many users are looking for, even though there is not much need for this kind of speed yet.

However, over the next several years 5G will be very important for a growing number of users.

Funny thing, more iPhone users than you would believe already think their current device is already 5G capable. It is not.

That’s the power of marketing.

iPhone 12 Mini brings back one handed smartphone

More good news. This year Apple goes back in time and gives many users what they have been missing and looking for.

The iPhone 12 Mini is a great, smaller, one-handed iPhone. And this version has a larger screen than previous smaller versions. So, this combination should be just what many users are looking for.

iPhone 12 Mini is a smaller and lighter device, usable with one hand, but with a larger screen. Sounds like just what the doctor ordered for many users.

iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max

Let’s take a closer first look at the four new iPhone 12 smartphones. I’ll know more as I use these devices, but this is a good place to start. Remember, they have not been released yet… just announced.

There are two main categories.

One is the iPhone 12 and the other is the iPhone 12 Pro. Within each category, there are two versions. So, there are two categories, but four new devices to choose from this year.

iPhone 12 comes in two sizes, regular and mini. These are both full powered smartphones that every user will love. The iPhone 12 Mini is virtually the same smartphone, but at a smaller size. That’s the key difference.

iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max are a higher-level device. It has an even better camera and other features wanted or needed by many professional users.

While the iPhone 12 Pro is great and has loads of expensive features which are valuable to many users, it is also more expensive and may be overkill for the average user.

That’s not to say many average users like the best of the best and will choose this smartphone, even though they don’t need it.

That being said, all four new iPhone 12 versions look great, so far.

iPhone 12 goes back to squared edge design

What goes around, comes around. What do I mean? All new iPhone 12 devices have the same squared edges they used to have before they started the rounded edge design.

We are still in the very early days of 5G. It is not available everywhere yet. It starts in cities and spreads from there. It will take years to reach most markets across the United States.

So, even if you have a 5G smartphone, doesn’t mean you will have 5G service. Not yet anyway. It really depends where you are in the network.

5G is even more exciting since going forward it will enable many other industries and companies to transform their businesses. Think wireless pay TV, automated driving, TeleHealth, retail and so much more.

AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile US offering 5G iPhone 12

5G will also play an important role in the growth of wireless networks like AT&T Mobility, Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile US. These carriers have already been upgrading their networks bringing 5G service to more and more customers.

Remember, we are still in the early days of this next 5G revolution. That means you may or may not get 5G where you are. If you don’t have it yet, be patient, because you will.

To get 5G there are two different parts. Part one is the network. Part two is the device like a smartphone.

5G network builders like Qualcomm, Huawei, Ericsson and Nokia

This is keeping network builders like Qualcomm, Huawei, Ericsson and Nokia very busy. And they will remain that way over the next several years just from 5G. They are also starting to prepare for the next version, 6G.

You need a 5G device to access the 5G network where it is available. Just realize even if you have a 5G device, you will not always get a 5G signal.

You need to be in a part of the network that offers 5G.

You need both 5G network and 5G device to use 5G

That is something that will take several years to fully enable, one mile at a time across the entire United States, from every wireless network.

So, 5G is a big job and much of the work still lies in front of us. The good news is we are just in the first inning of this long game.

This means many investors, users and workers have a bright future ahead.

Apple entering 5G race will turn up marketing heat

Apple entering the 5G race will turn up the volume on marketing activity. Just like I said earlier that most iPhone users already think they have 5G, the power of marketing will continue to roll on.

This is good for companies, but it often keeps the marketplace confused.

When done well, this gives key players an edge over their competition and that’s the whole point. It gives each smartphone maker and each network the ability to claim they are the leader in the 5G space.

The truth of the matter is all players are rapidly moving toward 5G with vigor. Expect plenty of loud marketing and confusion to reign going forward.

Ookla SpeedTest says AT&T is fastest 5G network

Some carriers do earn a variety of 5G awards, which help users choose the best network for them. We have seen this mostly from AT&T and Verizon to date.

In fact, I saw on a CNBC interview with AT&T Communications CEO Jeff McElfresh that Ookla SpeedTest says AT&T is fastest 5G network. He also said AT&T offers free iPhone upgrades, which is quite attractive.

So, pay attention to these as they can be helpful in choosing the right carrier for you.

Over time, I expect all major carriers to offer solid 5G service as we go forward. That’s the goal and in a competitive world, that’s the reality.

Funny thing this year. Apple is not including a charging cable. They say users can charge like always or they can charge using MagSafe. The charging world seems to be getting larger and more complicated, and that’s too much for Apple to put in the box.

Unfortunately, users can still not plug in their earphones or other devices like they used to. That’s a shame Apple is moving away from this important feature.

Expect 5G marketing from all players to intensify

So, what does Apple entering the 5G battleground actually mean?

Today, all major players whether that be handsets, smartphones or networks, have entered the first stage of the 5G revolution. This will continue going forward. It will get better, stronger and faster. It will be available to more users as the next few years go by.

That being said, Apple’s entry to the 5G world is not and end, but just a beginning.

Expect the 5G marketing war to continue and to intensify. Now, all the major players have entered the space. That means the race is finally completely in play. So, buckle up! Things are going to start getting crazy from this point forward.

ABOUT AUTHOR

Jeff Kaganhttp://jeffkagan.com
Jeff is a RCR Wireless News Columnist, Industry Analyst, Key Opinion Leader and Influencer. He shares his colorful perspectives and opinions on the companies and technologies that are transforming the industry he has followed for 35 years. Jeff follows wireless, wire line telecom, Internet, Pay-TV, cable TV, AI, IoT, Digital Healthcare, Cloud, Mobile Pay, Smart cities, Smart Homes and more.

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