Apple’s new iPhones will face off against 5G expectations and smartphone fatigue

  • Apple is planning to launch the new iPhone 11 today but there might not be a lot of buyers.
  • Customers are suffering from smartphone fatigue and waiting on 5G to launch.
  • IDC predicts that 5G devices will make up 8.9% of all smartphones shipped next year and could result in a boost for Apple.
Tech giant Apple's traditional September event is going to kick off tonight. But everything that could be announced has probably leaked online.

As per reports, the new iPhone will have a triple camera setup and its face ID is due for an upgrade. Apple's also expected to bring in new colours and wireless charging for AirPods.

Yet, it might not excite too many buyers. International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts that iPhone shipments will fall to 177.9 million in 2019 — that's a 14.8% drop.

Gap year for smartphones

The lack of interest could be that customers aren't looking to upgrade their devices in the first place, according to Wedbush Securities.

Customers are choosing to wait and watch for 5G technology and upgrade accordingly. Also, the high price tag on phones is dragging out the upgrade cycle. If a smartphone isn't broken, it's unlikely that customers are going shopping for a new one.


Global smartphone shipments will remain nearly flat in the second of 2019 while the market declines 2.2%, as per IDC's report. This will be the third year that the smartphone market will be in a slump.

Apple's iPhones aren't immune to the effect. And, it has no plans to launch its iPhone 5G just yet as it is saving it for next year.

5G — A ray of hope for smartphones

Phones haven't really offered anything new to users for a while, something known as smartphone fatigue. This isn't just about entry level devices but mid-range and flagship phones as well.

5G, on the other hand, offers something to get excited about.

IDC predicts that 5G devices will make up 8.9% of all smartphones shipped next year. By 2023, 5G smartphones are estimated to make up more than a quarter of devices sold worldwide.

"To be clear, we don't think 5G will be the saviour in smartphones, but we do see it as a critical evolution in mobile technology," said Ryan Reith, the Programme Vice President at IDC.

For Apple, launching the iPhone 5G will help pick iOS volumes and — since smartphone vendors like Samsung and Huawei have already debuted their devices — Apple will have a better understanding of the 5G market.

Even though Apple bought out Intel's modem making arm for $1 billion to reduce their dependence on third party vendors earlier this year, it's unlikely to power the first iPhone 5G. The deal between the two tech companies won't close until the last quarter of 2019.

But, having Intel's technology might finally allow Apple to launch a secret feature that it was working on that would let iPhones text each other even without cell service.

(with IANS inputs)