New Apple Patents Suggest This Fall’s iPhone Launch Could Be All About 5G

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It’s not the first time Apple patents covering 5G technology have appeared.

According to Business Insider, a pair of Apple patents covering 5G technology “have just been published ahead of what’s expected to be the launch of the company’s first 5G iPhone, which will reportedly debut in September.”

One of the patents covers wireless devices that can connect to both 4G and 5G networks, while the other patent “pertains to the enabling of network slicing — a technique that network operators use to ‘slice’ a single network into multiple layers with different speeds and latencies depending on a device's needs,” wrote Business Insider. Both patents are dated July 14, while the document covering dual 4G and 5G connectivity was filed in December 2017. “The latter relating to network slicing was filed in October 2018, and it appears to be the result of Apple’s decision to acquire the majority of Intel’s smartphone modem business since Intel is listed as the applicant.”

Apple patents covering 5G technology have “previously surfaced in June and April regarding antenna setups for connecting to 5G,” the report added. “Patents don’t serve as concrete evidence that Apple is developing a specific type of product or technology, and shouldn’t be interpreted as confirmation of a 5G iPhone,” Business Insider wrote. “Rather, patents could suggest that a certain technology may be on a company’s radar, indicating that it’s thinking about it in some capacity.”

“But the 5G patents are appearing as Apple is widely expected to announce the iPhone 12 in September, which media reports and analyst notes have suggested will come in multiple variants capable of connecting to 5G networks,” the report continued. “Bloomberg’s well-connected Apple reporter Mark Gurman has written that 5G could appear in as many as four new iPhone models in the fall.”

Apple has not publicly announced its plans for bringing 5G to the iPhone, but research firm Strategy Analytics reported that Apple could become the market leader for 5G phones should it decide to release a 5G iPhone this fall, “provided it matches the upgrade rates of last year’s iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro.”

Read the full report here.

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