Is the 5G iPhone a fraud currently?

I was thinking of buying a new 5G iPhone 12

Then I read this. Perhaps I will hold for a while.

How can the cell carriers and phone manufacturers get away with such extreme exaggeration? Note ATT’s national advertising currently emphasizing what a “big deal” 5G is. That does not seem to be true

I have an iPhone X. I’m going to wait for 5G to mature. I’ll consider the iPhone 13.

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It all seems rather overblown. The only time I’m not on wifi is in my car, and it just needs to be fast enough to stream audio then. For some jobs I can imagine it would be a boon but for most folks it’s probably unnecessary.

I feel like we’d need a similar test from Verizon to call anything about the 5G iPhone a “fraud” at this point, as it was pretty clear that was the network Apple was pushing.

From my understanding the longer wave 5G, which T-Mobile uses to claim it was the first “Nation Wide 5G” has roughly the same speed as 4G LTE. It’s no where close to the mmwave 5G everyone is thinking it is. I’d assume that’s where the slower speeds are coming from.

Yes, milimeter wave 5G, as I understand it, is very fast but it doesn’t travel through walls, etc. and is line of sight.

I don’t anticipate needing a technology that will burn through my data cap in a matter of seconds.

It’s a whole game of smoke and mirrors in which marketing folks cherry pick the best performance available in optimal conditions and shout that from the rooftops*

*whilst noting that such speeds might not be available everywhere…

Whilst it does sound as though Apple may have some smarts built in to let them switch between 4G and 5G on the fly to optimize your experience and performance, the difficulty for a consumer is getting accurate and reliable information about what flavors of 5G will be available from their carrier in locations that they expect to use their devices in, and whether that will noticeably improve during the lifetime of the device. Don’t expect the blistering downloads of mm wave 5G anywhere which isn’t a major sporting venue or transit hub, so if you don’t frequent those places, expect similar to 4G performance from your local 5G network, with maybe some reduced latency. In short - buy based on the other features of the phones rather than the 5G capabilities for the vast majority of customers. (Just my opinion, based on living in a small city in the Mid-West, with little/no chance of mm wave deployment anywhere other than around our downtown event arena)


I heard the the iphone13 is going to be faster and will have a better camera. :grinning:


I would suggest a listen to Tom Merritt’s explanation in this podcast episode:

It highlights why some (if not all) 5G networks in the beginning will most probably be either as fast as, or slower than, 4G.

And how that speed should change fairly quickly, depending on the hardware you have. Apple’s hardware should be able to pick up these speeds quickly as networks change.

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I don’t think its a fraud as much as its still an immature technology. You shouldn’t upgrade to it because it has 5G. MKBHD had a good point in his reaction video to the event. People are using iPhones longer than any other smartphone. 5G isn’t a big deal but in 2 or 3 years it will help people who upgraded to the iPhone 12 not feel like their phone is obsolete as fast.

says it all really

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Remember every time they mentioned or shown an image with 5G performance they clearly stated “Under ideal conditions”…

Translation: Parked next to the tower.

I think that is a good point.

Thinking about this more, my “fraud” complaint should not be directed at Apple but rather at ATT. I have sat through this digital ad countless times recently telling me how much of a “Big Deal” ATT 5G is and how it gives “Faster” and “more reliable” service. Just not true.

My 4G in Sydney, Australia is 150MB/s. I’m not sure why I would need a faster connection with the technology that is available today.

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Same here. I really wonder what application or use case I would have that would require faster speeds. LTE right now is several times faster than my needs. 4k? Videoconferencing? Nothing I do uses even half the bandwith. And 5G coverage sucks right now. Let’s see where we stand in 3-4 years. Today, I don’t care if a phone supports 5G.

There’s also a chance that it’s like saying that a Ferrari does you very little additional practical good in day to day life when you already have a Toyota.

I suspect that your version is closer to what is, though. At the very least, we would all benefit from increases in aggregate bandwidth and power efficiency.

Given that I have 1 “bar” of signal in my house, I’m not expecting 5G to make any impact on my life in the next few years. I live in a poor midwestern town surrounded by rich neighbors — a perfect situation for terrible coverage that isn’t going to change.

I blame the carriers and “deregulation” for this, not Apple. If Apple didn’t support 5G, I think it would hurt their ability to sell the phone.

On the other hand, I do Apple them for promoting it so heavily during their recent event. I can only assume that Verizon paid them a LOT of money for that advertisement, and that doesn’t make Apple look good.

I think people are going to be surprised by the improvement in reliability from the low bandwidth implementations of 5G they’ll be able to access. Assuming the intelligent switching feels instantaneous and looks at connection spottiness.