is master of the upsell, but 5G might present the company with its biggest challenge yet.
The tech giant has scheduled an event for Oct. 13, when it is widely expected to unveil this year’s iPhone lineup. As is typical, the company has said nothing about its plans for what would be the 20th iteration of its iconic smartphone, not counting large-screen variants of the same models. But leaks and supplier reports all have confirmed that the next-generation 5G wireless standard will be included in at least some of this year’s designs, and Apple itself dubbed the event “Hi, Speed” on its announcement.
Nearly all of the company’s competitors—including the largest,
—already have 5G phones on the market. But most of the world’s 5G action has been taking place in China, which accounted for more than three-quarters of 5G device shipments in the second quarter, according to Counterpoint Research. In the U.S., 5G coverage is still limited, even in major cities. That has hampered the uptake so far. IDC estimates that 4.2 million 5G smartphones were sold in the U.S. in the first half of this year—about 7.5% of total domestic smartphone shipments in that time.
Apple is widely expected to boost that. Counterpoint analyst Jeff Fieldhack predicts this year’s new iPhones will sharply increase the market share of 5G devices, resulting in such phones accounting for 20% of domestic smartphone sales by the end of the year. And several equity analysts have started redeploying the “supercycle” term used to predict strong iPhone cycles in the past—though not always accurately. Analysts project total iPhone unit sales will rise 10% in Apple’s current fiscal year ending next September, following two straight years of declines, according to consensus estimates from Visible Alpha.
That in turn has fueled Apple’s stock, which has jumped 59% so far this year even after retreating from its Sept. 1 peak. At more than 31 times forward earnings, the stock remains in its most expensive valuation range in more than a decade.
Is a 5G iPhone worth that? Probably not—if that is the only selling point. Past comparisons are problematic. The last major network transition to the current standard known as LTE took place in the 2010-12 time frame, when smartphones were still a fast-growing business globally. Apple’s first LTE device was the iPhone 5, which launched in late 2012. That device also sparked “supercycle” projections, though sales and the phone’s lower profit margins didn’t quite live up to the hype. Apple’s share price had surged 65% that year ahead of the iPhone 5 launch—and then slid 24% in the remainder of the year.
Smartphone buyers tend to be more motivated by improved features such as screen size, better cameras and longer battery life. The iPhone 6 cycle that kicked off in late 2014 turned out to be Apple’s best ever, thanks to the significant display-size boost that device delivered. And last year’s iPhone 11 Pro models with their triple-lens cameras turned out to be more popular than expected. Analysts believe those models accounted for 28% of Apple’s total iPhone sales volume for the fiscal year that ended in September, compared with the 23% for the previous year’s top-of-the-line iPhone models, according to Visible Alpha.
The success of last year’s iPhones is actually another challenge for this year’s, as smartphone buyers now tend to hold on to their devices for three to four years. Apple still has a strong base of fans willing to line up for whatever the company comes up with each year. Getting enough of them to justify a market value of $2 trillion will be a tall order.
Write to Dan Gallagher at email@example.com
Apple FCC filing hints at hidden reverse wireless charging feature in iPhone 12 – 9to5Mac
Reverse Wireless Charging was one of the rumored features for iPhone 11 last year, but Apple allegedly removed it from the final version of the devices. Now, FCC filings for iPhone 12 have revealed that this year’s devices might have a functional reverse wireless charging system.
Following the iPhone 11 rumors in 2019, iFixit disassembled the new smartphones as usual and then discovered that the iPhone 11 Pro has some components that are part of a bilateral wireless charging system, but that was unfinished — so it doesn’t work at all.
While this suggests that Apple indeed tried to implement this technology on last year’s iPhones, there were no rumors about bilateral wireless charging on the iPhone 12. However, new FCC files suggest the new phones might have this technology.
As first spotted by Jeremy Horwitz, the FCC documentation for the iPhone 12 models brings some interesting details about how these devices can be wirelessly recharged. FCC says iPhone 12 works with regular Qi chargers and also with a new “charging function at 360 kHz” that can recharge accessories.
This is an interesting fact since Apple hasn’t mentioned anything about this feature on stage, and this is clearly disabled on iPhone 12 devices — at least for now. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman then suggested Apple might be holding this new reverse charge through MagSafe for the rumored AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro 2.
Apple, of course, could announce new AirPods that work specifically with the iPhone 12’s new MagSafe system — which would explain why they haven’t mentioned anything about reverse wireless charging for now. Unfortunately, more details about this are unknown for now.
Are you excited about the possibility of having bilateral wireless charging on iPhone 12? Let us know in the comments below.
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Samsung's rumored Galaxy S21 may not include charger or headphones – CNET
Samsung’s social media recently mocked Apple’s decision to not include a charger or earphones in the box with the recent iPhone 12. Now reports indicate the electronics giant may follow suit with its next flagship lineup in 2021.
Tech site SamMobile on Tuesday detailed rumors that Samsung may cut the charger and corded earphones from the package for the next Galaxy product — which could either be called the . There’s also a chance Samsung removes the earphones from the box and ships the rumored phone with a charger only, according to SamMobile, citing Korean media reports.
, saying the change will help reduce electronic waste. You can still buy a separate Apple power adapter for $19 to charge your iPhone, though there are .
Samsung did charge extra for a faster charger for previous phones, but still included the basic one in the box.
Samsung didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Sony seeing 'very considerable' PS5 demand ahead of launch – Kitco NEWS
TOKYO (Reuters) – Sony Corp is seeing “very considerable” demand for its PlayStation 5 (PS5) console via pre-orders, its gaming chief said on Wednesday, as users rush to secure the next-generation device ahead of its Nov. 12 launch.
The Japanese tech company pre-sold as many PS5 consoles in the first 12 hours in the United States as in the first 12 weeks for its predecessor PlayStation 4 device, Jim Ryan, CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, said in an interview.
“The demand as expressed by the level of pre-order has been has been very, very considerable,” Ryan told Reuters.
Sony, which went on to sell more than 100 million PS4 units, aims to persuade its user base to upgrade to its new device to play titles like “Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales” with enhanced graphics, sound and feedback via a new controller.
The launch comes in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic that has boosted gaming companies’ revenues but also disrupted retail networks, games development and manufacturing supply chains around the world.
“It may well be that not everybody who wants to buy a PS5 on launch day will be able to find one,” said Ryan, adding the company is “working as hard as we ever can” to ensure supply for the year-end shopping season.
Sony has built a network of in-house studios producing exclusive titles, including “Ghost of Tsushima” from Sucker Punch Productions, to fend off rivals including Microsoft’s Xbox and new entrants.
Sony’s will continue to grow its studio capability organically Ryan said, adding that “where we can bolster our in-house capability with selective M&A that might be possible.”
Analysts question how far the expansion in gaming driven by stuck-at-home consumers will continue longer term, with Ryan saying it will be up to Sony to drive that engagement.
“We’re definitely looking upwards and thinking that we can do better than we thought we could,” Ryan said.
Reporting by Sam Nussey and Noriyuki Hirata; Editing by David Holmes
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