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Digital Consumer

iPhone 12 launch: 5G searches for a connection with consumers

Apple recently announced its long awaited 5G iPhones the last of the major smartphone vendors to do so. Operators in the US hoped this would signal to consumers that 5G networks are ready for prime time. Handset rivals wondered if Apple's vaunted consumer-centric approach might unearth a 5G use case with true, mass market appeal. It was also an important moment in the ongoing rollout of 5G networks, as up until this point US consumers have largely been ambivalent about upgrading to 5G.

While the new iPhone offers users several compelling reasons to upgrade, Apple did not demonstrate a clear value proposition for 5G beyond the speed increase. Apple's embracing of 5G is significant for the industry as a whole, but the success of the new iPhones will depend more on features other than 5G - and whether consumers faced with economic headwinds see value in upgrading.

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