Goldman Sachs: Apple smart glasses 'key milestone' in 5G adoption

From a deep, multi-author dive into the fifth generation of mobile communications that landed on my desktop Monday:

China’s three major telcos have all commented that 5G currently lacks a clear and large-scale business application, at least in the smartphone/cellular sphere for customers. Specifically, they do not believe that many consumers would be willing to pay extra ARPU for 5G’s high speed and low latency. We believe that the most obvious 5G applications include autonomous driving, industrial IoT, surveillance, edge computing, and VR/AR. These applications, except for consumer VR/AR, are mainly designed for corporate users and have a limited number of subscribers...

We believe that very few smartphone enthusiasts/high-end users would be willing to pay extra ARPU [average revenue per user] for 5G service at the onset of the 5G launch as 4G is good enough for normal high-resolution video and gaming. Going forward, we view VR/AR as one of the few potential applications capable of driving widespread adoption of 5G smartphones. We note that expanded adoption of VR/AR would require attractive content and upgraded hardware. A key milestone would be the potential introduction of Apple’s own VR/AR gear, which could stimulate the growth of VR/AR content and drive some consumers to pay extra ARPU for 5G service.

Below: Goldman Sachs' roadmap.

goldman sachs 5g

Click to enlarge.

My take: Putting the cart before the horse.

UPDATE from Bloomberg: Apple Will Wait Until at Least 2020 to Release a 5G iPhone


  1. Gregg Thurman said:
    They may be speaking generically but I’ll wager they’re referring to Android users.

    With the latest iPhone price increases, and the nature of iPhone buyers, 5G will be rapidly adopted without further price increases of the iPhone. Carrier prices are another matter, but competition for customers in a saturated market will keep 5G service at minimum levels.

    4G may be good enough for cheap Android users, but I think iPhone 6/Plus, 6S/Plus, 7/Plus and 8/Plus owners will find the iPhone (5G) processor speed boost compelling (not to mention the larger screens) coupled with 5G signal strength and speed boost very.

    If Apple introduces 5G in its FY2020 iPhones I’m buying. By that time my iPhone XS Max will be 2 years old (and off contract).

    December 3, 2018

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