AT&T communications chief is not all that optimistic about the iPhone 12

AT&T communications chief is not all that optimistic about the iPhone 12
The iPhone 12 is unlikely to be a groundbreaking hit, suggests AT&T Communications CEO, Jeff McElfresh.

He shared his views about the first 5G-ready iPhones and his company's work on 6G networks during an interview with CNBC (via MacRumors).

Although McElfresh believes many current iPhone owners will upgrade to the iPhone 12, he doesn't think that the number would be large enough to be classified as a major event.

His forecast is based on the economic challenges brought on by the coronavirus and high costs of unlimited 5G data.


The key differentiating factor between the iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 would be 5G connectivity, and it is expected to drive the most upgrades

McElfresh suggests that we taper our expectations of 5G. Previously Barclays analyst Tim Long had also cautioned against the excessive optimism surrounding the first 5G-ready iPhones, reminding us that the first 4G-enabled iPhone were not able to set off a supercycle.

As for AT&T's progress on next-generation 6G networks, he didn't share anything substantial. After all, 5G networks are yet to go mainstream , and it will be years before the 6G tech materializes.

Per one analyst, nearly 350 million of the current 950 million iPhones are up for an upgrade. Sales forecasts are a mixed bag, ranging from Cannacord's estimates of 168 million units to Wedbush's forecast of 215 million. 

Apple was apparently hoping to sell 80 million of the new phones this year, but recent reports suggest there could be a supply-demand gap of around 10 million units because of delayed production. 

The iPhone 12 will likely not be as affordable as previously thought, and this could also deter sales.

Handsets priced under $400 are expected to account for more than 70 percent of smartphone sales in 2020, so prospects aren't exactly bright for flagship phones at the moment as the upper-tier segment will be a hotly contested category this year.

Related phones

iPhone 12 mini
  • Display 5.4 inches 2340 x 1080 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP (Dual camera) 12 MP front
  • Hardware Apple A14 Bionic RAM
  • Storage 64GB, not expandable
  • Battery 2227 mAh
  • OS iOS 14.x

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