AT&T Already Working on 6G, Says 5G iPhones Might Not Be ‘Massive Event’ Due to Economic Uncertainty

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Apple’s upcoming launch of 5G iPhones might not be a “massive event” due to economic uncertainty amid the global health crisis, AT&T Communications CEO Jeff McElfresh said in a paywalled interview published by CNBC.


“I do believe that you will see many of the iPhone subscribers move to upgrade to the device,” said McElfresh. “But I wouldn’t forecast that it’s going to be a massive event. I also don’t think it’s going to be a nonevent. I think customers, based on the pressures of the economy that we’re all facing today, will make a calculated decision as to what they want to do. And we’re going to be there to offer them any device that Apple launches here shortly.”

McElfresh added that AT&T already has engineers working on next-generation 6G networking, noting that it will take years before the technology fully materializes. No further details were shared about these efforts.

Apple is widely expected to unveil four new iPhones later this year, including one 5.4-inch model, two 6.1-inch models, and one 6.7-inch model. While flagship iPhones have started at $999 in recent years, Apple still has an opportunity for success in a price-conscious market this year if the 5.4-inch “iPhone 12 mini” starts around $749, as this device is expected to have an OLED display and 5G support just like higher-end models in the lineup.

Despite the global health crisis, Apple posted a June quarter revenue record of $59.7 billion. The results were boosted by strong iPad and Mac sales as more customers work, learn, and connect with family and friends from home.

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