5G: We’ve Heard This Before
I have owned many phones with varying operating systems over the years, starting with candy bar phones, flip phones, flip color phones, and then smart phones. I have had Android (starting with version 1), Blackberry, Windows (yes, Windows made a phone OS), and Apple. More recently, I have been an iPhone user because my family is and it makes my life easier.
I mention this because of much talk there is surrounding the recent iPhone 12 and how must have 5G speeds – and, consequently, how many sales that will generate.
I laugh when I see almost anything on cell phone speeds. First, because it reminds me of the classic 2011 Best Buy Super Bowl commercial with Ozzy and Bieber: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVJ91W4ZRhw
In this commercial, new speeds keep coming out before Ozzy can get through the commercial. This seems like a premonition of things to come. Not long ago, the buzzword was 3G.
Second, I also think of another area where this seemed to happen: 3D TVs. Large, mostly-affordable HD TVs were everywhere, and while many had issues or a wide variety of quality, 3D TVs started popping up. HD was not broadcast everywhere and was still being worked on, but sure, let’s upgrade to something better! In less than 10 years, this ran its course.
This brings me back to the 5G iPhone. Every commercial the last few years has been about the biggest and best 4G network (now, some are touting 5G), but did we ever truly get 4G after moving from 3G? The answer is: we got 4G-ish.
Most phones are 4G-ish. True 4G is a peak of 100MB when mobile, but when this standard was released, it was not possible. LTE (Long-Term Evolution) was introduced. This basically means “faster than old 3G while making a good effort to approach 4G.”
For some, this 5G capability is exciting, but it will depend greatly on your location. For example, if you are a Verizon Customer in SE Michigan, the 5G map is actually a few blocks in Detroit. (To be fair, other vendors have larger areas – or maps that show much larger areas).
Much like that classic Ozzy and Bieber commercial, we seem to be upgrading before we have even completed the previous project. I for one would like to see true 4G really reach nationwide before we jump to the next unattainable standard.
(By the way, anyone want to buy a 3D TV? Great deal, but limited programming.)
(Image Source: iCLIPART)