In a survey taken before the "iPhone 12" launch, roughly 49% of U.S. consumers believe their current iPhone is 5G-compliant.
There seems to be a considerable amount of confusion surrounding the move to 5G. As it turns out, nearly half of U.S. consumers across all major carriers believe their iPhone can access 5G. This, of course, is not the case, as no iPhone — up through the iPhone 11 line — currently supports 5G.
The "iPhone 12" is suspected of being Apple's first 5G capable smartphone. Leaked carrier emails have also suggested as much.
The study, performed by Global Wireless Solutions, asked 5,000 U.S. smartphone users if they believed their iPhone could access 5G. While 49% answered yes, 29% of all smartphone users were unsure whether their phones could access 5G.
Some of the confusion could be attributed to the carriers. For instance, AT&T had falsely displayed a 5G E connectivity logo on consumers' phones connected to 4G networks as early as February of 2019. This was months before the first 5G phone from any manufacturer would even be available for purchase, and a year before the carrier started rolling out its 5G network.
GWS points out that when only looking at users that purchased a phone in 2020, nearly a quarter were unsure about their phone's 5G capabilities.
Much of the uncertainty comes from rural and suburban folks. About 45% of rural consumers and 47% of suburban consumers are unsure whether their carrier provides 5G. Nearly 73% of urban users believe their carrier offers 5G.
Consumers between the ages of 35 and 44 were the most confident in what they believe that their phone is capable of. In that age group, 62% believe that they owned 5G capable phones. Consumers above the age of 65 were the least certain, with only 18% believing their phones were 5G capable.
The study also shows that while consumers are interested in 5G, 74% don't believe that they'll see meaningful benefits this year. Additionally, 38% of consumers have stated that they would not pay more for 5G, maintaining that they shouldn't be charged more for improved network and device performance.
Of those excited about the switch to 5G, 54% said they were most excited about the increased data speeds, while 16% were most excited for improved video calling and conferencing.