As a rule, Apple doesn’t talk about its future plans. Chief executive Tim Cook dodges questions about the company’s upcoming products and new iPhones are closely guarded until they’re revealed to the world.

But Tuesday’s reveal of the iPhone 12 was a signal of Apple’s future and gave analysts a clear idea of the technologies which Apple sees as crucial to the iPhone.

The most obvious technological leap in the new iPhones was adding 5G connectivity across all of the new devices.

Apple certainly isn’t first to make a 5G smartphone but adding 5G across the range of devices shows that Apple is gambling on the improved download speeds and bandwidth of 5G to hook in customers wishing to use data-intensive apps everywhere they go.

The company is increasingly reliant on revenue from its stable of services such as its music streaming and Apple TV subscriptions. Adding 5G allows customers to stream wherever they are, depending on if 5G networks are available.

“If anyone can kickstart consumer demand for 5G, then Apple can,” says Paolo Pescatore, an analyst at PP Foresight. “The iPhone remains a core product and gateway to the Apple universe.”

Customers will be forgiven for having a vague idea of the benefits of 5G, but Cook’s statement that 5G connectivity is “the beginning of a new era for iPhone” rings true. Apple is hoping that customers will share Apple’s vision of a world where they’re consuming large amounts of data on their iPhone wherever they are.

“The introduction of 5G technology to the iPhone range gives people a meaningful reason to upgrade and makes buying an iPhone this time around a future-proof purchase,” says CCS Insight chief of research Ben Wood.

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