Consumers are clearly still confused about 5G: what it is, how to get it, and above all, what benefits it can offer. This is understandable, given that the technology has been greatly hyped by the mobile industry but has not yet led to any revolutionary changes for users.
This confusion was highlighted by a survey conducted in the US by Global Wireless Solutions.
Between a quarter and a third - 29% - of respondents said they do not know if their phone supports 5G, while 38% are unsure whether their operator has started building a 5G network at all.
Among iPhone users, reinforcing the stereotype of Apple fans being less tech-savvy than their Android equivalents, the confusion was even greater: as many as 49% believe their iPhone already supports 5G, despite the fact that Apple has so far not released any model that supports the technology. The most misinformed segment consisted of those between 25 and 44 years old, of whom around 60% thought they already had a 5G mobile.
These findings are published at an awkward time for Apple, which tomorrow will announce its new iPhones for autumn 2020. The iPhone 12 handsets are expected to offer 5G support as their biggest new feature - but how is Apple going to sell that to a user base that thinks they already have it?
(Here in the UK an additional roadblock that Apple's 5G sermon may face is the lack of coverage if you don't support 700MHz, which the non-Pro models aren't expected to do.)
Apple has the voice, and certainly has the marketing nous, to get across a simple message better than any other company. This is why so many 5G-involved carriers and even rival phone manufacturers have been looking forward to Cupertino's entry into the 5G arena: it's likely to bring a huge swathe of public consciousness with it. Perhaps if another survey were taken seven days from now it would show a considerable improvement.
This article originally appeared on Macworld Sweden. Translation by David Price.