Two people on Twitter found out that their AT&T iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR now has 5G Evolution cellular connectivity on iOS 12.2 beta 2. This unofficial feature has skewed up the carrier as AT&T hasn’t released 5G to the public. The iPhone didn’t have any particular hardware to support 5G as well; they just have a 4×4 MIMO LTE chip that’s also on the latest cellular iPads.
AT&T is officially rolling out 5G next year, but these people discovered this immediately after iOS 12.2 beta 2 is installed. The modem chips for 5G in the iPhone and iPad will be installed as well. AT&T SVP of Wireless Technology Igal Elbaz wrote that,
“We’ve been talking about 5G Evolution for a while now. We were pretty public about what we were doing and what we were deploying,” said Elbaz.
“What we’re trying to do is two things. One is to let the customer know that they are in an enhanced experience market or area. So we’re letting them know this on the device. And there are close to 20 devices that support this.”
In particular, I can infer that Elbaz said 20 devices will be capable of 5G, and she wants customers to have an enhanced experience with their iPhone’s wireless connectivity.
It’s great to have customers enjoy 5G and ultra fast service on their iPhones and cellular iPads now, and Apple is surpassing the race for LTE and 5G networks. But 5G will remain a little confusing for some people until 2020, the official year 5G will roll out.