Ignore Phone Companies About 5G – The New York Times

Ignore Phone Companies About 5G – The New York Times

This article is part of the On Tech newsletter. You can sign up here to receive it weekdays.

There might not be smartphones in billions of pockets today if the phone companies had their way.

Now they’re again standing in the way of progress.

This week’s unveiling of new iPhone models started the typical selling season for smartphones. What’s different in 2020 is Americans are getting pitched hard on buying a new phone to get access to the next generation of cellular networks, known as 5G.

The message is: 5G = Good! Fast! Get it now!

Reality: It is not that good or that fast at the moment and most people in the United States don’t need to get it now.

Americans should be angry about marketing blather winning over clarity about 5G. I fear people will waste their money on half-baked technology and grow disillusioned by 5G’s potential to improve lives.

My message for U.S. phone companies: Communicate more effectively about 5G or go away.

I’ve seen these problems before. In the pre-iPhone age, we had years of clunky mobile devices, and phone providers like AT&T deserved a lot of the blame.

Phone companies dictated almost everything about flip phones and early smartphones, including their features, look and speed. People had to
Source…