As consumers and enterprises find 5G alluring for novel device applications and use cases, ABI Research market forecasts confirm that 5G subscriptions are going to rapidly take off. By 2026, there will be more 5G subscriptions than 4G subscriptions. But in order for 5G to truly blossom, the market needs to evolve and ensure that 5G support is widespread. With that, we decided to list six upcoming 5G-supported devices to give you a glimpse into the future of 5G.
How 5G Improves Device Experiences
With 5G potentially being up to 100X faster and having far lower latency than 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE), smart device experiences will be on another scale. These enhancements will make mobile devices, wearables, tablets, and laptops far more efficient, which enables near real-time executions, expanded cloud storage, and extended battery life. 5G support will translate to instantaneous downloads/uploads, more reliable navigation, smoother video calls, and improved metaverse experiences, to name a few benefits.
1. Apple iPhone Flip
Design and Features
As reported in ABI Research’s “28 Technology Stats You Need To Know For 2022,” 10% of all smartphones will be equipped with a foldable screen by 2030. The iPhone Flip could very well end up being Apple’s first answer to this growing niche. It’s speculated that the company is developing two different foldable phone designs—a fold-out hybrid and a flip clamshell. Only time will tell whether Apple decides to launch both iterations or stick to one foldable design.
While the foldable 5G iPhone is expected to sport a design, not unlike the foldable phones from Samsung, the iPhone Flip concept design distinguishes itself with a smaller notch and external cover display, along with a folding screen. As for the iPhone Flip display, rumors suggest that it will be between 7.3 inches and 8 inches—potentially positioning itself as larger than the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and smaller than the iPad mini. With that said, other rumors are saying Apple is testing a 9-inch foldable display as well. Purportedly, the iPhone Flip could use color e-ink for the display to minimize battery consumption. Again, we’ll just have to see how the future plays out.
How Much Will the iPhone Flip Cost and When Does It Release?
Currently, there are no definitive answers as to what the price of the iPhone Flip will be. The retail price will be influenced by design choices, such as screen size and support/non-support for Face ID and Touch ID. At the earliest, the iPhone Flip will be trumpeted by Apple in 2023, but 2024 or 2025 are more reasonable dates.
2. Samsung Galaxy S23
Samsung’s next flagship smartphone lineup is expected to consist of three main models: the Samsung Galaxy S23, the Galaxy S23 Plus, and the Galaxy S23 Ultra. The S23 Ultra could come with a screen that curves at all four sides, as opposed to the typical two sides. While there’s been some chatter about Samsung using a MediaTek chip in select Galaxy S23 devices, ABI Research is confident that the company will continue using Qualcomm’s high-end chipsets, notably the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for 5G capabilities. Some other features of the upcoming Galaxy S23 include:
- 256 Gigabyte (GB) or 512 GB storage memory (customer chooses)
- 12 GB Random Access Memory (RAM) or 16 GB RAM (customer chooses)
- 6.1-inch, 2340 x 1080 pixels for Galaxy S23; 6.6-inch, 2340 x 1080 pixels for Galaxy S23 Plus; 6.8-inch, 3080 x 1440 pixels for Galaxy S23 Ultra
- Claims of a 200 Megapixel (MP) camera
- S Pen support and a slot for storing it
It’s worth noting that Samsung will need to address battery life in the Galaxy S23 range in light of diminished power packs found in device predecessors. So far, South Korean media has reported that the S23 base model will come with a larger and more capable battery. However, there’s no assurance that the Plus and Ultra models will be given the same treatment.
How Much Will the Samsung Galaxy S23 Cost and When Does It Release?
Finally, as for price, the Galaxy S23 range will be similar to previous releases, starting at US$799, and increasing up to US$1,199 for the Galaxy S23 Ultra. The next flagship smartphone lineup from Samsung is expected to launch in 1Q 2023 (most likely February).
3. Tesla Model Pi
If we are to believe the rumors, the upcoming Tesla phone is perhaps the most exciting of all future 5G devices. Supposedly, the Tesla Model Pi smartphone will receive a special coating that enables it to change color. The phone also has the potential to be the first mainstream satellite phone because of its Starlink compatibility. Starlink can provide high-speed Internet broadband for users in remote regions and underdeveloped socioeconomic communities. On the specs side of things, the Tesla Model Pi smartphone is said to sport the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, achieve 210 Megabytes per Second (Mbps) download speed, and support the human-machine linking technology Neuralink.
Other features and design choices include the following:
- 1 Terabyte (TB) to 2 TB memory
- At least 12 GB of RAM
- 6-in to 7-in Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode (AMOD) display
- 4,000 milliampere hour (mAh) battery
- Quad camera setup with a sub-screen front camera
- Device could possibly be solar charged
- Serve as a remote control for Tesla vehicles
- Cryptocurrency mining (Mars Coin)
- Astrophotography support
- Ultrasonic fingerprint scanner
When reviewing some of these features, it’s clear that Elon Musk’s DNA runs through the new Tesla smartphone.
How Much Will the Tesla Model Pi Cost and When Does It Release?
When accounting for all the design choices, it’s been proposed that the Tesla Model Pi will cost somewhere between US$800 and US$1,000. The release date won’t be until at least late 2023 or early 2024.
4. 5G MacBooks
While the MacBook Air (2022) will lack 5G connectivity, things will change in the future. According to industry reports, Apple is working on MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models that will enable support for 5G. For improved performance, Apple is thought to be leveraging a ceramic antenna board, which is 6X more expensive than the average metal antenna board. Other characteristics of the new MacBook iterations include a new Arm-based M1 processor (or an M2 update), 5G modems from Qualcomm, Face ID, MagSafe charging, the return of a Secure Digital (SD) card slot, and the exclusion of the Touch Bar.
How Much Will 5G MacBooks Cost and When Do They Release?
Because the components of the new MacBook models are more expensive than what’s used in previous models, it’s anticipated that these 5G versions will cost more than the current price tags (ranging from US$999 for a MacBook Air to US$1,999a for 14-inch or 16-inch MacBook Pro; this varies depending on screen sizes and chip types). While some say 2023 is when the 5G-enabled MacBook Air and MacBook Pro will release, 2024 appears to be a more likely target launch year.
5. Samsung Galaxy 5G Watch
The current Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and 5 models support 4G LTE, but not 5G. However, Samsung is said to be developing a new smartwatch that does unlock the 5G potential. Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of information known about the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5G’s specs. But there are some expectations about features, including enhanced Bixby support, better Samsung Pay support, a fingerprint scanner, and the device will supposedly support Electrocardiogram (ECG) measurement for health monitoring.
How Much Will the Samsung Galaxy 5G Cost and When Does It Release?
While the exact price of the Galaxy Watch 5G is a mystery, it will surely be north of Galaxy 5’s US$329.99 Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) because of the upgraded features. Compared to Apple, Samsung’s price patterns are not as predictable across generations. Due to the convoluted nature of bringing 5G to such a small device, don’t expect the Galaxy Watch 5G to release for a while, possibly in 2023.
6. Motorola XR 5G Neckband
Motorola and Verizon announced a partnership back in February 2022 to create a solution to address the heavy feeling of wearing Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) headsets. The 5G neckband, or the “collar,” is like a necklace that serves as a home for the battery and a base for all the processing, leaving the smart glasses/goggles feeling ultra-lightweight. On the hardware side, it’s confirmed that Motorola’s XR 5G neckband will have a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Processor embedded inside it, as well as a 5,000 mAh battery.
How Much Will the Motorola XR 5G Cost and When Does It Release?
Unfortunately, there is no speculation as to how much Motorola’s XR 5G neckband will cost because it’s still early in development. The industry anticipates a launch at the tail end of 2023.
The Future of 5G Depends on Manufacturer Innovation
Many consumers feel that the lines between each device generation are becoming blurrier and blurrier. That’s why device manufacturers must continue to innovate and invest in Research & Development (R&D). For most consumers, a minor, iterative upgrade just isn’t enough to justify an expensive device upgrade, at least not until their existing device breaks down. However, 5G capabilities can really push devices to new levels.
Although Apple and Samsung dominate the 5G device space, other tech companies are hard at work with their own 5G-supported devices, such as Tesla, Motorola, Google, Meta, OnePlus, Vivo vivo, Oppo, Xiaomi, and Nothing. To drive demand from consumers and enterprises, these technology manufacturers must continue to create new use cases and functionalities for their smart devices. If you’d like to see how all these companies are meeting 5G demands, download ABI Research’s Future 5G Mobile Devices: Reported Features and Functionality report. This research is part of the company’s 5G Devices, Smartphones & Wearables Research Service.