A new report from Opensignal paints a rough picture for how 5G performance on the iPhone 12 lineup stacks up against Android smartphones in the US. The majority of the top 25 fastest 5G smartphones ended up being made by Samsung and while iPhone 12 saw a 2.3x jump in 5G speeds compared to its 4G iPhone speeds, Apple’s first 5G iPhones placed at the bottom of the pack and behind at least 25 Android smartphones for overall download speed.
Opensignal shared the new report on 5G performance in the US by smartphone model today with Samsung’s new Galaxy S21 5G taking the top spot with an average 5G/4G download speed of 56 Mbps.
One of the big takeaways was Samsung accounting for 60% of the top 25 5G performers.
TCL’s Revvl 5G and the OnePlus 8T+ took second and third place respectively with 49.8 and 49.3 Mbps averages. LG’s Velvet 5G came in 25th with 37.8 Mbps.
Where’s the iPhone 12 in all of this? No doubt disappointing to iPhone 12 owners, Apple’s first 5G-enabled smartphones came in way behind their Android competitors for overall average speeds.
The iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max had average download speeds of 36.9 and 36.2 Mbps with the iPhone 12 and 12 mini coming in with 29.6 and 32.9 Mbps, respectively.
Opensignal notes that because previous iPhones were behind Android when it came to 4G speeds with Intel instead of Qualcomm modems, iPhone 12 brought a bigger 2.3x increase in 5G vs 4G speeds in the US than competitors like Samsung, OnePlus, etc. saw from the jump to 5G.
The chart below shows how Apple was able to close the gap when it comes to 5G performance with Qualcomm modems, but it still lags behind all of the Android competitors.
Since the iPhone 12 lineup is using Qualcomm 5G modems like Android devices and even including mmWave in all of the models, we were curious about why it appears iPhone is lagging behind and reached out to Opensignal.
Ian Fogg who authored this report and leads Opensignal’s analysis team said it may come down to Samsung and other Android manufacturers being ahead of Apple when it comes to RF design as smartphone components beyond the modem influence 5G/4G performance. For example, Samsung’s Galaxy S21 is its third generation of 5G smartphones while the iPhone 12 lineup is Apple’s first. So Apple may have work to do to catch up on front-end RF design.
Finally, the report highlights that when 5G comes to iPad, it should make a nice difference for users:
Today, we see average download speeds on the 5G iPhone Pro models that are on average 36% faster than the speeds on the most recent cellular iPad Pro models. With a new 5G-capable SoC, future iPad Pro users should see speeds at least as fast as iPhone 12 users.
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