After many years of hard work on the treadmill, 2018 appears to be the year that 5G networks will eventually be launched (in some cities without smartphones available, but I'm going down). 5G smartphones will start in 2019, but according to all rumors we've heard so far, it will take at least 2020 for Apple to make a 5G iPhone available.
There are a number of reasonable explanations for that. Apple, as we have seen before, is not very interested in putting groundbreaking wireless technology into their phones, as it does not believe that the faster speeds are really worth it. The benefits of 5G, such as lower latency and gigabit speeds, are not particularly useful for smartphones right now, and Apple would rather wait for coverage to be ubiquitous before they bother to integrate a new technology.
However, as a new report points out, Apple has a very specific economic reason to delay putting 5G technology into the iPhone. Wireless companies, including Qualcomm, Nokia, Ericsson and Huawei, have invested billions of dollars and years of research into developing the 5G standard, and they get the investment by charging license fees to handlers using 5G technology.
According to VentureBeat the total cost of 5G technology licensing for a single smartphone can be over 21
As VentureBeat points out a large part of the licensing costs directly to Qualcomm, heavily invested in 5G, and has already crossed Apple with royalty payments before. Nokia announced today that it's capping its licensing costs around $ 3.50, a low price compared to its competitors.