Are the iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max compatible with 5G?

Apple's iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max do not support 5G, unlike the iPhone 12, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max, and 12 mini, which came out a year later. This was one of the main criticisms made when the iPhone 11 range was launched, especially in a context where this new network is gaining importance and where the competition is adapting. Why is the iPhone 11 series not compatible with 5G? What models are compatible with 5G instead? We tell you everything below.

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Does the iPhone 11 support 5G?

Getting straight to the point: No! Apple bypassed 5G in 2019 with its iPhone 11 , iPhone 11 Pro , and iPhone 11 Pro Max . So you are "limited" to 4G on these models. Considering the environmental impact of 5G, that's not a horrible limitation for the iPhone 11 if you ask us for our opinion. 

However, some countries such as South Korea, the United States, Switzerland or China are already benefiting from this network on a large scale, and the lack of compatibility in these models could have a strong negative impact for Apple, especially before the launch of the newer models like the iPhone 12  and iPhone 13

This disadvantage has been particularly noticeable in China, where consumers are looking for this type of technological enhancement but competitors have already positioned themselves ahead: Huawei , Samsung , Oppo and OnePlus

Bottom line, You can't access 5G on an iPhone 11.

Does the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max support 5G?

The iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max also do not support 5G. All three models are limited to 4G. What might be more useful is a review of the iPhone 11 vs iPhone 11 Pro comparison, or perhaps the iPhone 11 Pro Max vs iPhone 13 instead, so you can compare the specs between a 5G compatible iPhone against a non-5G compatible iPhone when deciding your next Apple smartphone purchase.

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What models are compatible with 5G?

Since the iPhone 11 series are limited to 4G, the current 5G compatible iPhones are only within the iPhone 12 series and the iPhone 13 series. To summarise, you'll never be able to use the 5G network on an iPhone 11, 11 Pro, or 11 Pro Max.

Why is the iPhone 11 series not compatible with 5G?

There are two main reasons: the fact that Apple is always a bit behind when it comes to networking, and the fact that Intel has been unable to provide 5G modems to Apple. 

Apple has never shone when it comes to network compatibility. For example, we were talking about the “3G” iPhone in 2008, because the first iPhone model didn't support 3G. A few years later, we had the same scenario for 4G: the iPhone 5 was the first iPhone to support 4G, two years after 4G launched, and when the first competitors already launched 4G compatible smartphones.

Second, Apple's modem supplier Intel did not deliver parts for 5G support on time. In addition, Apple has chosen to buy the Intel department to have more control over production. The first 5G-capable iPhones now come with a Qualcomm modem.

Which iPhones support 5G?

To date, here is the list of compatible 5G iPhones:

We will update this list as new models hit the market. Also to note, not all pre-iPhone 11 models, like the iPhone XR, support 5G either. 

If you are interested, you can find our comparison between iPhone XR and iPhone 11 here.

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Brian Back Market
By Brian, Marketing Manager Back Market UK & Ireland

When not talking about the latest eco-friendly tech and reducing our carbon footprint, Brian enjoys the odd game of football, a classic horror (book or film) or just to kick back with a beer or a proper Scottish whisky. Slàinte Mhath!

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