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Photo: Apple

All four major U.S. carriers are staking their claim to being first to 5G. Globally, the race is equally intense with Korea, China, Japan and the U.S. all trying to lead the pack.

Buzz: One mobile giant that's unlikely to be first to 5G is Apple. Historically, the company aims to be seen as an innovator in lots of areas, but with both 3G and 4G, Apple was at least a year behind some rivals.

Here are three big reasons why:

1. Battery

Typically the first phones on a new wireless standard have terrible battery life, in part because they are supporting new kinds of radios and relying on first-generation chips that haven't been optimized for power.

2. Compatibility

Apple typically likes to have as few models of the iPhone as possible. A new flavor of wireless typically means lots of different bands of spectrum and requires a lot of custom work for each network.

3. Independence

Apple has spent the last couple of years trying to be less dependent on Qualcomm for modem chips. Already it's opting to give up certain features in order to be able to allow the iPhone to use either Intel or Qualcomm chips. Supporting 5G out of the gate would risk making Apple more dependent again on its chip suppliers.

The bottom line: While this would make lots of sense for Apple, choosing to wait a bit on 5G could open the door for rivals, including Samsung, that are likely to aggressively adopt the new technology.

Go deeper

Wall Street braces for more turbulence ahead of Election Day

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Wall Street is digging in for a potentially rocky period as Election Day gets closer.

Why it matters: Investors are facing a "three-headed monster," Brian Belski, chief investment strategist at BMO Capital Markets, tells Axios — a worsening pandemic, an economic stimulus package in limbo, and an imminent election.

Dave Lawler, author of World
4 hours ago - World

How Biden might tackle the Iran deal

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Four more years of President Trump would almost certainly kill the Iran nuclear deal — but the election of Joe Biden wouldn’t necessarily save it.

The big picture: Rescuing the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is near the top of Biden's foreign policy priority list. He says he'd re-enter the deal once Iran returns to compliance, and use it as the basis on which to negotiate a broader and longer-lasting deal with Iran.

Kamala Harris, the new left's insider

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Joe Buglewicz/Getty Images     

Progressive leaders see Sen. Kamala Harris, if she's elected vice president, as their conduit to a post-Biden Democratic Party where the power will be in younger, more diverse and more liberal hands.

  • Why it matters: The party's rising left sees Harris as the best hope for penetrating Joe Biden's older, largely white inner circle.

If Biden wins, Harris will become the first woman, first Black American and first Indian American to serve as a U.S. vice president — and would instantly be seen as the first in line for the presidency should Biden decide against seeking a second term.