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

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 21,020,216 — Total deaths: 761,393— Total recoveries: 13,048,303Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 5,289,323 — Total deaths: 167,948 — Total recoveries: 1,774,648 — Total tests: 64,831,306Map.
  3. Health: CDC: Survivors of COVID-19 have up to three months of immunity Fauci believes normalcy will return by "the end of 2021" with vaccine — The pandemic's toll on mental health.
  4. Business: How small businesses got stiffed — Unemployment starts moving in the right direction.
  5. Cities: Coronavirus pandemic dims NYC's annual 9/11 Tribute in Light.
  6. Politics: Biden signals fall strategy with new ads.

Harris: "Women are going to be a priority" in Biden administration

Sen. Kamala Harris at an event in Wilmington, Del. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

In her first sit-down interview since being named Joe Biden's running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris talked about what she'll do to fight for women if elected VP, and how the Democrats are thinking about voter turnout strategies ahead of November.

What they're saying: "In a Biden-Harris administration women are going to be a priority, understanding that women have many priorities and all of them must be acknowledged," Harris told The 19th*'s Errin Haines-Whack.

Facebook goes after Apple

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Facebook is seeking to force a face-off with Apple over its 30% in-app purchase commission fee, which Facebook suggests hurts small businesses struggling to get by during the pandemic.

The big picture: Facebook has never publicly gone after Apple, a key strategic partner, this aggressively. Both companies face antitrust scrutiny, which in Apple's case has centered on the very fee structure Facebook is now attacking.