iPhone 12 and 5G: The whole lot you’ll want to know


Apple is about to introduce its first 5G telephones in October. Don’t fret, there will not be big bezels on the edges of the display like this older iPhone.

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This story is a part of Apple Occasion, our full protection of the most recent information from Apple headquarters.

Apple’s newest tease: “Hello, Velocity.” 5G velocity, that’s. The corporate is gearing as much as introduce its iPhone 12 lineup subsequent week, and the most important new characteristic is more likely to be one thing generally present in Android smartphones; next-generation 5G mobile connectivity. 

The brand new model of wi-fi networks began rolling out throughout the globe final 12 months and picked up velocity in 2020. Nearly all new Android telephones arriving within the US as we speak supply 5G, and the nation’s greatest carriers have been speaking nonstop concerning the connectivity. Now that Apple is leaping into the fray with its 5G-enabled iPhone 12 fashions, the excitement about 5G is just going to get louder — even when customers in locations just like the US aren’t precisely clamoring for 5G units. 

Apple on Tuesday despatched out its invitations for a digital occasion on Oct. 13, the place it is extensively anticipated to indicate off its new iPhone lineup, with units doubtless known as the iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Professional and iPhone 12 Professional Max. Most, if not all, of the telephones will sport 5G connectivity, which has the potential to be a lot quicker than 4G. The units will doubtless go on presale late subsequent week earlier than arriving in shops the next week.   

Apple sometimes is not the primary to introduce new expertise, like cell funds and wi-fi charging. It was a minimum of a era behind in adopting 3G and 4G LTE mobile capabilities in earlier iPhones. However as soon as it jumps in, it tends to dominate and form the market in methods different handset makers cannot. The identical factor is predicted to occur with 5G, which business observers assume might drive an enormous uptick in iPhone demand. It is a clear approach for Apple to distinguish its new units from its older fashions, in addition to spur new improvements and companies that faucet into the excessive speeds and zippy responsiveness 5G gives.

When Apple sells its first 5G iPhones this 12 months, it’s going to instantly change into one of many high 5G cellphone distributors on the earth, regardless that its first telephones aren’t hitting the market till the fourth quarter. 

This 12 months, Apple will leapfrog Samsung — which has a few dozen 5G cellphone fashions accessible and which shipped over half of 2019’s 5G models — to change into the second-largest 5G cellphone vendor after Huawei, in accordance with Technique Analytics. And subsequent 12 months, Apple would be the world’s greatest 5G cellphone vendor, Technique Analytics mentioned, delivery an estimated 180 million of 2021’s 670 million 5G telephones. 

“There is a so-called Apple impact,” Technique Analytics analyst Ville-Petteri Ukonaho mentioned. “No matter Apple does, it nearly instantly turns into a hit.”

However first, the corporate’s job shall be exhibiting customers why 5G is well worth the improve. 

Apple declined to remark forward of its occasion. 

When will Apple promote the iPhone 12?

Apple on Tuesday mentioned its subsequent occasion, which shall be digital, will happen Oct. 13, a few month later than its regular iPhone launch timing. Preorders are more likely to begin the 16th, adopted by availability in shops — a minimum of those which might be open — the next Friday. 

Apple in July warned that its latest iPhones would “be accessible a number of weeks later” than regular due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It nonetheless held an occasion in September however targeted on its Apple Watches and iPads as a substitute of its telephones.


Apple set Oct. 13 for its iPhone launch. 


It is unclear whether or not all new iPhone fashions shall be accessible this month, or if the gross sales dates shall be staggered. Millimeter-wave variations of some Android telephones have arrived later than the opposite 5G fashions. Up to now, Apple has launched some iPhone fashions, just like the iPhone X, later than the remainder of the lineup due to elements like manufacturing delays. 

What number of iPhones will Apple launch? And the way will they be completely different?

Search for as many as 4 new fashions from Apple: the 5.4-inch iPhone 12 Mini, 6.1-inch iPhone 12, 6.1-inch 12 Professional and 6.7-inch 12 Professional Max. For these maintaining observe, that is another iPhone than final 12 months’s lineup (the iPhone 11 did not have a Mini model), and the extra premium telephones — the Professional and Professional Max — get a bump in display dimension. 

Final 12 months’s new iPhone lineup included the 6.1-inch iPhone 11, the 5.8-inch iPhone 11 Professional and the 6.5-inch iPhone 11 Professional Max. 

Together with a possible further mannequin and display tweaks, most, if not all, fashions are anticipated to return with 5G, in addition to Apple’s up to date A14 Bionic processor. By way of the iPhone 12’s design, Apple might utterly overhaul the cellphone so as to add flat edges, much like the design of the newer iPads. 

For extra on the anticipated iPhone 12 options, take a look at CNET’s rumor roundup.

What does it imply to have 5G on an iPhone?

5G is the next-generation wi-fi expertise that can energy our telephones. It is anticipated to vary our lives, simply as 4G led to Apple’s App Retailer and companies like Uber and Instagram. With out 4G, smartphones would not exist of their present type. 5G is predicted to convey adjustments simply as revolutionary, however we do not but know what new services or products might emerge. 

Probably the most noticeable enchancment with 5G over what the iPhone gives as we speak is quicker connectivity, therefore Apple’s “Hello, Velocity” invite. 5G can run between 10 and 100 occasions quicker than your typical 4G mobile connection, making downloads and video streaming snappier than ever. 

Importantly, 5G’s latency — the period of time between when your cellphone pings the community and when the community responds — is far quicker than what 4G and even Wi-Fi present. Sooner or later, that might allow issues like distant surgical procedure or Zoom videoconferences which might be really in sync. We’ll have the ability to do issues we might by no means do earlier than on a cell gadget, and do them almost instantaneously.

For the iPhone, we might see new augmented actuality options that reap the benefits of 5G’s excessive speeds and low latency. Apple integrated AR clues in its invitations for the September and October occasions. 

Why do I want a 5G iPhone?

In a phrase: future-proofing. Although 5G networks might not be in all places proper now, within the subsequent few years they certain shall be. Already, the expertise has been rolling out quicker than 4G a decade in the past, and pricing for units has been falling farther and faster than anticipated. 

When 4G first hit the market, People purchased their telephones below two-year plans, sometimes paying a small quantity in trade for staying with a service for a few years. That cycle nudged customers to improve their telephones each different 12 months. 

Now the US smartphone market has shifted to customers shopping for telephones outright or buying them on month-to-month fee plans. Which means individuals are holding onto their telephones longer than earlier than, about three years as a substitute of two, analysts say. If you happen to purchase a brand new iPhone yearly, you won’t want 5G but. However in the event you’ll purchase an iPhone in 2020 and never buy one other till late 2023, you will wish to get a mannequin with 5G connectivity.

How briskly might my 5G iPhone be?

It relies on the kind of 5G in every cellphone. Low-band 5G, which is favored by T-Cellular and AT&T, is not a lot completely different from 4G speeds. However millimeter wave, which has been pushed by Verizon, is blazing quick. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X55 modem, which connects most 5G telephones as we speak, permits you to obtain information at as much as 7 Gbps and add info at three Gbps.

Qualcomm builds a customized modem for Apple, however the mmWave-enabled iPhones are more likely to see comparable speeds.

Qualcomm’s subsequent modem, the X60, shall be in telephones subsequent 12 months. That chip barely bumps obtain speeds to 7.5 Gbps, although uploads keep regular at three Gbps. You’ll, nevertheless, see quicker common speeds, Qualcomm mentioned. The X60 has the flexibility to combination the slower sub-6 networks with the quicker mmWave spectrum, boosting general efficiency. 

In between, there is a sweet-spot frequency known as midband spectrum, which has a pleasant stability of velocity and vary. It is generally utilized in markets around the globe, although within the US, solely T-Cellular at present employs it because of its acquisition of Dash

How does millimeter-wave spectrum profit the subsequent iPhone?

When corporations boast concerning the game-changing advantages of 5G, what they’re speaking about is the mmWave model of the expertise. That is the ultrahigh-speed connectivity that makes 4G appear poky. There is a severe draw back to mmWave, although: The indicators have bother going by partitions, and so they can get blocked by timber, buildings and different objects. 

Proper now Verizon is the principle service pushing mmWave. It hasn’t but launched its slower however extra dependable nationwide 5G community. AT&T initially launched mmWave 5G connectivity, however currently it has targeted on its lower-band airwaves. And T-Cellular, which has a small footprint of mmWave, has targeted on its nationwide low-band protection, in addition to Dash’s midband airwaves. 

Nearly all different international locations across the globe have additionally shunned mmWave in favor of decrease bands of 5G, a minimum of proper now. Apple might solely supply mmWave in a single model of the iPhone 12. 

How a lot will 5G have an effect on the worth of the brand new iPhones?

We cannot know the pricing till Apple proclaims its new iPhones, however there are some guesses. Some imagine the iPhone 12 might really be inexpensive than final 12 months’s iPhone 11, which retailed for $699. Nevertheless it’s extra doubtless that Apple will introduce a Mini model with decrease pricing.

The chances are excessive that Apple must enhance pricing in the remainder of the lineup to account for the 5G chips in its units. The brand new modems are costly, and so they require extra elements that additionally add to the price of the iPhone’s supplies. The upper expense of mmWave might be why Apple is predicted to incorporate the expertise in just one model of the iPhone 12: the 12 Professional Max. 

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When the iPhone 12 arrives, 5G will lastly be put to…


When the primary Android 5G telephones hit the market, they had been considerably dearer than the 4G variations. Samsung’s Galaxy S10 5G from final 12 months retailed for $1,299, a whopping $400 greater than the 4G-only model. The corporate’s most up-to-date 5G telephones — the one choices within the US — are solely barely dearer than the earlier 12 months’s 4G fashions. The Galaxy S20, for example, begins at $999 and routinely comes with 5G, whereas final 12 months’s Galaxy S10 began at $899 for the 4G mannequin. 

After they hit the market a 12 months in the past, the iPhone 11 Professional price $999 and the 11 Professional Max began at $1,099. Leaks about pricing for the brand new iPhone 12 lineup are in every single place. Some rumors peg the brand new fashions at $699 for the iPhone 12, $1,049 for the iPhone 12 Professional and $1,149 for the iPhone 12 Professional Max. The Mini might price as little as $649. 

As Samsung has discovered, it is not straightforward to promote a $1,000 cellphone throughout a pandemic. However Apple at all times has followers who clamor for its latest telephones, it doesn’t matter what. A “staggering” 53% of respondents plan to purchase this 12 months’s iPhone, in accordance with a survey by electronics reseller Decluttr.

What US carriers will supply a 5G iPhone? And may I purchase it unlocked?

We’re gone the times of just one service providing the latest iPhone. When Apple first launched its smartphone in 2007, AT&T was its unique associate. However now all carriers promote the gadget on the similar time. AT&T, Verizon and T-Cellular will all promote the brand new iPhones, as will all main and small carriers across the globe. 

The doable wild card might be mmWave. Some handset makers, like Samsung, have opted to create one customized mannequin of their lineup that runs on the ultrafast community for Verizon, whereas most variations solely faucet into the slower however steadier airwaves.

The mmWave fashions, dubbed UW or Extremely Wideband by Verizon, have tended to price extra and hit the market later than the lower-band fashions. They’ve additionally dropped some options to make room for the mmWave {hardware}. Verizon’s customized S20 5G shipped with much less RAM and misplaced the microSD card slot discovered on different S20 5G telephones bought by rival carriers.

Samsung priced its mmWave, Verizon model of the Galaxy S20 FE $50 larger than the opposite $700 fashions, although Verizon is providing a promotion to decrease the associated fee, and its Galaxy A71 5G UW can be $50 extra than the model with out mmWave. Likewise, the Pixel 4A 5G on Verizon is $100 greater than the bottom $500 value

Some rumors say solely the iPhone 12 Professional Max will include mmWave connectivity.

The place can I get 5G service for the iPhone 12? 

5G is obtainable in lots of international locations across the globe, significantly China and the US. Within the US, Verizon, AT&T and T-Cellular have all turned on their 5G networks, and so they proceed increasing their protection footprints. 

T-Cellular accomplished its acquisition of Dash initially of April, instantly giving the mixed firm an enormous 5G footprint. T-Cellular’s nationwide community went dwell in December, which meant its community lined over 200 million folks. And initially of June, it grew to become the primary service to have 5G protection in all 50 states. Its 5G community at present covers greater than 225 million folks. 

AT&T’s 5G service now covers over 205 million folks, and its low-band community went nationwide in late July. The corporate additionally has deployed millimeter-wave 5G, what it calls 5G Plus, in 36 cities across the nation. (To additional complicate issues, the service additionally rebranded its 4G LTE community as 5GE, however we’ll get to that in a minute.)

AT&T additionally has deployed dynamic spectrum sharing in components of its community, which is able to velocity up its 5G rollout. The expertise lets carriers use the identical spectrum bands for each 4G and 5G, permitting them to activate their 5G networks with out having to first flip off 4G. As an alternative of getting completely different roads for buses and automobiles, DSS is like having one huge freeway with separate lanes for buses and for automobiles. 

Although Verizon lengthy has bragged that its 4G community is in additional locations than its rivals’ choices, it might probably’t say the identical with 5G. By initially specializing in mmWave, which it calls 5G Extremely Wideband, Verizon restricted itself to huge markets like New York, Chicago, Denver and Atlanta. It is in 36 cities across the US, however its protection is obtainable solely in sure components of these cities. A lot of its funding has targeted on soccer stadiums — that are empty this NFL season.

Verizon will roll out its low-band, nationwide community this 12 months. It already has been together with help for the forthcoming, wider-coverage community in all its 2020 5G units. 

Will a 5G iPhone work in rural areas?

Rural areas do not have mmWave now, and it is not going they ever will. As an alternative, carriers are counting on low-band airwaves, like T-Cellular’s 5G community, to convey quicker connectivity to more-remote areas. 

Some consultants anticipate 5G to ultimately be a boon for rural components of the US, together with areas that nonetheless lack dwelling broadband connections of a minimum of 25 Mbps. However others warn it might take a number of years or extra — if ever — for carriers to truly deploy 5G in more-remote, sparsely populated components of the nation, so it might not be value it to snag a brand new iPhone only for the 5G.

An estimated 18 million folks within the US do not have a broadband connection with obtain speeds of a minimum of 25 megabits per second, in accordance with a 2020 tally from the Federal Communications Fee. Specialists say the official figures are nearly definitely decrease than actuality due to defective maps. 

The rationale rural areas might miss out on 5G, a minimum of for now, is a mixture of expertise, geography and funds. The important thing spectrum wanted for 5G covers solely brief distances, runs into issues when there’s even a tree in the way in which and requires a number of costly towers put in shut to one another.

As a part of its settlement with the FCC to get the Dash merger authorized, T-Cellular promised to supply 5G service to 97% of the US inhabitants inside three years, and inside six years 99%. For rural People, the protection could be 85% inside three years, and 90% inside six.

That mentioned, a 5G iPhone will nonetheless hook up with 4G networks, and it is more likely to faucet into the quickest 4G connectivity accessible. Your cellphone might be snappier even when it would not entry 5G networks. 

Do I’ve to vary my service service plan to make use of a 5G iPhone?

It relies on your service. For AT&T, you want a brand new plan, with T-Cellular, you possibly can stick together with your present plan, and with Verizon, it relies on which kind of 5G you are utilizing. 

Accessing AT&T’s 5G community requires a subscription to one among its newest limitless plans often known as Limitless Starter, Limitless Further and Limitless Elite. For 4 strains, pricing for Starter begins at $140 a month ($35 a line) however this does not embody any cell hotspot, and information could be slowed when the community is congested. In case you have an older AT&T service plan, even one which’s limitless, you will be restricted to 4G LTE even if in case you have a 5G gadget. 

T-Cellular’s 5G plans are simpler. Any plan, together with these of legacy Dash subscribers, will have the ability to hook up with 5G if in case you have a 5G gadget. Of T-Cellular’s new plans, a latest promotion takes the most cost effective Necessities plan right down to $100 a month for 4 strains ($25 a line). You get limitless speak, textual content and information, however cell hotspot is capped at “max 3G speeds” (which has previously meant a still-weak 512Kbps). 

Verizon falls someplace between AT&T and T-Cellular. Anybody who desires to make use of its low-band nationwide 5G community when it launches later this 12 months will have the ability to keep on their older plans. However if you need the total Verizon 5G millimeter-wave expertise (which at present is dwell in 36 markets), you will want to maneuver to one among Verizon’s limitless plans often known as Do Extra, Get Extra or Play Extra. These plans begin at $180 a month for 4 strains. 

AT&T and Verizon additionally allow you to combine plans. One line on a household plan might faucet into the best limitless providing, for example, whereas the others might subscribe to the bottom. 

For a deeper dive, take a look at CNET’s roundup of US service 5G plans

What does this imply for the 4G iPhone I already personal? 

Proper no longer lots. There aren’t many companies that faucet into 5G and none that require it. However as 5G turns into extra widespread, that would change. Issues like cell gaming and digital actuality will profit from 5G, and augmented actuality might change into even snappier and extra lifelike. Whereas your present 4G cellphone will not have bother utilizing these forms of apps now, it might change into sluggish as these companies change into much more superior.

On the similar time, simply because 5G is rolling out internationally does not imply 4G will cease working. 5G is not very best for all conditions, and 4G will nonetheless be the default connection in most locations for a very long time. You needn’t throw away your 4G cellphone and purchase a 5G iPhone come October, even when Apple’s hoping you do. However in the event you’re planning to carry onto a cellphone for a number of years, you will wish to go for a 5G mannequin. The connectivity must be widespread by then. 

On the similar time, extra folks on 5G networks means 4G shall be much less congested. You are more likely to see quicker 4G speeds with the cellphone you have already got. 

Will a 5G iPhone nonetheless work on 4G networks? And can 5G change 4G?

You will not have the ability to purchase a 5G cellphone that does not even have 4G connectivity. 5G is not widespread in most locations, particularly rural areas, and telephones will fall again to 4G connections when wanted. Take into consideration your 4G cellphone. It nonetheless connects to 3G networks in areas the place 4G is not accessible. 


Samsung’s $2,000 Z Fold 2 foldable comes with 5G connectivity. 

Angela Lang/CNET

The transfer from 4G to 5G is completely different from previous community upgrades. 5G is not changing 4G, like how 4G overtook 3G. As an alternative, 5G is constructing on 4G LTE, utilizing up to date radios and software program. By 2025, one in 5 cell connections shall be working on 5G networks, in accordance with a March report from GSMA Intelligence, the analysis arm of the cell operator group that hosts Cellular World Congress. However that very same 12 months, 4G LTE will nonetheless account for about 56% of all connections. Even when 5G turns into a fair larger a part of the market by 2025 than estimated, “it should complement somewhat than change LTE,” GSMA mentioned in a separate report from final 12 months. 

Proper now, 5G networks within the US are one thing known as non-standalone. They want 4G because the anchor to make that preliminary handshake between a cellphone and community earlier than passing the gadget alongside to a 5G connection. Utilizing non-standalone expertise permits carriers to roll out 5G extra rapidly than in the event that they needed to utterly overhaul their complete networks with new {hardware}.

The following taste of 5G community, known as standalone, lets a cellphone go straight to 5G, nevertheless it might take a number of years to roll out within the US and globally. It is not till late 2021 or early 2022 that standalone networks will actually roll out, carriers have mentioned. Having 5G standalone networks will allow options like a lot decrease latency. 

And “as soon as you’ve got acquired a standalone community, in the event you’ve acquired a devoted 5G core underpinning it, it provides operators much more flexibility and management over the community,” CCS Perception analyst Geoff Blaber mentioned. “There’s much more flexibility that paves the way in which for a few of these richer experiences that we hear lots about.”

Would not my AT&T iPhone already say it is 5G?

What it says and what it really means are two various things. AT&T selected “5G E” branding for its telephones which have superior 4G connectivity. They’re quicker than older 4G units, however they don’t seem to be really 5G units. To get onto AT&T’s actual 5G networks, or any of the opposite 5G networks, you will want a brand new 5G-enabled cellphone. 

If I do not desire a 5G iPhone, what are the options?

It is unclear whether or not all iPhone 12 fashions this 12 months will include 5G by default, or if Apple will supply 4G variants.

If you happen to want a brand new iPhone however wish to keep on with 4G, the corporate’s $399 iPhone SE, launched in April, might be an possibility. CNET’s Patrick Holland known as it “top-of-the-line price range telephones you possibly can at present purchase” and mentioned he is “enamored with it.” There are some trade-offs, like just one rear digicam lens and no Night time Mode, however a few of these options will not matter to folks on the lookout for a less expensive gadget

In order for you one among Apple’s higher-end telephones however solely need 4G, shopping for 2019’s fashions might be a secure guess. Apple sometimes lowers the pricing on the year-old telephones when its latest iPhones hit the market. When final 12 months’s iPhones went on sale — the $699 iPhone 11, $999 11 Professional and $1,099 11 Professional Max — Apple lower the worth on 2018’s iPhone XR by $150, to $599. Apple most likely will not preserve the total iPhone 11 lineup round, nevertheless it’s more likely to supply a minimum of one mannequin at a lower cost. 

Why did not Apple have a 5G iPhone earlier?

Within the US, there’s actually just one firm that provides 5G modems that join high-end telephones to mobile networks: Qualcomm. The San Diego chipmaker designs the chips used within the overwhelming majority of 5G telephones exterior China, together with Samsung’s Galaxy S20 and Word 20 units.

Qualcomm and Apple had battled over patents and licensing charges on the time most Android corporations had been growing their 5G telephones, and so they did not attain a settlement till April 2019. That resulted in a delay for Apple to get to market with its first 5G telephones. Whereas most Android corporations use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chip, which mixes the modem with the brains of the gadget, Apple’s units use a customized modem from Qualcomm that goes alongside the iPhone maker’s A Collection chips. That may’t be carried out in a single day. 

What else can 5G be used for in addition to telephones? What about Apple’s AR glasses?

5G has the flexibility to rework extra than simply telephones. It has big implications for robots, automobiles, well being units, retail and almost each business you possibly can consider. 5G can hyperlink streetlights and different units that have not been related to the web earlier than, with ubiquitous sensors continuously speaking to one another. Emergency responders will have the ability to do extra on the scene of an accident, whereas farmers will have the ability to monitor their crops and livestock. Even cows might change into related. 

On the subject of Apple, 5G might be vital for its long-awaited augmented actuality glasses. AR overlays digital pictures on the actual world utilizing particular headsets or your cellphone. Lots of the early examples of in style AR functions embody video games like Pokemon Go or filters and lenses that go over your face on Instagram and Snapchat. Apple’s ARKit software program instruments, launched three years in the past, have made it straightforward for builders to construct AR options into their apps.

The corporate has been engaged on glasses that mix AR and VR for years, as reported by CNET. It initially deliberate to unveil them this 12 months, however the glasses are doubtless delayed. 

Will my 5G iPhone 12 give me most cancers? Or the coronavirus?

Ever since corporations first began speaking about 5G, there have been considerations expressed by some folks about the expertise’s influence on well being. The mmWave model of 5G runs on very-high-frequency radio waves that may’t journey lengthy distances. To get a gentle connection, towers need to be positioned shut collectively and put in in additional areas. That is reignited worries that the radio waves might produce dangerous radiation that would trigger mind most cancers, diminished fertility, complications and different issues.

The Meals and Drug Administration and the Federal Communications Fee say there’s nothing to fret about as a result of research have not discovered a hyperlink between radio frequency indicators from cellphones or cell towers and illness. However as a result of 5G is so new, there is not any definitive approach to know if it should trigger long-term well being issues. What could be definitively acknowledged is that 5G would not trigger or unfold a virus. 

Because the coronavirus first swept the globe, rumors unfold about what brought about it. One bogus principle that gained steam on-line is that 5G began the illness. That is utterly fallacious. The coronavirus primarily spreads from individual to individual, by respiratory droplets produced by coughing, sneezing, speaking and so forth. It would not journey by one thing like radio waves. You’ll be able to’t get it from utilizing your cellphone or watching TV — until the cellphone itself or the distant management is contaminated with the virus. (And all of that’s the reason you need to wash your arms often, put on a masks, apply social distancing and take different protecting measures.)

Brendan Carr, who serves on the FCC, refuted some efforts to hyperlink 5G to the coronavirus, saying the rumor “is straight from essentially the most harmful depths of tinfoil-hat land.” He reiterated that the FCC, Meals and Drug Administration and Environmental Safety Company all say 5G is secure.

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