(Pocket-lint) - Apple has announced its earnings for the first fiscal quarter of 2020, and during the earnings call, CEO Tim Cook answered questions for investors about 5G, causing the executive to hint at what the company might have planned. 

Although Cook didn't confirm a 5G iPhone for 2020, he said the technology is in the "early innings of its deployment on a global basis" and that "it's important to look around the world at 5G deployment schedules". When asked, specifically, about the demand for 5G, Cook declined to comment. Keep in mind there’s growing speculation that Apple could launch its first 5G phone next autumn.

He also said Apple "couldn't be prouder" of the latest iPhone lineup, which experienced strong sales over the last three months, propelling Apple to report record profits. Cook seemed excited about what's to come, too, teasing that Apple "wouldn't trade our position with anybody". 

Some analysts think Apple might not be so quick to release a 5G phone in 2020, and Cook's answers to questions during Tuesday's earnings call seem to suggest those Wall Street analysts might be right. Nevertheless, the latest rumours do indicate Apple's 2020 iPhone lineup will include 5G support, with the ability to connect to mmWave and Sub-6GHz 5G networks around the globe.

Apple is known for taking a minute (perhaps a minute too long) to adopt new technologies - even as its competitors roll new kit out the door with the latest innovations - choosing instead to hop on the bandwagon only when things have been perfected. While 5G networks are still scarce in the US, many phone companies, including Samsung, Huawei, and LG, have already announced 5G smartphones for consumers tobuy.

If Apple does launch a 5G iPhone in September, it is widely expected to use Qualcomm's 5G chips for 5G connectivity. We could imagine Apple equipping at least one model of the next iPhone with 5G, and then launching that device in supported markets. But that's just speculation.

For more about what the next iPhone, check out our rumour round-up here.

Writing by Maggie Tillman.