Only iPhone 12 Pro Max Could Support mmWave 5G Network, Launch in Three Countries

A new report from Fast Company claims that Apple will be adding mmWave 5G support to only the top-end iPhone 12 Pro Max model, with all other iPhone 12 models featuring sub-6GHz connectivity.

The source says that only the 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max has the required internal room for the mmWave antenna as well as the bigger battery that would be needed to negate the power draw from it.

Additionally, Apple will launch the iPhone 12 Pro Max with mmWave 5G in selected markets including Japan, Korea, and the United States. This is because mmWave 5G is not available in all markets where 5G has been rolled out. Going by previous reports, it was believed that mmWave 5G connectivity would be limited to the iPhone 12 Pro and the iPhone 12 Pro Max models but this report claims otherwise.

In the United States, Verizon is the only operator that’s heavily pushing on deploying mmWave 5G while T-Mobile is deploying 5G on the sub-6GHz frequency. The latter will lead to a boost in mobile data speeds of around 20 percent while the magical gigabit download speeds on mobile that’s promised by 5G are only possible on millimeter-wave frequencies. However, the problem with mmWave is that it cannot penetrate walls or any other object which greatly reduces its usefulness.

The source also states that Apple could launch a 4G-only variant of the iPhone 12 in the spring next year as an update to the iPhone SE from earlier this year. The same publication had claimed earlier today that Apple will be using the LiDAR scanner on both iPhone 12 Pro models.

Our Take

Given the issues with mmWave 5G networks right now and the additional strain that they put on the battery, I doubt most iPhone 12 owners are going to complain about their device not supporting millimeter-wave 5G. Yes, experiencing gigabit+ download speed on mobile is going to be an amazing experience but the entire ecosystem also needs to develop to take advantage of such fast download speeds.

[Via Fast Company]