Apple always seems to love making things exclusive to the US, and this year’s iPhone cycle may make that more apparent than ever. Wedbush analysts have informed investors that it believes the mmWave 5G version of the iPhone 12 will only be sold in the US.
In the note seen by iMore, the analysts says:
From a timing perspective, we continue to believe there are 4 models being discussed for iPhone 12 with a mix of 4G/5G that will likely be launched between the October and early December timeframe ahead of holiday season. Importantly, we note these models can still change as Cupertino appears to still be on the white board with a mix of 4G/5G and how many models will ultimately get green lighted. From a 5G perspective, there will be a US and non-US version introduced. The US version will likely have mmWave technology, which does complicate the production timeline and also could see many units potentially shift to the March quarter vs. the December quarter.
The note doesn’t specify why the US will be exclusive, but there are a few reasons. Firstly, regulatory battles. Apple may end up expanding its faster version to the rest of the world at some point, however, regulations differ for each country when it comes to 5G, hindering Apple’s ability to get it pushed out at once. Focusing on the US, allows the company to allocate resources elsewhere.
While the faster mmWave version may be US only, Apple may roll out a downgraded 6GHz version to the rest of the world. In January Ming-Chi Kuo reported that Apple will launch both versions at the same time in the 2nd half of 2020, however, due to COVID-19 it’s likely those dates may have changed.