Fast Company reports that only the highest-end “iPhone 12 Pro Max” which the report calls, “iPhone Pro Max” will support faster millimeter-wave 5G connections, per the report:
Just one of the new iPhones Apple is set to announce will support the faster millimeter-wave flavor of 5G wireless service, a wireless industry source tells Fast Company.
All the phones in the new iPhone 12 line will support the slower but more common Sub-6 type of 5G service, but only the largest, highest-end phone in the line, a 6.5-inch screen device likely called the iPhone Pro Max, will also support millimeter-wave 5G.
The report states citing sources within Apple that only the larger handset has the internal space needed to include the antenna and larger battery to power the faster connection. The entire lineup will support 5G via the more common sub-5 connection, however the faster versions can deliver “download speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second.”
Sub-6 service, which uses lower frequency spectrum below 6 GHz, produces speeds that are much more like a good 4G connection. After studying the U.S. 5G market this summer, OpenSignal found 5G average download speeds of about 51 Mbps, and 4G average download speeds of 29 Mbps. That’s because U.S. wireless carriers now offer far more Sub-6 coverage than millimeter wave. Sub-6 service, while slower, can support more users per base station, and has farther reach, so it’s more cost effective.
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.
Fast Company also reported today that both the 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro models will feature a LiDAR sensor and not the entire lineup. Apple is expected to launch this year’s flagship phones in October according to Jon Prosser and Bloomberg.