Perhaps the new feature given most attention at the iPhone 12 launch last year was its support for 5G connectivity. But for users outside the US this has proved a mixed blessing that doesn’t always live up to the hype.
One reason for this is the fact that at present, only iPhone 12 users in the US have access to mmWave or millimetre wave, the faster version of the 5G standard. In the UK and elsewhere iPhone owners, even if they have the latest hardware, are confined to the slower ‘sub-6’ or sub-6GHz version. (You can read which cellular bands are supported in each territory on Apple’s 5G and LTE web page.)
But this may all change in 2021. According to a new report from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, quoted by MacRumors, support for mmWave will be rolled out in far more countries as part of the launch of this autumn’s iPhone 13 models. In addition to the US, there is a good chance that iPhone owners in Canada, Australia, Japan and “major European mobile operators” – which we hope includes the UK – will be able to use the quicker standard.
The theoretical maximum speed for mmWave is 1-2Gbps, compared to the greatly inferior 100-400Mbps for sub-6. There are advantages to sub-6 – the technology has a longer range, which is handy for users outside the big cities – but the ideal would be to have access to both, as is the case for US iPhone 12 owners, and thus enjoy the best of both worlds.
It should be pointed out that this is not a new theory. Back in January we covered a report that Apple had placed an unexpectedly large order for mmWave antennas, which strongly suggested the iPhone 13 would bring mmWave to the UK and elsewhere. We also think the 5G offered by the iPhone 13 will support better battery life, thanks to its rumoured use of the energy-efficient Qualcomm Snapdragon X60.
Keep an eye on the latest leaks, clues, hints and rumours about this autumn’s announcements with our in-depth iPhone 13 news hub. If you don’t want to wait that long before upgrading your handset, make sure you’re getting a bargain a current model by checking our roundup of the best iPhone deals.
This article originally appeared on Macworld Sweden. Translation by David Price.