Apple iPhone 13 could support mmWave 5G in many more countries
Apple has a ‘Spring Loaded’ event tomorrow, though we’re only expecting new iPad Pro, new iPad Mini and possibly refreshes for AirPods and AirPods Pro alongside a new Apple TV. If you’re waiting on something like the iPhone 13, those come out in the second half of the year. And for the next iPhone, customers might get a chance to taste mmWave 5G in more regions than ever before.
According to research notes shared by noted Analyst MingChi Kuo (via MacRumors), the iPhone 13 mmWave models will be made available in more countries, like Canada, Japan, Australia, and in Europe through major European mobile operators.
While 5G smartphone shipments increased significantly in 2020, most of them only supported Sub-6 GHz. We believe that mmWave will create more diverse applications than Sub-6 GHz because of the benefits of faster speed and lower latency. The mmWave model of the iPhone 12 only supports the US market, and the shipment allocation of the total iPhone 12 is about 30–35%. We predict that the iPhone 13 mmWave models will be available in more countries (e.g., Canada, Japan, Australia, and major European mobile operators), so the shipment allocation of iPhone 13 mmWave models will increase substantially to 55–60%.
Much like how it is on the Android side of the spectrum, Apple sells the mmWave-supporting iPhone 12 units in the United States. Most other regions get sub-6GHz 5G support from the hardware, which depending on the region and its network infrastructure, might just be restricted to 4G LTE too.
With the iPhone 13, Apple seems to be much more bullish on mmWave 5G adoption, with expected progress to be significant in regions outside of the USA. While the design of the iPhone 13 2021 models is expected to be the same for the most part, the phone lineup is still expected to bear the visible mmWave antenna on the right side of the device on the mmWave models, compared to the slightly cleaner look on the sub-6GHz models. This bullish outlook then changes up the shipment allocation for these variants, with the mmWave models expected to take upwards of 50% of allocation compared to the 30% from 2020.
It remains to be seen how many practical benefits consumers will see on the iPhone 13 with this mmWave focus.