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iPhone 12 Models With Slower 5G Speeds to Launch in 2020; Faster Variants Reportedly Delayed Until 2021

Jan 6
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Since Qualcomm and Apple have resumed business relations, it’s almost guaranteed that the upcoming iPhones will offer 5G connectivity thanks to the Snapdragon X55 modem. This claim is also backed by various reports. However, what wasn’t clear until today was whether the iPhone 12 5G speeds would be fast or not, and according to one report, it’s revealed that if customers want to experience the best wireless throughput that’s expected from the 5G standard, they might have to wait until 2021.

Slower sub-6GHz Standard May Affect iPhone 12 5G Speeds for 2020

To refresh your memory, there are two 5G bands that are currently in operation; a sub-6GHz one and a mmWave one. The mmWave band offers speeds over 1Gbps, meaning that if you have a smartphone equipped with a 5G modem that supports mmWave, are connected to a network that supports the same band and if the handset features multiple antennas, you’ll get to experience those speeds. As for the existing sub-6GHz networks, these provide speeds of around 100-150Mbps range, meaning that iPhone 12 5G speeds might have an adverse impact on user experience should these only support the sub-6GHz brand as opposed to those connected to mmWave networks.

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However, since the range of mmWave networks is extremely poor, carriers will need to establish a lot of base station towers for users to take advantage of that 1Gbps+ downlink performance and thus 5G networks based on the mmWave technology aren’t readily available currently. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why the 2020 iPhones will only be compatible with the sub-6GHz bands. If this report ends up being true, we feel that a lot of customers may be disappointed with the advertised speeds of the 5G standard, especially after coughing up a lot of dough for a newly-designed iPhone range.

However, later on in 2021, 9to5Mac reports that the company is expected to rollout mmWave iPhone models, but in smaller numbers. One reason behind the delay is that the company is making its own antenna-in-package module, instead of using the ones already available, possibly to exercise better control over hardware and software. Apple making its own hardware could also ensure stable and faster iPhone 12 5G speeds.

The company is also expected to launch four 5G-ready iPhones this year, and we can believe it to unveil both the mmWave and sub-6GHz versions at the same time, with the latter going on sale first. The report further claims that the iPhones supporting the sub-6GHz standard will have LCD displays, and the faster variants will sport OLED screens. From the looks of it, Apple isn’t going to launch an ‘all OLED family’ for 2020 after all. Still, we want you to treat this report with a pinch of salt for now. It’s possible the technology giant releases both variants for the masses at the same time, so a lot could change in the coming months.

If you want to know more regarding the iPhone 12, do check out our detailed rumored roundup, which will be updated over time.

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Source: 9to5Mac

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