Rumors have varied as to whether Apple’s entire 2020 iPhone lineup will support both sub-6GHz and mmWave networks, which are two different 5G technologies.
mmWave offers the fastest 5G technology, and will be used in dense urban areas, while sub-6GHz (which offers faster than 4G connections, but are slower than mmWave) will be used more broadly in suburban and less densely packed urban areas.
A Monday DigiTimes report says all 2020 iPhones will feature support for both mmWave and sub-6GHz networks, but indicates Apple will take a different approach in 2021.
Apple’s 2020 series of iPhones will work on both sub-6GHz and millimeter wave 5G networks, and the vendor is considering introducing its iPhones supporting either mmWave or sub-6GHz for specific markets next year, according to industry sources in Taiwan.
iPhones with limited support would be offered in specific markets where one of the technologies is used more than the other, If a country’s infrastructure won’t support mmWave networks, it makes financial sense for Apple to omit mmWave support for future iPhones for the area.
Earlier 2020 iPhone rumors have indicated Apple’s iPhone 12 lineup will include devices that may not support mmWave in some countries.
While all of Apple’s 2020 iPhones are expected to include modem hardware offering support for all 5G bands, Apple could disable mmWave in countries where it isn’t operational or turn off 5G completely in countries that do not have 5G networks.
As is normal with reports like this, we won’t know anything for sure until Apple officially announces the features of the 2020 iPhone lineup, so keep your salt shakers handy, it’s going to be a long, hot summer.