It’s looking as if Apple’s upcoming iPhone 15 Pro models will be equipped to connect to Wi-Fi 6E networks, providing high-speed wireless connectivity.
On Thursday, a research note from Barclays analysts Blayne Curtis and Tom O’Malley further supports Kuo’s comments, while also being more specific about which iPhone 15 models will boast Wi-Fi 6E capabilities.
Curtis and O’Malley write that Apple will limit Wi-Fi 6E to the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, while the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus stand pat with the regular Wi-Fi 6 standard.
In January, Apple industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple’s upcoming iPhone 15 lineup will be upgraded to adopt the Wi-Fi 6E standard. However, Kuo did not specify whether the new connectivity would be across the entire iPhone 15 lineup or be limited to just the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max models.
Also in January, Apple leaker Unknownz21 (@URedditor) shared a document featuring diagrams of the iPhone 15’s antenna architecture. The information indicates that the faster Wi-Fi 6E specification will be limited to the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max. The standard iPhone models will continue to use Wi-Fi 6 rather than Wi-Fi 6E.
While both Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E are both improved wireless technologies, they cater to different spectrums and use cases. Wi-Fi 6, or 802.11ax, operates in the traditional 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequency bands (improving data transmission efficiency in these bands, making it more suitable for activities like streaming and gaming).
Wi-Fi 6E operated in the less congested 6 GHz frequency band and can the advantage of a broader spectrum, reducing congestion, and offering more channels for data transmission. This means the 6 GHz band has less congestion, less interference, lower latency, and improved performance.
The 6 GHz band is less crowded, reducing interference and enhancing performance. This means you’ll be able to enjoy gaming anywhere in your house (including virtual and augmented reality games), or you’ll be able to conduct augmented reality business presentations, all without worrying if your family members are sucking down your bandwidth by streaming Netflix or Disney+, or if your neighbors are interfering by being on the same channel.
However, it should be noted that the 6GHz wireless spectrum uses shorter wavelengths. While short wavelengths provide fast data transfers, they have more difficulty in traveling a long distance and suffer from increased interference from physical objects, including thick walls or floors in a building.
A handful of Apple devices currently support Wi-Fi 6E, including the latest 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro, 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro, and Mac mini models. The current iPhone 14 lineup supports only standard Wi-Fi 6.
To take advantage, a Wi-Fi 6E router is required. Multiple companies, including Netgear, Asus, and Linksys already offer Wi-Fi 6E hardware.
While Wi-Fi 6E connectivity had been rumored for the iPhone as far back as the iPhone 13, this time around the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max will actually gain the ability, thanks to advancements in the technology and it being offered by multiple router manufacturers.