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Apple's 2020 iPhone lineup will feature 5G support for the first time, and several rumors have suggested that the new iPhones coming this year are expected to support both sub-6GHz and mmWave networks, which are two different 5G technologies that carriers are rolling out.

iPhone-12-5G-New-1.jpg

mmWave, the fastest 5G technology, will be used in dense urban areas like major cities, while sub-6GHz networks will be available more broadly in suburban and urban areas. Sub-6GHz technology is faster than 4G, but not as fast as mmWave and not responsible for some of the blazing fast speeds advertised when companies talk about 5G technology.

DigiTimes is out today with a new preliminary report that indicates all 2020 iPhones will feature support for mmWave and sub-6GHz networks, but suggests Apple will take a different approach in 2021.

Some of the 2021 iPhone models may feature single 5G band support, working on either mmWave or sub-6GHz networks, but not both.
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.
The iPhones with limited support would be introduced in specific markets where one technology is more predominantly used than the other. Some countries, for example, will not have support for mmWave networks, which makes the inclusion of mmWave support less important and could cut down on modem costs for future iPhones.

There have been some 2020 iPhone rumors, including from reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, that have suggested Apple's iPhone 12 lineup will also feature devices that may not have mmWave support enabled in some countries.

All of the 2020 iPhones are expected to have the same modem hardware that supports all 5G bands, but Apple could disable mmWave in countries where it is not operational or turn off 5G entirely in countries without 5G networks to reduce its production costs as antennas are required to work with the modem hardware.

DigiTimes' report suggests that the 2021 iPhones could perhaps have different hardware that only supports one network, rather than Apple disabling hardware, but we'll have to wait to see what happens with the 2020 iPhones to get a better picture of what we can expect for the 2021 iPhone lineup as the rumors about which iPhones will support which networks are somewhat confusing at this time.

DigiTimes' report today is a preliminary report and it will be updated with more information in the future, and if there's more detail to include, we'll update this article. For more on what to expect from the 2020 iPhone lineup, make sure to check out our iPhone 12 roundup.

Article Link: Apple's 2020 5G iPhones to Support Both Sub-6GHz and mmWave, But That Might Change in 2021
 

Cosmosent

macrumors 68020
Apr 20, 2016
2,243
2,576
La Jolla, CA
Having the ability to Upgrade from a 12 to a 13 AFTER one year is paramount !

And, the MR staff should ALL be saying so in ALL their articles !

NOT Rocket Science, there are multiple reasons the 2nd-Gen 5G iPhones will be better !!!
 
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I7guy

macrumors Penryn
Nov 30, 2013
27,947
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Gotta be in it to win it
This would be interesting if it comes to pass. I hope somewhere on MacRumors the editors are keeping a scorecard of rumors made vs rumors that comes to pass by rumor. Would be an interesting analysis. I know this is done for certain serial leakers.
 

JPack

macrumors G3
Mar 27, 2017
8,109
13,798
Makes sense from a technical and cost perspective. mmWave is only peddled in the U.S. due to lack of sub-6 frequencies. For the rest of the world, sub-6 has been widely deployed and is the sweet spot between speed and penetration.

Look at this image from the Defense Innovation Board where red represents 1 Gbps.

Left = mmWave | Right = sub-6

1595265160030.png
 

PickUrPoison

macrumors G3
Sep 12, 2017
8,131
10,721
Sunnyvale, CA
Just suggesting a mmWave only phone leads me to significantly downweight this rumor...
Absolutely. The suggestion Apple would bring a mmWave-only iPhone to any market is ridiculous. Sub-6, sure.
[automerge]1595265882[/automerge]
By the time 5G is adequately rolled out worldwide, it might easily be 2025-2030, so I would not worry about band subtleties at all at this point.
I guess you’re only referring to mmWave.
 

Hal~9000

macrumors 68020
Sep 13, 2014
2,093
1,914
Makes sense from a technical and cost perspective. mmWave is only peddled in the U.S. due to lack of sub-6 frequencies. For the rest of the world, sub-6 has been widely deployed and is the sweet spot between speed and penetration.

Look at this image from the Defense Innovation Board where red represents 1 Gbps.

Left = mmWave | Right = sub-6

View attachment 935633

Just curious JPack, is there a reason why the U.S. has a lack of sub-6 frequencies? Are they already licensed / used by other branches of the government?

P.S. thanks for all your expertise and knowledge you bring to the forum. You're one of the few I follow on here just to learn more :)
 

iFan

macrumors regular
Jan 3, 2007
238
695
It would help if these conversations included references to the Qualcomm X55 or X60 modems that are rumored for 2020/2021 iPhones and what their capabilities are. Digitimes seems to be the only group that believes X60 will be in the iPhone 12, and X60 aggregates data from both mmWave and sub-6Ghz.

Kuo and production timeline logic would indicate that we will see the X55 in this year's iPhone, instead.
 

apparatchik

macrumors 6502a
Mar 6, 2008
589
1,805
I will be upgrading this year (currently sporting a XR), and If I could, I would choose a 2020 iPhone without any kind of 5G support, I would actively push for a non-5G iPhone 12 with the most advanced and power efficient LTE modem available, with 5G, the network support is patchy, the modem energy consumption is higher, and there are even still doubts about safety, etc. I dont want my phone to be switching back and forth between 5G and 4G as I move within the city... there are no scenarios were LTE+ is insufficient for my needs, 5G, please keep it, mm wave, sub-6ghz or otherwise.

5G is said to open new possibilities in the IoT realm, smart appliances, self-driving vehicles, etc. Thats fantastic, let them have it. Now, why do we need 5G on our phones? what would we achieve by going from a steady 200-300Mbps lte+ connection to a patchy, highly variable, ~900Mbps one? fast app downloads, 4k streaming, etc are all possible with a 100Mbps connection, also, on the tiny screen of a smartphone, while commuting, is the difference between a 4k stream and a 1080 one meaningful? All of this with out touching data caps/allowances.
 
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mtneer

macrumors 68040
Sep 15, 2012
3,167
2,699
If mmWave is only available on a couple of streets downtown, it may not make sense to pay for the hardware for a vast majority of the population who may not work or live on these few blocks around downtown.
 

TheYayAreaLiving 🎗

macrumors demi-goddess
Plenty of reliable sources out there stating that we sill see "Snap Dragon 60" in iPhone 2020 models.




 

mnsportsgeek

macrumors 68040
Feb 24, 2009
3,257
4,013
Just curious JPack, is there a reason why the U.S. has a lack of sub-6 frequencies? Are they already licensed / used by other branches of the government?

P.S. thanks for all your expertise and knowledge you bring to the forum. You're one of the few I follow on here just to learn more :)

600mhz is pretty widespread in the US on T-Mobile (which now includes Sprint). Verizon and ATT chose to forgo it because it wasn’t much of an improvement over low band LTE.

I believe JPack was probably referring to mid-band 5G which is pretty sparsely available, but I believe there is an upcoming C band auction that will change that.
 
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zorinlynx

macrumors 604
May 31, 2007
7,045
12,726
Florida, USA
Makes sense from a technical and cost perspective. mmWave is only peddled in the U.S. due to lack of sub-6 frequencies. For the rest of the world, sub-6 has been widely deployed and is the sweet spot between speed and penetration.

Look at this image from the Defense Innovation Board where red represents 1 Gbps.

Left = mmWave | Right = sub-6

View attachment 935633

I don't feel this tech is intended to be use for general cellular network coverage, but rather to deploy in dense areas with a lot of people (think shopping centers, areas with lots of high rise buildings) to get those users decent performance AND to get them off the wider area LTE cellular towers.

The range and performance of this tech feels more like WiFi than cellular.
 
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phalseHUD

macrumors 6502
Mar 7, 2011
270
327
Digital Sprawl
I’m guessing we will be able to choose between 5g and 4g as we can currently choose between 4g and 3g. No 5g around here and no sense wasting battery. Not even got full 4g coverage where I roam.

I’m happy to be educated but given what I think I know about 5g, it seems quite pointless. WiFi 6 is fair enough... As I say, happy to be educated!
 
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iFan

macrumors regular
Jan 3, 2007
238
695
Plenty of reliable sources out there stating that we sill see "Snap Dragon 60" in iPhone 2020 models.





Qualcomm themselves say X60 is coming in early 2021 - and the rest reference the same Digitimes report, I believe. Not saying it is impossible that we will see it in this year's iPhone, but Digitimes is definitely the outlier in the rumors. I'd love for them to be correct for once.
 

bigchrisfgb

macrumors 65816
Jan 24, 2010
1,366
494
Plenty of reliable sources out there stating that we sill see "Snap Dragon 60" in iPhone 2020 models.




Isn’t the 60 chip not available until 2021 and it’s pretty much confirmed that the 2020 iPhones will have the 55 chip?
 

BenTrovato

macrumors 68030
Jun 29, 2012
2,979
2,083
Canada
I will be upgrading this year (currently sporting a XR), and If I could, I would choose a 2020 iPhone without any kind of 5G support, I would actively push for a non-5G iPhone 12 with the most advanced and power efficient LTE modem available, with 5G, the network support is patchy, the modem energy consumption is higher, and there are even still doubts about safety, etc. I dont want my phone to be switching back and forth between 5G and 4G as I move within the city... there are no scenarios were LTE+ is insufficient for my needs, 5G, please keep it, mm wave, sub-6ghz or otherwise.

5G is said to open new possibilities in the IoT realm, smart appliances, self-driving vehicles, etc. Thats fantastic, let them have it. Now, why do we need 5G on our phones? what would we achieve by going from a steady 200-300Mbps lte+ connection to a patchy, highly variable, ~900Mbps one? fast app downloads, 4k streaming, etc are all possible with a 100Mbps connection, also, on the tiny screen of a smartphone, while commuting, is the difference between a 4k stream and a 1080 one meaningful? All of this with out touching data caps/allowances.

You ask questions no one seems to know the answers to!
 
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