Report claims only a single iPhone 12 variant will offer fastest 5G

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iPhone 12 might mix iPhone 11 and iPad Pro designs
And only in select markets.
Concept: Ben Geskin

Those who plan to upgrade to iPhone 12 for its 5G connectivity may need to be careful about which variant they choose this fall. A new report claims only one will offer the fastest 5G technology.

While all iPhone 12 units are said to feature Sub-6 5G capabilities, one source claims you’ll need to opt for the largest, most expensive model to also enjoy faster mmWave 5G.

We’ve long suspected that not all iPhone 12 models will be created equal when it comes to 5G data speeds. A source told Cult of Mac back in April that only Pro models will offer the fastest 5G available.

But that’s not what Fast Company has been told. Its unnamed source warns that only one iPhone 12 variant will support faster mmWave networks — and only in certain markets.

Fastest 5G speeds aren’t for every iPhone

“The source says only the largest phone in the line has room inside for the special antenna design required for millimeter wave and larger battery needed to accommodate millimeter wave’s significant power draw,” reads the report, published on Thursday.

“Also, only the U.S., Korea, and Japan versions of the Pro Max will support millimeter-wave 5G.”

One of the reasons for its limited reach is likely the availability of mmWave networks; very few markets have begun rolling out the technology, with most relying on the Sub-6 standard instead.

Nevertheless, it’s disappointing news for those itching for significantly faster data.

A new iPhone SE on the way?

The same source told Fast Company that Apple may also be planning another iPhone SE refresh that could debut with iPhone 12. That will continue to use 4G rather than getting a 5G upgrade.

Although the report doesn’t add any further details, this could be the larger iPhone SE — based on iPhone 8 Plus — that other reports have claimed will come in 2020.