Apple prepares to bring mmWave 5G to more countries with iPhone 13

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Killian filed that 5G thing. I’m reading it now. Do you want me to hold it for tomorrow’s newsletter just in case?
Even faster connectivity for some iPhone owners could be on the way.
Photo: Apple

Apple is adding new 5G component suppliers to bring faster mmWave connectivity to more countries with iPhone 13, according to a new report. The technology is currently available only in the United States.

Sources say Cupertino is now working with five antenna-in-package (AiP) manufacturers after adding AT&S to its roster.

With sub-6GHz 5G connectivity in iPhone 12, users are already enjoying significantly faster data speeds where 5G coverage is available. But in the U.S., where mmWave connectivity is available, it’s even better.

Some carriers, such as Verizon, are delivering multi-gigabit download speeds over cellular connections in some areas. And now Apple wants iPhone owners in other territories to enjoy the same, it seems.

Apple adds new 5G component supplier

“Apple is expected to sharply boost the ratio of 5G mmWave devices to 60% of its new iPhone lineup in 2021, with such models estimated to approach 90 million units,” reads a new Digitimes report.

A fifth AiP supplier has been added to Apple’s supplier list to meet this goal, the report claims. Austria-based AT&S is expected to share orders with Semco, LG Innotek, Kinsus Interconnect, and Unimircon.

The report doesn’t offer details on which countries might see mmWave support with iPhone 13. Apple will likely target those where the technology is already available, or will be in the near future.

mmWave’s expansion

One of the reasons mmWave connectivity was not introduced outside of the U.S. with iPhone 12 is that support for the faster standard was sparse at the time. And it’s not cheap to give an iPhone mmWave support.

We have an article that explains the differences between the two 5G standards. But in a nutshell, mmWave 5G can be substantially faster than sub-6GHz 5G, but it doesn’t travel as well — especially through obstacle.

In addition, mmWave connectivity relies on a total of four AiP components in each device, Digitimes explains, making it expensive. A previous report hinted at price increases for iPhone 13 as a result.