iPhone 15 could use powerful U2 Ultra Wideband chip for deeper Vision Pro integration


Two people having a conversation, one wearing the Vision Pro headset with EyeSight.
Apple has a plan to boost the Vision Pro ecosystem.
Photo: Apple

Apple could switch to a more powerful Ultra Wideband chip on the iPhone 15. And for its 2024 iPhones, the company could adopt the newer and faster Wi-Fi 7 standard.

These hardware upgrades will seemingly allow Apple to build a more competitive ecosystem for its upcoming Vision Pro headset.

Upgraded U2 chip for better nearby interactions

Apple’s current U1 Ultra Wideband chip enables spatial awareness and powers useful features like Handoff, AirDrop and Find My. It alsoworks with Apple’s Nearby Interaction framework, which allows users to “interact with connected accessories in completely new and exciting ways,” the company says.

TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo shared his predictions about iPhone upgrades Sunday, saying the more powerful hardware will make the smartphone work better with the Vision Pro and enhance Apple’s already compelling ecosystem.

“The ecosystem is one of the key success factors for Vision Pro, including the integration with other Apple hardware products, and related main hardware specifications are Wi-Fi and UWB,” said Kuo. To achieve this, Apple will switch to a more advanced Ultra Wideband chip on the iPhone 15 series, Kuo said.

These aggressive hardware changes will allow the company to tighten the integration between Vision Pro and its upcoming iPhones.

Fabricated on the denser 7nm node, the upcoming chip should offer improved performance and reduce power consumption. For comparison, Apple’s current U1 Ultra Wideband chip is based on the 16nm node.

Apple has been using the U1 chip since the iPhone 11. It is also found in several other products from the company, including Apple Watch Series 6, some HomePods and AirTag.

iPhone 16 could support Wi-Fi 7

Further, Kuo thinks 2024’s iPhone 16 could ship with Wi-Fi 7 support. It will be “more conducive to Apple’s integration of hardware products” running on the same network, he said.

Interestingly, the iPhone 14 series only supports Wi-Fi 6, unlike the 2023 MacBook Pro and M2 iPad Pros, which are Wi-Fi 6E compatible. If Apple intends to switch to Wi-Fi 7 on its 2024 iPhones, it will likely first add Wi-Fi 6E support to its upcoming 2023 iPhones.

Designed keeping AR/VR headsets in mind, the Wi-Fi 7 standard provides additional bandwidth and lower latency required to deliver an immersive experience.


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