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Not all 5G is created equal

The big picture: During any other year, Apple would normally be sending out invitations by now for a press gathering to reveal its next generation of iPhones. With Covid-19 still lingering, however, this year’s reveal will almost certainly be limited to an online broadcast. We’ve also heard rumors that production delays stemming from the virus could push back the unveiling or lead to a staggered launch across the new product line.
Apple’s upcoming iPhone 12 lineup is expected to support 5G connectivity across the board but as you likely know, not all 5G is the same.

Namely, there are two different kinds of 5G – the faster millimeter wave variant and sub-6GHz spectrum which is slower but can travel further and better penetrate objects like walls.

According to one wireless industry source speaking to Fast Company, only Apple’s highest-end iPhone 12 will support the speedier mmWave 5G. The reasoning apparently comes down to real estate – only the largest model, tentatively known as the iPhone 12 Pro Max, has the space required to accommodate the mmWave antenna and the larger battery needed to offset its power draw.

What’s more, the source claims the mmWave-enabled iPhone 12 will only be sold in the US, Korea and Japan. This makes sense considering the cutting-edge tech isn’t well established globally.

For now, however, all we can do is wait and see what Apple’s next move is.