IPhone 12, 5G will work “halfway”: limited speed for many users

The two models of iPhone 12 will not support millimeter waves and will not be able to take full advantage of 5G

In recent days Jon Prosser of Front Page Tech published the rumor that the future iPhone 12 will have a base price of "only" $ 649, that is 50 less than the iPhone 11, for the version with 5.4-inch OLED screen, two cameras and 5G connection. Many have wondered how Apple will be able to offer these features with this price.

Now Jon Prosser himself reveals us the truth: the 5.4- and 6.1-inch iPhone 12 will not support millimeter waves, the so-called 5G mmWave, but only frequencies below 6 GHz. The only millimeter-wave compatible iPhone 12s will be the Pro and Pro Max versions. In this way, Apple sharply divides the range in two, creating an important technical difference that justifies the strong price difference: the 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro, in fact, according to Prosser will cost $999 while the 6.7-inch Pro Max will cost $1,099. But what's different without millimeter waves?

mmWave 5G: why it matters

The cellular networks we've used in recent years, namely 2G/3G/4G, have used frequencies up to 3 GHz. The 5G can be carried on several different frequencies: those at 700 MHz (currently occupied in Italy by digital terrestrial TV, waiting for the switch off), those at 2.6 GHz and 3.7 GHz and those at 26 GHz. Then there are waves with higher frequencies, up to 95 GHz, which are defined millimetric and in some countries have already been partly assigned (or will be in the future) to 5G networks. The higher the frequency, the greater the amount of data that can be transported in a single second, so the greater the speed of Internet from cellular networks. But the lower the frequency, the farther the wave can reach, so the greater the network coverage.

iPhone 12 "neutered"?

The fact that iPhone 12s may be incompatible with 5G mmWave is not good news for users and potential buyers. The speed that can be achieved by taking advantage of these very high frequencies is truly remarkable: in the United States, for example, Verizon's mmWave 5G network manages to offer speeds of over one GBps, practically like a very good fiber optic. However, it must also be said that this type of network has a very low coverage and, in practice, will be implemented mainly as an alternative to public Wi-Fi in restricted areas such as squares, shopping centers or places of small size but very crowded. Not being able to take advantage of millimeter waves, therefore, might not be a huge sacrifice for Apple fans.