IPhone 13, 5G won’t work everywhere to save costs

IPhone 12 and iPhone 13 may have problems with 5G network support. Apple is deciding which antennas to use

New rumors, new confusion over 5G support by future iPhone 12s and even iPhone 13s. For some time now, the compatibility, full or limited, of Apple 2020 smartphones has been the focus of various rumors and it is not at all clear whether future models will be compatible with all types of 5G networks.

Of 5G, in fact, there is not just one: the frequencies used are many, but in principle are divided into "Sub-6GHz" and "mmWave". The mmWave waves, also called "millimeter waves", are those that offer the best performance, but require many repeaters positioned on the territory because they have an extremely small range. On the contrary, the Sub-6GHz (which in practice are all the radio waves of frequency below 6 GHz), have lower performance but higher range. To receive both frequency bands you need different types of antennas, which must be placed inside the same smartphone. And that what: money and space. What type of 5G network will the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 be able to use?

iPhone and 5G: the latest rumors

According to the latest report from DigiTimes, a usually very reliable source, the iPhone 12 will all be compatible with both 5G mmWave and 5G Sub-6GHz, but Apple may decide to disable the mmWave connection in some countries where repeaters of this type have not yet been installed. Conversely, however, iPhone 13s coming in 2021 will only be compatible with Sub-6GHz frequencies.

iPhone 12 and 5G: only partial compatibility?

These rumors conflict with what analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and journalist Jon Prosser have said in recent months, according to which not all iPhone 12s will be compatible with both types of 5G: the regular 5.4- and 6.1-inch iPhone 12s will not support millimeter waves, but only sub-6GHz frequencies, while the Pro and Pro Max versions will support both types of transmission.

iPhone and 5G: how will it work out?

All the news just reported are not real news: they are rumors. They should be taken, therefore, with the benefit of the doubt despite the fact that the sources are all authoritative. But, as authoritative as they are, they are at odds with each other and this shows that you can trust them, but only up to a point.

What you can say, however, is that the technical basis of 5G networks will be Sub-6GHz repeaters, while the 5G mmWave will be the icing on the cake that will be made available only in a few specific areas where maximum performance is needed: convention centers, luxury shopping malls, very crowded squares, business centers of public or private companies. If the next iPhones are not millimeter wave compatible, then, very few people will notice.