Apple is planning to increase the availability of 5G mmWave capable iPhone models to more countries around the world with the release of the iPhone 13 later this year, offering even more customers access to the faster and newer technology, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
In a research note obtained by MacRumors, Kuo says that infrastructure for mmWave technology will increase substantially this year in places like Canada, Japan, Australia, and major European countries. Apple currently sells the mmWave iPhone 12 in the United States, which allocates to only 30-35% of overall iPhone 12 shipments.
While 5G smartphone shipments increased significantly in 2020, most of them only supported Sub-6 GHz. We believe that mmWave will create more diverse applications than Sub-6 GHz because of the benefits of faster speed and lower latency. The mmWave model of the iPhone 12 only supports the US market, and the shipment allocation of the total iPhone 12 is about 30–35%. We predict that the iPhone 13 mmWave models will be available in more countries (e.g., Canada, Japan, Australia, and major European mobile operators), so the shipment allocation of iPhone 13 mmWave models will increase substantially to 55–60%.
According to the analyst, this year, mmWave capable iPhone 13 models will allocate to 55-60% of shipments, a significant year-over-year increase. In terms of design, compared to the standard 6GHz handsets, mmWave iPhone 12 models feature a visible antenna on the right side of the device. Kuo expects the same antenna design to continue with the 2021 iPhone lineup.
A DigiTimes report earlier this month echoed similar information as Kuo, stating that Apple is expected to boost shipments of the mmWave iPhone this year. mmWave compared to the standard and more mainstream sub-6GHz technology offers faster speeds, but requires more advanced infrastructure and works in limited range.
Alongside the expanded availability of mmWave, Kuo has previously reported that the iPhone 13 will feature a smaller notch, larger batteries, and a 120Hz display for the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max. The new devices are also expected to feature improved cameras thanks to sensor-shift stabilization and improved low-light performance.