Right now, the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max all feature both sub-6GHz and mmWave 5G connectivity options. However, outside the United States that’s not the case, with the iPhone 12 lineup only supporting the slower sub-6GHz option. But that may change with this year’s offering.
According to a report today from Patently Apple, Apple is making moves to expand availability of mmWave 5G connectivity support in its iPhone lineup. And that may start with the “iPhone 13“, which is expected to be announced later this year. As mentioned above, the iPhone 12 lineup only supports sub-6GHz connectivity outside the U.S., but there are plenty of markets that have growing mmWave networks that could benefit from the hardware support in the iPhone.
The report says that Taiwanese company Qiqi is in the process of receiving a “large order” for antenna that support mmWave 5G connectivity. Those orders are likely to land in the iPhone 13 lineup. Right now, a Japanese company called Murata Manufacturing handles orders for mmWave antenna, so Qiqi will be sharing orders for the antenna moving forward. Apple adding another supplier to the list makes sense if it’s expanding availability outside the United States.
The report also notes that Apple supplier Wistron reportedly invested quite a bit into Qiqi, which helped the smaller company slide into Apple’s supply chain. Qiqi also works closely with Qualcomm for Wi-Fi 6 and 5G components, which apparently helped Apple’s consideration for bringing the manufacturing partner into the fold.
However, that’s not all! The report also nots that Qiqi is a market leader when it comes to designing antenna for laptops. Could this mean that Apple is planning on (finally) adding wireless connectivity to its MacBook lineup at some point in the future? Maybe!
Would you be interested in a MacBook that supports cellular connectivity?