According to a new report, Apple may not release mmWave 5G iPhones until December 2020/January 2021.
As 5G continues to roll out, carriers are deploying two types of 5G. Low-band 5G offers speeds anywhere from 20 percent to four times faster than 4G LTE, but has excellent building penetration and range. mmWave 5G, on the other hand, has speed measured in gigabits instead of megabits, but has extremely poor range and penetration.
Susquehanna analyst Mehdi Hosseini believes Apple will stagger its 5G iPhone launch, debuting the low-band models first, with the the faster 5G models at the beginning of 2021. According to Hosseini, the reason is at least partly due to Apple’s decision to design and use its own antenna-in-package (AiP) instead of using a third-party component.
If the report is accurate, it represents further efforts on Apple’s part to bring more of the iPhone’s components in-house. Recent reports project Apple will try to use its own modems as early as 2022. The company bought Intel’s 5G modem business after Intel was forced to abandon the effort as a result of what it described as anticompetitive behavior on the part of Qualcomm. Apple has been trying to end its reliance on Qualcomm, and it now appears they are trying to end their dependence on third parties for AiP components.