This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl.
It's almost certain that all models in this year's flagship iPhone 12 (tentative) series will be 5G-capable, but there are theories that they will be divided into two types: a "mmWave (millimeter-wave)" model, which is faster but has a narrower range, and a "sub-6 GHz" model, which is slower but has a wider coverage area.
However, it was reported that all iPhone 12 models will support both mmWave and sub-6 GHz, according to supply chain information.
According to Taiwanese IT industry media DigiTimes, the 2020 series iPhones will be capable of 5G communication at both sub-6 GHz and mmWave. And next year in 2021, Apple is reportedly considering introducing iPhones that only support either mmWave or sub-6 GHz for certain markets.
While mmWave network infrastructure is being developed in densely populated areas such as urban centers, sub-6 GHz network infrastructure tends to be deployed mainly in regional cities and suburban areas. In other words, it may be easier to reduce modem costs by introducing models without millimeter wave support, depending on the status of development in each region.
Earlier this month, DigiTimes suggested that the iPhone 12 "mmWave" model was shipping less than expected, as if there was a separate sub-6GHz model. However, since the theory of this year's iPhone 12 being both mmWave and sub-6 GHz was the dominant one, whether written by renowned analyst Ming-Chi Kuo or the Nikkei report, it seems that DigiTimes has made a step in that direction.
So what will the modem configuration of the 2021 iPhone look like? MacRumors interprets DigiTimes' description of the modem as "for specific markets" as suggesting that instead of loading all models with the same modem but disabling some features for each region (so there is no cost savings in doing so), they will have different hardware (modems) that support one of the 5G methods.
With the current situation where we don't even know the specifications of this year's iPhone 12, it's unlikely that they have any solid information on the modem configuration of the 2021 model. Nevertheless, it's been a precedent for Apple to offer a different model in line with local circumstances, and if that happens, there may be collectors scrambling overseas to buy iPhone models that aren't sold in their country of residence.
This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl. The Japanese edition of Engadget does not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of this article.