More countries will get fast mmWave 5G support with iPhone 13

Corroborating a report from Ming-Chi Kuo earlier in the year, Digitimes is claiming that more than half of iPhone 13 models manufactured will support 5G mmWave.

As a reminder, the iPhone 12 supports sub-6GHz 5G worldwide but the superfast gigabit speeds are only available in the United States with mmWave technology, as only US-model iPhone 12s have the special mmWave antenna window and radios embedded. That is set to change with the iPhone 13 launch this fall.

Unfortunately, it is still unclear exactly what countries are set to benefit from the expansion. The United States makes up about 30% of Apple’s total iPhone sales, and it tracks that about a third of iPhone 12’s produced are fitted with mmWave support.

An expansion of 25% to an approximate 50-55% mmWave mix of iPhone 13 implies the additional countries will be smaller than China, which would take up about another 30% share. Probably, mmWave iPhone 13 will be available in Canada and parts of Europe.

Of course, being able to get those mmWave gigabit speeds also depends on coverage from your cell carriers. mmWave deployment is scarce in China currently which is probably why Apple hasn’t prioritised that region. Even in the United States, mmWave service is patchy.

iPhone 12 users have noticed that standing on the sweet spot on a particular street corner of their city will mean they can benefit from gigabit (and higher) download speeds thanks to mmWave, but you only need to walk down the block for the signal to quickly go back down to standard 50-80Mbps 4G-5G speeds. Another drawback is that mmWave is generally unable to penetrate walls and therefore unusable indoors.

The iPhone 13 lineup is expected to be officially unveiled by Apple in the fall, probably in September.