Apple iPhone 12 series could include four 5G models with support for both Sub-6G and sub-6GHz-plus-mmWave, according to Apple analyst Ming Chi-Kuo. In a new research note (via MacRumors), Kuo has revealed that Apple is on track to launch sub-GHz as well as sub-6GHz-plus-mmWave 5G iPhone models in the second half of 2020. This means that all six iPhone 12 models (including four 5G models) could be launched in September itself. Further, Kuo has predicted that shipments could begin in the late third quarter or early fourth quarter.
This is in contrast to Susquehanna analyst Mehdi Hosseini, who noted (via StreetInsider) that Apple could launch its iPhone 12 5G models in two phases and not in one go. According to Hosseini, the mmWave models could launch much later in December 2020 or even January 2021 given Apple plans to use its own antenna-in-package modules in the iPhone models. The sub-6GHz iPhone 12 models will unveil in September 2020, as per the analyst.
Separately, Rosenblatt analyst Jun Zhang (via Apple Insider) believes there will be three 5G models in the iPhone 12 lineup. While the standard iPhone 12 will only launch in 4G model, the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Plus will be available in both 4G and 5G models. The iPhone 12 Pro Max, the top most smartphone in the iPhone 12 lineup, will be sold as a 5G-only iPhone.
According to Kuo, the Apple iPhone 12 mmWave models will be available in five markets, including the United States, Canada, Japan, Korea, and the United Kingdom. In markets where there is no penetration of the 5G technology, Apple could disable the 5G function. It remains to be seen which Apple iPhone 12 models will be launched for India.
5G tech: mmWave and sub-6Hz: What’s the difference?
The biggest difference between mmWave and sub-6 GHz is that the latter includes the portion of the spectrum that is lower than 6 GHz. The mmWave waves are more suitable for dense and crowded areas including indoors, whereas sub-6 GHz is preferred for broad 5G coverage. In the case of mmWave, the issue is that the waves do not travel very far and can be blocked easily as well.
In India, it is unlikely that full-fledged 5G rollout will happen in 2020, except for some pilots. The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) will conduct the telecom auction of 8,300 MHz spectrum, including in the 5G band this year and the government has already decided to give the 5G spectrum for trials to all players, including Huawei.