Apple is enlisting more suppliers of 5G components ahead of the much-anticipated release of the iPhone 13.
According to a DigiTimes report, Apple is said to be dealing with five separate suppliers of mmWave Antenna-in-Package (AiP) components. This is to expand support for faster 5G connections on the iPhone 13, which is rumored to debut in September.
The iPhone 12 was the first Apple handset to feature 5G mmWave technology, which offers superbly faster speeds at a limited distance compared to the conventional sub-6GHz. This feature, however, is only available to iPhone 12 users in the US, in which a handset would carry a special antenna window to offer mmWave support with Verizon as a key partner, 9to5Mac reported.
iPhone 13 Leak: Apple Plans Wider Deployment of 5G mmWave iPhones
This happened because 5G mmWave technology has been widely deployed by carriers in the US in 2020, and not in other countries. In addition to this, supplies for AiP modules were limited at that time.
But Apple plans a wider, global deployment of 5G mmWave antennas, pushing the increased consignments of AiP components for the upcoming iPhone 13 release. This would encourage countries to ramp up their mmWave infrastructure, MacRumors revealed.
DigiTimes further noted that Apple is increasing the share of 5G mmWave phones in the upcoming 90 million handset shipments of the iPhone 13 to 60 percent of its entire lineup. It added that each mmWave iPhone 13 will need four AiP modules, which should significantly increase the demand for AiP substrates.
Proof of this DigiTimes claim is a supposed large order by Apple from supplier Cyntec of power chokes needed for mmWave technology. This large order showed that Apple is serious about adopting faster mmWave technology in the mass production of its new iPhones.
iPhone 13 5G: Why the Need for mmWave Technology?
What then is the point of deploying 5G mmWave technology in more regions around the world, even if a greater number of carriers globally don't support it? It is about the promise of further boosting 5G capacity to 16 times the sub-6GHz levels.
Most areas around the world offering 5G, which are large cities and towns, are in the sub-6GHz range.
The mmWave spectrum is right above the 6GHz band, offering high data rates and can work more efficiently in congested areas, such as big gatherings and concerts. Carriers in many countries are not using the spectrum because of its limited range and its requirement for additional masts as signals travel only in short distances.
But despite these limitations, Apple sees this promise to be widely implemented in more areas, apart from its potential in other 5G-related applications such as Internet of Things, MacWorld noted. Citing research from Georgia Institute of Technology, the report said mmWave technology could offer the speed and bandwidth necessary to run IoT gadgets, such as smart home appliances, security equipment, smart light switches or robot assistants.