Wait for Better 5G
The iPhone 12 models are the first iPhones with 5G capabilities. This is a big deal because it means the new iPhones will be able to pull down ridiculously fast data speeds in some areas around the United States.
That said, you might be in better shape if you skip the iPhone 12 and wait for the iPhone 13. Here are a few reasons why.
One, 5G coverage isn't everywhere yet. Major U.S. carriers like AT&T and Verizon have deployed 5G, but service is still limited to certain regions around the country. In other words, you might not want to invest in a 5G phone in 2021 if coverage is lacking in the areas you frequent the most.
Two, the 2020 iPhones are Apple's first stab at 5G. And like 5G connectivity itself, we expect to see some growing pains associated with that. Some people might not want to deal with that.
And three, Qualcomm's introduced the new Snapdragon X60, a smaller 5G modem that could arrive inside the iPhone 13.
According to Qualcomm, the modem features higher power efficiency. It will also aggregate data from both mmWave and sub-6GHz bands simultaneously leading to better overall performance.
Thanks to an Apple roadmap from the Apple-Qualcomm settlement, we now know that Apple plans to use the Snapdragon X60 modem in new products between June 1, 2021 and May 31, 2022. That points to a release alongside the iPhone 13 series.
A report from Digitimes seems to confirm these plans. The site says Apple will use Qualcomm's Snapdragon X60 in the iPhone 13 series.
Kuo also believes the iPhone 13 series will have Qualcomm's Snapdragon X60 modem on board.
Apple will reportedly start using its own modem in iPhones starting in 2023, a move that would put Qualcomm on the sideline.
Kuo also thinks the iPhone 13 series will deliver 5G mmWave to more countries. As of right now, the iPhone 12 series only comes with an mmWave antenna in the United States. Trendforce backs this up in its own report.
A report from Digitimes states that more than 50% of the iPhone 13 models Apple ships in 2021 will support mmWave.
Digitimes also says Apple is bringing on additional suppliers of mmWave antennas ahead of the iPhone 13 release, a sign that an expansion is in the works.
Potential candidates for support include Australia, Canada, Japan, and several countries in Europe.
While you might be tempted to jump on board the 5G train right now, you might get a better experience if you wait for the technology, and coverage, to evolve.
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