For those who held out on upgrading to Apple’s first 5G iPhone, the next iPhone appears to be essentially a better 5G version of the iPhone 12.

If you have an iPhone 11 or earlier, 5G is not available since those phones use modems limited to 4G networks.

While the iPhone 12 has been popular because it’s Apple’s first 5G phone, there’s plenty of room for improvement as 5G matures beyond the first wave of devices.

And you can expect those improvements to appear in the next-gen “iPhone 13.” That device will likely get a Qualcomm X60 5G modem* and a bigger battery — which would theoretically keep the phone going longer when connected to 5G networks. Typically, a 5G connection drains the battery faster than 4G.

The X60 modem will also allow the new iPhones to handle 5G data from both mmWave and sub-6GHz bands simultaneously, allowing for better 5G performance, as spelled out by Qualcomm.

Key features of Qualcomm X60:

  • Built on an advanced 5nm process
  • Supports carrier aggregation between Sub-6 and mmWave
  • Offers up to 7.5 Gbps download speeds

And going forward, Apple sees 5G technology as critical. Critical enough that it is internalizing development of future 5G baseband chips.

Apple has plans to use its own custom-designed 5G chip in 2023 iPhones (at the earliest), according to reports.

Qualcomm isn’t standing still of course. The newest Snapdragon X65 modem delivers theoretical 5G speeds of up to 10 Gigabit, up from the 7.6 Gbps of the X60.

The new X65 also features a 4th-gen Qualcomm 545 mmWave antenna module for increased coverage, better battery efficiency, global 5G coverage and spectrum aggregation between mmWave and Sub-6, according to Qualcomm.



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