Apple’s upcoming iPhone 12 models are widely expected to pick up 5G functionality, but you’d be wise not to hold your breath for 2×2 MIMO uplink support.
That’s according to renowned Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo with TF Securities, who in June 2019 made a prediction that 5G-enabled iPhones would include as many as six power amplifiers for 5G networking. But the analyst is now backtracking on that claim, saying that the next iPhone will instead feature just one or two power amplifiers, meaning support for 2×2 MIMO uplink will most likely be dropped as a result of this assumed change.
For those wondering, MIMO refers to multiple input, multiple output. In wireless radio technology, MIMO technology groups multiple antennas together at both the transmitter and receiver, which results in better spectrum efficiency, higher data throughput and similar perks.
Kuo did not provide any reasoning for scaling back to just one or two amplifiers. Given the current state of 5G networking and 5G-enabled smartphones, we’re guessing there’s not enough space in the device for six amplifiers. That, or technical issues like power consumption.
It’s not a biggie, actually.
Even without 2×2 uplink support, the next iPhone is thought to provide a handy combination of the mmWave standard (ultra-fast speeds at short distances; best suited for urban areas) and sub-6GHz (slower than mmWave but works over longer distances; best suited for suburban and rural areas). This should ensure maximum 5G compatibility for the 5G iPhone.
Without 2×2 uplink support, your uploads will simply be a tad slower than the maximum theoretical upload speed, but you may not actually notice any discernible difference at all.
Whether the limitation will be noticed in the real world depends heavily on carrier infrastructure. As most 5G rollouts are still relatively new, it is possible that a user with a 2×2 capable device would see no noticeable difference in upload speeds.
The inaugural 5G iPhone will use Qualcomm modem.
However, Apple is internally working on its own cellular modems that should start appearing in iOS devices sometime around 2022 or 2023, Kuo said earlier. Based on Apple’s 5G product roadmaps, the Cupertino tech giant is expected to launch new iPhones and iPads with 5G functionality in September.
Are you looking forward to the 5G iPhone?
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