Could we see 802.11ac 5G gigabit Wi-Fi in iPhone and iPad in 2012?

Could we see 802.11ac 5G gigabit Wi-Fi in iPhone and iPad in 2012?

802.11ac, sometimes referred to as 5G or gigabit Wi-Fi, hasn't been finalized and Apple seldom if ever speaks ahead of time about the incorporation of new technology into the iPhone, iPad, or Mac lines, but they were aggressive in adopting 802.11n while it was in the draft stages and 802.11ac appears to have even more to recommend it.

The new 802.11ac standard achieves much faster wireless networking speeds than the existing 802.11n specification (in use on the latest Mac, AirPort and iOS devices) by using 2 to 4 times the frequency bandwidth (from 80 to 160MHz), more efficient data transfers through sophisticated modulation, and more antennas (up to 8; existing standards support up to 4, while Apple's Macs currently use up to 3).

With everything from AirPlay to iTunes Wi-Fi sync to the downloading of content from iTunes Netflix and other online repositories becoming increasingly front and center in iOS, better, faster Wi-Fi will be huge plus. (Especially if when we see the eventual move to 1080p content on the rumored Apple TV 3.

The link below says Apple's working on 802.11ac, though the article doesn't say where that assertion comes from. Still -- I want it, and hopefully we'll indeed get it sometime this year if not the next.

Source: AppleInsider

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Could we see 802.11ac 5G gigabit Wi-Fi in iPhone and iPad in 2012?


Obviously not. But things like wifi sync or streaming downloaded content from one device to another would be because they do not rely on an Internet connection

Well, in theory, of course... But I doubt there are many occasions that the current 11n speeds of 150/300mbps is the main bottleneck for streaming... Sync speed can change though, but I suspect there would still be the iTunes culprit...

Obviously not but those of us who have 50 Mbit/s or more will get significantly faster wireless internet.

@ J-nB-ck_r
No it isn't, but your in-house Wi-Fi network will become faster between 2 devices that support this 802.11ac standard.

There is no possible way this will happen. The first run of chipsets released arent even close to the appropriate power consumption levels for mobile devices. And even if it was, these new chipsets aren't yet produced in volume.
They WILL be in mobile devices but even then it's unlikely to be the 1+ Gbps speeds because of the antenna requirements to do that.

Your making the assumption based on current architecture and services. Think Italk while on wifi network just like Imsg. I can see where they are going with this. ESP in cities that are already lit up with wifi. Long term thinking to cut the carriers out even more.

That would be the 5Ghz band of WiFi that you are connecting to, it does not have anything to do with the speed. In this case it is the frequency that the device communicates on. Standard WiFi is 2.4Ghz, along with your wireless phones and Microwaves are also on that band. Your 3G connection is 1.9Ghz Tmobile is using 2.1Ghz etc...

You guys have your facts wrong. The iphone 4 was the first iPhone with wireless N, and it came out almost a year after N was finalized. Apple was in no way an early adopter, and I highly doubt they will be early adopters of gigabit wireless either.

And several other technologies. Im saying they weren't early adopters or 802.11n, and they almost certainly won't adopt 802.11ac in 2012.

Great, now Im going to have to start fielding questions about 5G. The average consumer has no idea, all they know is 5G. just like 4G.

Apple might just release the iPhone 4 this year for the 3rd time, include this 5g wifi and call it revolutionary. Same 3.5 screen, form factor, and then all the I sheep will line up for this revulotionary phone. Hahahaha.

we may get the 5G on the ipad 3 tablet according to some sneek previews held and I believe it will be a notch higher for apple especially with new honeycomb rumors spreading around under the latest toshiba tab and the much hyped amazon kindle....lets wait and see.
You can read the review at

All very nice BUT
It would be nice if Apple sorts out the problem with their current WIFI implementation. Since iOS 5 WIFI is acting strange on a complete range of iOS devices. Sometimes it won't connect to an access point until you stand beside it. Sometimes it says it's connected when in fact seems to have idled out the connection (frustrating Sonos users).
See this thread on the apple forums: