New iPhone SE does not support the fastest 5G technology

Apple Iphone Se 3
Apple Iphone Se 3 (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple announced the next generation of the iPhone SE today.
  • The new iPhone SE features the A15 Bionic processor and 5G connectivity.
  • It does not, however, support mmWave 5G technology.

Today, Apple announced a new generation of the iPad Air, new colors for the iPhone 13 lineup, and the brand new Mac Studio and Studio Display. It also revealed a new generation of the iPhone SE.

The next generation of the iPhone SE comes packed with the A15 Bionic processor, more durable glass, better battery life, and new camera capabilities. It also comes with 5G connectivity...with a big asterisk.

Apple's vice president of Worldwide iPhone Product Marketing, Kaiann Drance, hailed the inclusion of 5G in the new iPhone SE in the company's press release for the product:

"And with 5G, iPhone SE gives users faster downloads and uploads, higher quality video streaming, real-time interactivity in apps, and much more. Delivering the latest generation of technology and performance at this price is something only Apple can do."

If you only went off the press release itself (or Apple's event video), you might think that the new iPhone SE supports all of the new 5G technologies like the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro. However, that does not appear to be the case.

If you check the tech specs for the new iPhone SE on the Apple Store website, the company reveals that, while the phone does support 5G, it only does so with "5G (sub-6 GHz) with 2x2 MIMO." This means that, while the new iPhone SE supports low and mid-band 5G, it does not support mmWave, the fastest 5G technology currently available.

Does this ruin the iPhone SE? Certainly not. mmWave technology, while being the fastest 5G available, is also the most concentrated signal, meaning that it can't reach far. mmWave is still not available in most areas and, in most cases, is not even needed. Right now, it is mostly being deployed in major cities and popular destinations like sports stadiums, etc.

So, while the iPhone SE does not support mmWave, you'll most likely rarely come into an area that even supports it just yet. If you're considering the new iPhone SE, the upgraded performance, durability, and battery life is enough (along with most 5G support) to make it a great value.

Preorders for the next generation of the iPhone SE go live on Friday and it will be available on March 18.

Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.