iPhone 13 delivers big 5G disappointment

Apple Iphone 13 Pro Colors
Apple Iphone 13 Pro Colors (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Multiple rumors stated iPhone 13 would bring mmWave 5G to more countries.
  • However, the new device still only supports the fastest 5G in the U.S.
  • The new iPhone does have new 5G bands for better coverage.

Despite multiple rumors the iPhone 13 would bring mmWave 5G to more countries around the world, Apple has confirmed that support for the fastest form of 5G will be limited to the United States, just like Apple's previous best iPhone, the iPhone 12.

Apple's website only lists 5G mmWave support in America, despite predictions from prolific insider Ming-Chi Kuo stating mmWave 5G would be coming to multiple new markets. From that report:

In a note seen by iMore, Kuo states 5G coverage will increase significantly in the second half of 2021, particularly when it comes to mmWave 5G, which is much faster than Sub-6GHz.Kuo says that the proportion of 5G mmWave in the iPhone will increase to around 55-60% compared to around 30-35% in the iPhone 12. The note says that Kuo believes mmWave 5G in the iPhone 13 will be supported in the U.S., as well as Canada, Japan, Australia, and by "major European mobile operators" significantly increasing the proportion of mmWave iPhone devices accordingly.

Apple did upgrade the iPhone 13's 5G, just not in the way we'd hoped. From Apple:

The world is quickly moving to 5G, and iPhone offers an advanced 5G experience, transforming the way users connect, share, and enjoy content. The customized hardware design in the iPhone 13 Pro lineup features more 5G bands, allowing it to work in more places on 5G for greater coverage and performance.7 By the end of 2021, support for 5G on iPhone will double around the globe, with over 200 carriers worldwide in 60 countries and regions. Users can experience higher-quality video streaming on their favorite platforms, more competitive gameplay in multiplayer games, faster download and upload speeds, and so much more. With iOS 15, SharePlay8 on 5G will unlock powerful shared experiences such as watching HDR movies or TV shows in sync with friends while on a FaceTime call. And Smart Data mode will intelligently conserve battery life by automatically shifting iPhone to LTE when 5G speeds aren't needed.

The rumor was just one of several errant leaks that turned out not to be on the money in the run-up to the event on Tuesday.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9