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Report: iPhone 12 to have new short-range WiFi standard, AirTags to charge like Apple Watch

Apple Watch charger
Apple Watch charger (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple is expected to announce iPhone 12 in September.
  • A new report claims it will support 802.11ay WiFi.
  • AirTags will reportedly charge wirelessly, like Apple Watch.

A new report claims that Apple's unannounced iPhone 12 will feature a new short-range WiFi technology, called 802.11ay. That technology is currently still being drafted, but it's expected to be ratified by the end of the year. We've also learned some more details about AirTags, too.

The report comes via Macotakara, with sources telling the Japanese outlet that 802.11ay will debut in the new iPhone. It uses the 60GHz spectrum to enable faster transfer speeds over shorter distances then standard WiFi so is likely best suited to features like AirDrop.

According to sources familiar with the next iPhone 12, there is a possibility that it will support the ultra-short range wireless LAN standard " IEEE 802.11ay " using the 60 GHz band.

The report also notes that AirTags, Apple's much-leaked but unannounced Tile-like trackers, will charge wirelessly in a manner similar to Apple Watch. That means we can expect some form of magnetic connection which makes sense given the size and lack of weight of the tags themselves. Magnets may be needed to keep them in place during charging.

It is rumored that the AirTag UWB tag, which is rumored to be announced in the fall of 2020, is completely waterproof and uses a charging method similar to Apple Watch's magnetic charging to charge the battery.

Both AirTags and iPhone 12 are said to be set for a launch this fall, likely during the traditional iPhone month of September. However, AirTags in particular could arrive any time between now and iPhone 12 day – the required technology is already present in iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro.

Oliver Haslam
Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.