Report: Only the iPhone 12 Pro Max will come with the super-fast mmWave 5G

Fake iPhone 12 concept
Fake iPhone 12 concept (Image credit: Rene Ritchie / iMore - iPhone 12 concept)

What you need to know

  • A new report claims only one of Apple's 2020 iPhones will feature the fastest 5G connectivity.
  • Fast Company says a source told them only the largest iPhone 12 Pro will feature mmWave 5G.
  • That's said to be because that's the only iPhone with the required space inside.

A new report, citing a wireless industry source, claims that only one of the 2020 iPhone lineup will feature the faster mmWave 5G connectivity. All devices will offer 5G, but the iPhone 12 Pro Max is said to be the only one that will get the fastest version.

The Fast Company report notes that only the iPhone 12 Pro Max will have the required space inside, with larger batteries and the mmWave radio taking up more room than the other iPhones can afford.

The source says only the largest phone in the line has room inside for the special antenna design required for millimeter wave and larger battery needed to accommodate millimeter wave's significant power draw. Also, only the U.S., Korea, and Japan versions of the Pro Max will support millimeter-wave 5G.

The news that most countries won't even get mmWave support from the iPhone 12 Pro Max will disappoint some, although it's unlikely the market for it is huge at this point. 5G connectivity at any level is still in its infancy, so it's debatable as to whether mmWave 5G will be missed at all. Despite its huge speed capabilities.

If Sub-5 5G is a Camry, millimeter-wave 5G is a Mercedes S-Class. It travels over high-frequency radio spectrum, between 24 GHz and 39 GHz, and delivers download speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second (Gbps) and sometimes beyond. On the other hand, the signal has trouble penetrating objects such as buildings and is more expensive for carriers to deploy than a lower-frequency service.

Pouring one out for all Camry owners right now.

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.