New iPhone SE supports only sub-6 GHz 5G, not full mmWave

Posted:
in iPhone edited March 2022
While Apple has announced the new iPhone SE has having 5G, it's limited to the slower sub-6 speed, instead of the faster mmWave of the iPhone 13 range.




"We're bringing 5G to our most affordable iPhone," said Francesca Sweet, product line manager, iPhone, during Apple's March 8 event. But the iPhone SE's implementation of 5G is substantially slower than that of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 ranges.

It's similar to how Apple has confined the full-speed mmWave 5G chipset to iPhones in the US. International customers have solely been able to buy the slower sub-6 version.

The faster mmWave potentially brings data transfer speeds in excess of 4 gigabits per second. It requires the use of high-frequency bands, however, which are still not common place.

Slower sub-6GHz bands are considered more robust than the mmWave ones, and they also don't need cell towers to be as close together.

Apple did the same thing when it added 5G support to the iPad mini in September 2021.

How much of a difference this makes in every day use depends on use case. While the carriers have expanded full mmWave coverage in the last year, the vast majority of consumers have no access to the speedier network.

Additionally, the mmWave frequencies are blocked by as little as window glass, making tower-provided mmWave impractical indoors.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 7
    mike1mike1 Posts: 3,125member
    Considering the minimal availability, omitting mmWave 5G support seems like the appropriate compromise to make in a product at this price point considering its likely customer base.
    fred1mattinozbonobobwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 7
    fred1fred1 Posts: 1,038member
    mike1 said:
    Considering the minimal availability, omitting mmWave 5G support seems like the appropriate compromise to make in a product at this price point considering its likely customer base.
    Agreed. Besides, no iPhones sold outside the US have mmWave 5G capability. I think we’ll survive. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 7
    WeetuWeetu Posts: 8member
    You’re more likely to find Yeti than a useful mm signal.
    bonobobapplguywatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 7
    rayboraybo Posts: 42member
    There's probably no room for the antenna in the thin SE enclosure. Also, ditto on the unimportance of mmWave for almost all folks. Anyone "needing" mmWave will buy a 13.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 7
    charlesncharlesn Posts: 388member
    SO... of all the headlines AI might have picked for the new iPhone SE announcement, it chooses to focus on lack of mmWave support, which it then goes on to acknowledge "the vast majority of customers have no access to." EXACTLY. So why that headline? I'll even go one better: I live in NYC, in Manhattan, which--compared to the rest of the country--is practically blanketed in mmWave, and I still very rarely see an indication of connection to it on my iPhone 13 Pro. If you don't actually know that you "need" mmWave for a specific purpose, and that mmWave towers exist where you need it, then feel confident in knowing that you definitely don't need it. In fact, 5G overall has been one of the most overhyped new technologies ever. 
    ITGUYINSDmike1watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 7
    ciacia Posts: 193member
    I have a 13Pro and have never once seen mmWave coverage in all my travels.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 7
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,976member
    mike1 said:
    Considering the minimal availability, omitting mmWave 5G support seems like the appropriate compromise to make in a product at this price point considering its likely customer base.
    If Apple get their own celluar chip to ship they should make this the default option for all products. eSim 4G or 5G sub6/wifi/Bluetooth should be the standard mmWave + a SIM slot is the cellular upgrade. 
    watto_cobra
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