Wi-Fi 6E to be restricted to iPhone 15 Pro with A17 processor

in iPhone edited February 2023
A leaker with a limited but positive track record has shared internal diagrams showing Wi-Fi 6E will be restricted to iPhone 15 Pro, likely due to the A17 processor not coming to the standard iPhone 15.

A17 to gain Wi-Fi 6E
A17 to gain Wi-Fi 6E

The leaker is known as "Unknownz21" on Twitter and has a short, but credible history leaking details about Apple. They previously obtained pre-released iOS 14 code and leaked the "Gobi" AR codes that eventually were revealed as scannable App Clips.

Unknownz21 shared a new set of leaked documents that shows Wi-Fi 6E will be exclusive to the iPhone 15 Pro lineup. The document shown below was shared alongside others to allow MacRumors to confirm the accuracy of the report.

The diagram refers to models by letter-number designations. D3y for iPhone 15, D2y for iPhone 14, D8x for iPhone 15 Pro, and D7x for iPhone 14 Pro.

An earlier report from an analyst also suggested that Wi-Fi 6E would be introduced with iPhone 15, though it wasn't clear if it would be an exclusive feature to pro models. However, there are other indications as to why Apple would limit a new Wi-Fi standard to its premium devices.

The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus use the 2021 A15 processor, not the newer A16 processor. If Apple continues this trend, the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus will use the A16, and the A17 will be exclusive to the iPhone 15 Pro lineup.

Leaked diagram from <a href=@URedditor given to MacRumors" height="738" />
Leaked diagram from @URedditor given to MacRumors

Wireless connectivity is tied to Apple's processors. So, Wi-Fi 6E will likely be an A17 processor feature.

We've seen Apple force Wi-Fi standards based on internal chipsets before. For example, the new HomePod has the S7 processor, which is limited to Wi-Fi 802.11n, while the previous model had 802.11ac.

Wi-Fi 6E works on the same 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands that Wi-Fi 6 does but also works over the 6GHz band. This enables faster wireless speeds and less signal interference. To use the 6Ghz band, devices must be connected to a Wi-Fi 6E router.

Wi-Fi 6E has already been introduced in a handful of Apple products, namely ones with the M2 processor series. Those include the iPad Pro, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini.

While this move isn't ideal for future-proofing entry iPhones, it won't immediately affect customers. Wi-Fi 6E routers are still prohibitively expensive, so users aren't likely to notice the difference anytime soon.

Read on AppleInsider


  • Reply 1 of 5
    ciacia Posts: 253member
    Technically, the only difference between Wifi 6 and 6E is the 6Ghz band.  The protocol and all that are the same, 6E just operates on a higher (and far less busy) frequency.

    In a clean RF environment where 5Ghz and 6Ghz are open, there should be little to no difference between the two from a speed standpoint, beyond the fact 6Ghz can't penetrate walls as well as 5Ghz (or 2.4Ghz).

    In dense RF environments like in cities or packed urban areas the 6Ghz frequency can make a huge difference though, as multiple radios aren't fighting for time on the same frequencies, aided in by the fact 6Ghz has trouble penetrating through walls.  If you are near a transmitter you will get great speeds with next to no interference from other wifi networks.  You just might need a few more transmitters to get great signal throughout your home.
  • Reply 2 of 5
    If it delivers multi gigabit Airdrop transfers it would be nice. Wireless is really important for Apple devices so feature restrictions are not good. I personally get 600-650mbps during airdrop on iPad Pro & MacBook Pro
  • Reply 3 of 5
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,913member
    Normal evolution of WiFi network. Next is WiFi 7. So, iPhone 16 or 17 Pro will support WiFi 7 and non-pro version WiFi 6E. I want Apple embedded WiFi 7 on the same die as Processor along with BT 5.3+ and NFC.
  • Reply 4 of 5
    JFC_PAJFC_PA Posts: 932member
    Until there’s widespread installation of the routers? Meh. 
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