'iPhone 13' May Come With Wi-Fi 6E: Analyst Report
Now that the new spectrum for Wi-Fi6E is available, the race is on for smart phones to provide it.
Last year, the FCC approved spectrum for Wi-Fi 6E, the next generation of Wi-Fi technology. At CES earlier this month, the first routers with that technology were unveiled.
Now, a report states that the technology may be coming to this year’s iPhones, after Wi-Fi 6E was included in the recently unveiled Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra.
According to a research note from analysts Blayne Curtis and Thomas O’Malley of Barclays, as cited by MacRumors, Apple “plans to release its first iPhones with Wi-Fi 6E support in 2021.” The note also said that suppliers Skyworks and Broadcom stand to benefit from their participation in this year’s iPhone lineup.
The analysts had earlier said that Apple “may” offer the technology in this year’s iPhones.
Wi-Fi 6E has arrived on the heels of Wi-Fi 6, which arrived in 2019 and was the successor to WiFi 5, which had been the standard for about six years. The difference between 6 and 6E, however, was that the government had to approve 6 GHz spectrum, which the FCC did last year.
“These new rules will usher in Wi-Fi 6, the next generation of Wi-Fi, and play a major role in the growth of the Internet of Things,” the FCC said in a statement last April. “Wi-Fi 6 will be over two-and-a-half times faster than the current standard and will offer better performance for American consumers. Opening the 6 GHz band for unlicensed use will also increase the amount of spectrum available for Wi-Fi by nearly a factor of five and help improve rural connectivity.”
The Wi-Fi Alliance, at the time, praised the FCC’s action as “a monumental ruling securing Wi-Fi innovation for decades to come.”
The Asus ROG Rapture GT-AXE11000, a gaming router released in December, was the first Wi-Fi 6E-capable router to hit the market. And the virtual CES, earlier this month, saw the release of several more such router products, which followed the announcement from the Wi-Fi Alliance that “certification for Wi-Fi 6E is now available to deliver interoperability for devices operating in the 6 GHz spectrum.”
Several major manufacturers of routers, including Netgear, Linksys and TP-Link, debuted new Wi-Fi 6E routers at CES. Netgear’s Nighthawk RAXE500 Tri-band WiFi Router and the Linksys AXE8400 Wi-Fi 6E System were both recognized by CES’ Innovation Awards.
And then, days after CES, Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S21 Ultra, the world’s first Wi-Fi GE-capable smartphone, which hits the market on January 29. Its Wi-Fi GE capability is powered by a chip from Broadcom, as is expected to be the case for the next iPhones.
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.