A series of recent iPhone 11 rumors claimed that Apple would launch three new devices this year, including the successors of the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR, with the iPhone 11 Max expected to feature up to three rear-facing cameras. Different reports also claim that the upcoming iPhones would feature faster wireless support than any previous models, including Wi-Fi 6 connectivity, and maybe even 5G.
In a note (via MacRumors) sent customers after CES 2019, Barclays analyst Blaine Curtis said that the new iPhones will support the new 802.11ax Wi-Fi standard, which is known as Wi-Fi 6.
Apple has been quick to adopt 802.11ac a few years ago, well before it was finalized. Wi-Fi 6, expected to be completed this year, will bring users higher speeds, improved capacity, as well as better performance in crowded areas like concerts and sporting events. The new wireless standard will also be more efficient when it comes to battery consumption than previous versions.
The problem with devices supporting 802.11ax speeds this early means that you might have to wait a while until you can take advantage of it. That’s because you’ll need compatible hardware to create Wi-Fi 6-ready wireless networks.
Speaking of early support for nascent wireless technologies, Apple isn’t widely expected to launch a 5G phone this year. Apple was slow to bring 3G and 4G support to iPhone, and logic dictates that the company would do the same thing with 5G. But Reuters says that Apple has considered various Qualcomm rivals including Samsung and MediaTek to supply 5G modems for 2019 iPhones.
The dispute with Qualcomm may be one other reason for Apple to delay the adoption of 5G. The new revelation that Apple held talks about 5G modem chips with other companies comes from the testimony of an Apple exec at a trial between Qualcomm and the FTC.
Apple supply chain executive Tony Blevins talked about Apple’s exclusivity contract with Qualcomm, as well as plans to find at least one more modem supplier for its products. In addition to Intel, whose chips already power various iPhone models, Apple talked to Samsung and MediaTek about 5G modems. However, the exec did not say whether Apple will release a 5G iPhone in 2019. Previous reports said Apple’s first 5G iPhones would launch only in 2020.