iPhone 13 is bringing super-fast 5G to more places

iPhone 12 Pro Max review notch
(Image credit: Future)

As we inch closer to an official iPhone 13 reveal, the leaks keep coming. And the latest, which comes from well-sourced analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, suggests this fall’s iPhone is going to offer something to shoppers outside the U.S. craving faster 5G.

According to a research note from Kuo obtained by 9to5Mac, the iPhone 13 is going to include 5G mmWave in versions of the phone that ship outside the country. All four iPhone 12 models feature mmWave capabilities — but only if you’re in the U.S.

Right now, 5G networks are built on two different technologies: sub-6GHz and mmWave. Though the first method is widely available around the world, it's only really capable of offering speeds that are slightly faster than LTE. Certainly you won’t approach the 1 Gbps speeds you’ve been hearing as one of the big benefits of 5G.

mmWave, on the other hand, is very fast. But it’s not very far reaching. Right now, it’s primarily used in the U.S., where Verizon has built mmWave towers in parts of 64 cities. However, 5G networks around the world are continuing to develop, and soon other places will benefit from having a phone with mmWave radio.

While the iPhone 12 supports 5G in every country it’s sold in, you can only get the mmWave capable versions in the U.S. That’s going to change with the iPhone 13, Kuo claims, with mmWave radios on all models. Countries like Canada, Japan, Europe, and Australia would be among those receiving the new models.

Of course, we've still yet to receive any official word from Apple about its iPhone 13 plans, and that won’t be coming any time soon, even with Apple holding a press event today (April 20) where it’s expected to launch new iPad Pro models. (Then again, we could get some insight there as to whether the iPad will support 5G connectivity.)

The iPhone 13’s major features are expected to include fast-refreshing displays on the Pro models and a smaller notch on all four new iPhones. Expanded 5G connectivity will be a minor addition, but certainly a welcome one if you’re in an area that offers mmWave-based networks.

Brittany Vincent

Brittany Vincent has been covering video games and tech for over 13 years for publications including Tom's Guide, MTV, Rolling Stone, CNN, Popular Science, Playboy, IGN, GamesRadar, Polygon, Kotaku, Maxim, and more. She's also appeared as a panelist at video game conventions like PAX East and PAX West and has coordinated social media for companies like CNET. When she's not writing or gaming, she's looking for the next great visual novel in the vein of Saya no Uta. You can follow her on Twitter @MolotovCupcake.