iPhone 13 leak reveals Wi-Fi 6E upgrade for killer speed

iPhone 13
(Image credit: Ben Geskin)

Apple's iPhone 13, if Cupertino does indeed go for that name, will need to bring some serious upgrades and features if it’s to keep Android rivals at bay, notably the impressive Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

And according to a new report from Barclays analysts, received by MacRumors, one such upgrade will come in the form of Wi-Fi 6E support. This should enable much faster broadband speeds for those who upgrade to a Wi-Fi 6E router.

We’ve already heard that Wi-Fi 6E is tipped to feature in the iPhone 13. But the new research note from the analyst contains more concrete information that adds credence to the rumor. 

For the uninitiated, Wi-Fi 6E builds upon Wi-Fi 6, a wireless standard approved in 2019 that handled wireless traffic more efficiently to improve wireless performance, by adding support for connections in the 6GHz band. 

6GHz Wi-FI will go a long way toward helping users open up their connections and see much faster connections on the new spectrum standard. So it would be quite the addition to the iPhone 13. 

Currently, the only phone on the market that supports Wi-Fi 6E is the Galaxy S21 Ultra; the standard Samsung Galaxy S21 uses stock on Wi-Fi 6. As such, Wi-Fi 6E support would put the iPhone 13 on par with one of our picks for the best Android phones

iPhone 13 with Wi-Fi 6E promises a big wireless upgrade

A Wi-Fi 6E-capable iPhone 13 would benefit from faster data speeds and lower latency; you’d also expect less interference given that fewer devices support Wi-Fi 6E. Networking experts also contend that Wi-Fi 6E devices will be able to use 160MHz for high-bandwidth purposes such as augmented reality.

With a myriad of streaming services available for a huge range of content, from music and movies to games and productivity apps, having a fast and stable wireless connection on your smartphone is increasingly important. So Wi-Fi 6E might sound like a small upgrade but could deliver a big boost to your iPhone experience come the second half of 2021. 

According to Intel, Wi-Fi 6E chips started becoming more widely available in January, which means we should start seeing devices that support Wi-Fi 6E throughout the year.

At present, a number of phones are certified for Wi-Fi 6, including several Samsung Galaxy models as well as the iPhone 12. iPhone 11 and iPhone SE in Apple’s current smartphone lineup.

Speaking of the iPhone SE, there’s news about the cheapest iPhone in the Barclays report. The analysts predict a new version is coming in the second half of 2021. 

We’ve previously heard rumors that Apple was working on a slightly larger version of the iPhone SE called the iPhone SE Plus that would feature a larger display than the current version. Rumors had suggested that the phone wouldn’t appear in the first half of next year as had initially been reported, so the Barclays forecast is in line with conventional wisdom.

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.