iPhone 15 looks like a lock for Wi-Fi 6E — what it means for you

iphone 15 ultra concept video
(Image credit: 4RMD/YouTube)

It may be the tail end of January, but iPhone 15 rumors have already started to pick up. Not only do we have people claiming that all four iPhone 15 models will have the Dynamic Island, but now we have a respected source corroborating a previous rumor that the iPhone 15 will sport Wi-Fi 6E.

Renowned Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has stated on Medium (via MacRumors) that the major wireless upgrade is basically a given when the iPhone 15 releases later this year. It makes a lot of sense since Apple already uses the technology on the latest Mac mini (2023) and MacBook Pro (2023), plus the iPad Pro lineup.

This comes after an analysis from Barclay's Blayne Curtis and Tom O'Malley, who said the same thing. Kuo says that Apple has allegedly ceased working on its own Wi-Fi chip for now, opting for Broadcom as the supplier.

It's generally a good idea to pay attention to what Kuo has to say as he has a pretty good track record with reporting on Apple's doings. This upgrade seems very likely to us since Apple already uses the technology on some of its other products and it's rapidly growing into an industry standard.

The reports thus far have not confirmed whether Wi-FI 6E will appear on all iPhone 15 models, or if it'll be a Pro exclusive.

What is Wi-Fi 6E and why is it important?

Wi-Fi 6E, in the simplest terms, is a modern standard for wireless internet connectivity. Whereas previous Wi-Fi standards have utilized the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, Wi-Fi 6E takes advantage of the 6GHz band. That equals much higher throughputs and speeds, assuming you have the requisite hardware and bandwidth from your ISP.

Our router and security expert Anthony Spadafora broke it down to me in just a few words: "Wi-Fi 6E is like 5G for the home." That means two things. One, it's a similar speed upgrade over Wi-Fi 6 and previous standards in the same way that 5G was to 4G LTE (and LTE to 3G before it).

Secondly, that statement means that Wi-Fi 6E represents a large enough shift to revolutionize how your home wireless network functions. Having access to three bands, each with their strengths and weaknesses, unlocks a lot of potential for how quickly you can browse the internet at home. Just like 5G, once it matured, did for your cellular signal.

The iPhone 15 having Wi-Fi 6E helps future-proof the next Apple flagship. It means that your iPhone 15 will feel "modern" for longer. (Especially since we fully expect the Galaxy S23 to have 6E.) It's an important upgrade, just like 5G was on the iPhone 12 and we will gladly welcome it.

You'll just need a Wi-Fi 6E router, but you have plenty of time to consider an upgrade (if you need one) before the iPhone 15 launch. Also, Wi-Fi 7 is just around the corner which means we'll likely see discounts on Wi-Fi 6E routers soon. We have a more in-depth Wi-Fi 6E explainer if you'd like additional details.

Jordan Palmer
Phones Editor

Jordan is the Phones Editor for Tom's Guide, covering all things phone-related. He's written about phones for over six years and plans to continue for a long while to come. He loves nothing more than relaxing in his home with a book, game, or his latest personal writing project. Jordan likes finding new things to dive into, from books and games to new mechanical keyboard switches and fun keycap sets. Outside of work, you can find him poring over open-source software and his studies.