Apple's 2019 iPhone Could Support Wi-Fi 6

Updated

Apple could be planning an important new feature that would make this year's iPhones much faster than last year's models.

Credit: Tom's GuideCredit: Tom's Guide

According to a Barclays analyst note obtained by MacRumors, Apple is considering whether to bring 802.11ax (or Wi-Fi 6) to its iPhone 11 lineup this year. The technology, which is the successor to the 802.11ac standard, offers faster speeds, higher data rates, and other improvements over its predecessor. A range of new 802.11ax Wi-Fi systems were showcased at CES last week and will be hitting store shelves in the coming weeks.

According to reports, Apple had wanted to bundle 5G in this year's iPhone lineup, but ultimately couldn't get the Intel chip that would have allowed it to work properly in its testing. Apple could go with a Qualcomm chip, but given its bitter battle with that company over patents around the world, Apple doesn't want to do business with the chip giant.

So, while Apple will still be using older technology for cellular service, the company could opt for the latest and greatest Wi-Fi technology in this year's iPhones to make up for that.

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Still, there are some questions about Wi-Fi 6. For one, it hasn't been finalized, which means its specifications could still change a bit before it's set in stone. Additionally, bundling the chip in the iPhone won't necessarily mean better performance out of the box. The only people that will benefit from it will be those who have purchased a router that uses the new technology, which could be a small number of customers.

Of course, Apple's 2019 iPhone lineup isn't finalized yet, and quite a bit can change between now and when the handsets will launch later this year.