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The Apple iPhone 13 is going to come with some significant 5G improvements

The iPhone 13 series might use the Qualcomm Snapdragon X60 5G modem, with Samsung handling the manufacturing of the SoC, along with several other 5G improvements.

With the X60 modem, the iPhone 13 devices will be able to aggregate 5G data from both mmWave and sub-6GHz bands simultaneously. The iPhone 12 devices have the older X55 modem. 
With the X60 modem, the iPhone 13 devices will be able to aggregate 5G data from both mmWave and sub-6GHz bands simultaneously. The iPhone 12 devices have the older X55 modem.  (Bloomberg)

Apple’s upcoming iPhone 13 series is expected to use the Qualcomm Snapdragon X60 5G modem and Samsung might be handling the manufacturing of the SoC, as per reports.

The Snapdragon X60 is built on a 5nm process and packs higher power efficiency into a smaller footprint as compared to the 7nm-based Snapdragon X55 modem that’s been used in the iPhone 12 smartphones. This will also help in giving the iPhone 13 devices a longer battery life.

Also, with the X60 modem, the iPhone 13 devices will be able to aggregate 5G data from both mmWave and sub-6GHz bands simultaneously to achieve an optimal balance of both high-speed and low-latency network coverage.

The mmWave is a set of 5G frequencies for ultra-fast speeds over short distances, which makes it best suited for dense urban areas. The sub-6GHz 5G on the other hand is slower than mmWave but the signals travel further making it more suitable for suburban, rural areas.

Also Read: Apple iPhone 13 rumour roundup: Expected feature, price and more

The mmWave support on the iPhone 12 devices is restricted to the US, however, rumours suggest that iPhone 13 smartphone might support mmWAve in more countries.

Apple and Qualcomm settled a legal battle in 2019 and reached an agreement on multi-year chip supply that’s paved the way for Apple to use Qualcomm’s 5G modems. According to a MacRumours report, a court document from the settlement has revealed that “Apple would likely use the X60 modem for 2021 iPhones, followed by the recently announced Snapdragon X65 modem in 2022 iPhones”.

The Snapdragon X65 is the world's first 10 Gigabit 5G modem and antenna system for smartphones and it theoretically enables data speeds up to 10 gigabits per second. Real-world download speeds are slower than that, surely. Also, the X65 has other benefits too like improved power efficiency, enhanced coverage for both mmWave and sub-6 GHz bands, and support for all global commercialised mmWave frequencies.

Moving beyond Qualcomm, Apple is expected to start using its own in-house 5G modems for iPhones in 2023.

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