As we get closer to Tuesday's unveiling of the 5G Apple iPhone 12 series, more and more information leaks. For example, tipster Kang posted on China's Weibo microblogging site that all four U.S. iPhone 12 models will support both sub-6GHz and mmWave 5G signals. The latter consists of low-band 5G frequencies and is the foundation of T-Mobile and AT&T's nationwide 5G networks. It also includes the 2.5GHz mid-band spectrum that T-Mobile acquired from Sprint and is a differentiator for the carrier.
Verizon has mmWave 5G available in 30 cities as it focuses on that method to build out its 5G network. Outside of the U.S., only sub-6GHz 5G will be available on the iPhone 12 models.While sub-6GHz spectrum travels over far distances and penetrates buildings and trees, it does not deliver the super-fast data speeds that many are hoping to experience from 5G. On the other hand, mmWave 5G is high-band and while it doesn't travel that far or penetrate structures well, it does deliver faster download data speeds. In the U.S.,
One interesting new feature coming to the 5G iPhones is Smart Data Mode. When enabled, the mode chooses between the use of 5G or 4G depending on the bandwidth required. For example, if you have Super Data Mode turned on, downloading a large video file would automatically be done over 5G (if available, of course). This would allow the download to be finished faster saving your iPhone's battery life. If you have a data allowance, it would also save some of your precious data. And apps in the background would use 4G since in these cases, time would not be of the essence.
It does make sense; when enabled, Smart Data Mode decides whether you're best served to use 5G to handle some tasks or if you can save battery life and some data by using 4G instead. Kang, the tipster, said, "My understanding is that 4G/5G is allocated according to the application bandwidth. Specific big data throughput applications use 5G, which is estimated to save power."
To recap, with Smart Data Mode on, an iPhone 12 will connect to a 5G network only when necessary and will stick with a 4G network when fast data speed is not important. Surely we will hear more about this on Tuesday!