The iPhone 12 is only hours from launch, but we’ve just heard a rumor that might make it a much less enticing prospect for some users – apparently it might not connect to all 5G bands, making it harder to use indoors.
This comes from a report in The Telegraph [paywall], which states the iPhone 12 5G won’t support one of the key 5G bands in the UK, 700MHz. Instead, apparently, the iPhone 12 will only support some of the other higher frequency bands.
Currently no network operators in the UK use the 700MHz band (as operators have to bid on bands), so on the surface, it seems this isn’t an issue. However the 700MHz band (which goes up for auction in 2021) would have higher penetration than some of the bands currently in use, meaning 5G would work better indoors.
5G coverage is limited at the moment but is expected to expand over the next few years. However if this rumor is true, when networks do opt to use 700MHz, iPhone users might not get improved indoor connectivity like people with other phones.
The UK network Three operates on plenty of bands at the moment, so it seems they stand to gain from the iPhone’s lack of 700MHz, though new bands are going up for auction over time.
iPhone 12 is coming soon
The iPhone 12 is launching in a matter of hours, at 10am PT, 1pm ET or 6pm BST, which is 4am AEDT in Australia on October 14, so we might find out the truth on this matter in a couple of hours.
We might not hear anything on the matter though. Apple typically tries to make iPhones sound as great as possible during the launch event, so it might not opt to announce the limited connectivity of the device.
We might find out via some small print on the Apple website or during the announcement somewhere, but we might just have to wait until operators start ranging the phone, or for the 700MHz band to be used, to find out the truth.