The iPhone 12 Pro Max will be the only device in the iPhone 12 lineup to support millimeter wave (mmWave) 5G, says a report from Fast Company. What's more, only iPhone 12 Pro Max models in the US, Korea, and Japan are expected to have mmWave 5G support.
All four iPhone 12 models are expected to include support for sub-6GHz 5G.
mmWave 5G is the fastest version of 5G, capable of download speeds of 1Gbps and higher. However, mmWave 5G signals do not travel very far distances and are not good at penetrating buildings.
Meanwhile, the sub-6GHz version of 5G that all four iPhone 12 models will support can cover very long distances and is great at penetrating buildings, but it's only slightly faster than typical 4G LTE connections.
As for why Apple is only including mmWave 5G support in the iPhone 12 Pro Max, it's said that that's because it's the biggest model in the iPhone 12 lineup and so it is the only one with enough room inside for the special antenna design that includes mmWave. The iPhone 12 Pro Max also has a bigger battery that can accommodate mmWave 5G's increased power draw.
In the US, all three major carriers have mmWave 5G but Verizon is currently the only one placing a major focus on it. Both AT&T and T-Mobile have nationwide 5G networks that use sub-6GHz 5G, and AT&T offers mmWave 5G but it's limited to business customers while T-Mobile only has mmWave 5G in a handful of cities.