Apple’s ‘iPhone 14’ and AR headphones for Wi-Fi 6E, says Kuo

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Apple plans to adopt the next generation of Wi-Fi 6E protocols in its next flagship iPhone and as yet unannounced display on its head, says analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

In a note to investors this week, Kuo predicts that Apple will integrate Wi-Fi 6E into the so-called “iPhone 14” which is expected to debut in 2022. The analyst previously used a fast wireless protocol to plug into AR headphones that could see the introduction at the end of next year.

“We also believe that both the iPhone 14 and Apple headphones are equipped with Wi-Fi 6E, which is expected to encourage more competitors’ products to adopt Wi-Fi 6E, ”Kuo writes (machine translated).

Apple’s current line of devices, such as the iPhone 13 series and iPad Pro, integrates 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6. The iPhone 13 and 13 Pro, for example, have 2×2 MIMO capabilities for faster throughput.

Although its name indicates only a slight variation of the Wi-Fi protocol, the Wi-Fi 6E promises to significantly increase the potential bandwidth for supported gateways and endpoints. As Kuo notes, Wi-Fi 6E supports two or three times more channels than Wi-Fi 6, depending on the hardware configuration. If Apple decides to introduce a 3×3 or 4×4 MIMO design in the “iPhone 14”, it could cause a reduction in supply for the wider industry.

As Kuo explains, each channel in the Wi-Fi 6E setup requires two to four LTCC (Low Temperature Co-fired Ceramics) chips, meaning the total could be 10 to 20 times higher than existing Wi-Fi 6 designs. Furthermore, Apple’s adoption of the Wi-Fi 6E is expected to boost demand for LTCC pads as the industry chases the iPhone.

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Naveen Kumar

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