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5G millimeter wave may come to more iPhones in more countries this year

Apple is moving forward with its investment in millimeter wave.

What you need to know

  • The iPhone 13 could bring 5G millimeter wave to more iPhones in more countries.
  • Taiwanese manufacturer Qiqi has received a large order to produce millimeter wave antennas for future iPhones.

As reported by Patently Apple, Taiwanese manufacturer Qiqi has been contracted by Apple to produce millimeter wave antennas for the iPhone 13. The company is also working with foreign telecoms to bring millimeter wave to more countries with its next iPhone lineup. The iPhone 12 lineup, which is the first to feature 5G connectivity, currently only offers millimeter wave in the United States.

Today, a supply chain report out of Taiwan reveals that a company called Qiqi is in the process of receiving a large order for millimeter wave antennas for the iPhone 13 which could be signaling the expansion of this technology to more iPhone models in the US this year. Apple is also working with foreign telecom companies in the hopes of eventually expanding millimeter wave antennas to iPhones globally over the next few years.

The company, which will share the iPhone millimeter production with Japanese electronics giant Murata Manufacturing Co., is the first Taiwanese manufacturer to supply components of Apple’s iPhone antenna.

According to the report, the Wistron Group invested in Netcom factory Qiqi and has now entered the iPhone supply chain for millimeter wave antennas for the first time, sharing with Japanese electronics giant Murata Manufacturing Co. this year. Qiqi is an important layout of Wistron Group in the field of Netcom. Wistron holds approximately 22.6% of shares and is the largest single shareholder. The large order of millimeter wave antennas for the new iPhone 13 series is the first time a Taiwanese manufacturer has supplied Apple’s antenna-related items that are critical to the quality of iPhone reception.

Qiqi also works closely with Qualcomm, which currently supplies the 5G modems for the iPhone 12 and is expected to be Apple’s supplier for modems for the next few years.

According to corporate analysis, Qiqi has good capabilities in antenna design, packaging, testing, modularization, and antenna modularization of micro devices. In addition, it cooperates closely with Qualcomm, including 5G equipment, 5G vehicles, and Wi-Fi 6, 6E products. The development and design of Qualcomm chips has also become one of the key factors for Qiqi winning the iPhone 13 millimeter wave antenna order.

Because of Qiqi’s expertise with building modems into laptops, it could be a key partner to Apple if it was to ever bring cellular connectivity to its MacBook lineup.

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