Expanded mmWave Support for iPhone 13 5G

Apple’s September 14th event introduced the new iPhone 13 and what caught my attention was a brief mention by Tim Cook of “new bands and antennas” for the iPhone 12 successor. Looking more closely at the specs shows that the iPhone 13 adds support for 26 GHz mmWave (n258), which builds on the 28 GHz and 39 GHz support (n261 and n260, respectively) my iPhone 12 Pro Max has.

I spent a lot of time characterizing mmWave performance during my LMDS days at Wavtrace, and I can tell you that rain and foliage are not kind to the higher frequencies, so the inclusion of 26 GHz in the new phones should make mmWave 5G more likely to work well especially as Seattle turns toward the rainy season.

Ah, Wavtrace. Good times that ultimately weren’t meant to be as LMDS never got a foothold.

I’m going to have to write a post about my experiences in mmWave work there. Will do so soon.

Returning to the Apple event, I was also happy to hear that the 13 would have extended battery life. Always a good thing for wireless/mobile devices 🙂

Net net: Nice to see the band getting use finally.

NFC and Apple Card

When you get your Apple Card, you’re invited to hold your phone near the card to activate it. I wondered if it was communicating with the card or something in the packaging.

One destructive outburst later, I had my answer. An NFC device inside the packaging:

A quick download of the “Hold” app from the iOS store reveals the simple URL the NFC device prompts the phone to access (and then activate the card):