iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch Radio Subsystems (Index)

This post serves as a brief summary of the technical specifications of the many radios in the Phone, iPad and the Apple Watch and as index for easier deeper exploration into each. Most of these are very broad categories (for example, there are many types of Bluetooth with differing data rates) and I’ll be linking each of these to more detailed breakdowns. 

Sorted by Range (Shortest to Longest)

NFC (Near Field Communication)

  • Availability: iPhone, Apple Watch
  • Range: 0.1 m
  • Frequency: 13.5 MHz
  • Data Rate: 0.4 Mbps
  • Docs: Core NFC

Bluetooth

UWB (Ultra Wide Band)

  • Availability: iPhone 11 or 12, Apple Watch Series 6
  • Range: 50 m
  • Frequency: 3.1 – 10.6 GHz
  • Data Rate: 100 Mbps
  • Docs: Nearby Interaction

WiFi

  • Availability: iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch
  • Range: 125 m
  • Frequency: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz
  • Data Rate: Up to 866 Mbps

Cellular: 5G

  • Availability: iPhone, iPads (if equipped)
  • Range: 300 m
  • Frequency: 30 GHz – 300 GHz
  • Data Rate: 70 – 400 Mbps or faster

Cellular: 4G, LTE

  • Availability: iPhone, iPads (if equipped), Apple Watch (if equipped)
  • Range: 15 km
  • Frequency: 700 MHz, 1700 – 2100 MHz, 1900 MHz, 2500 – 2700 MHz
  • Data Rate: 10 – 50 Mbps or faster

GPS (Global Positioning System)

  • Availability: iPhone, iPad (if equipped) and Apple Watch
  • Range: 20 km
  • Frequency: 1575 MHz, 1227 MHz, 1176 MHz
  • Data Rate: 50 bps
  • Note: GLONASS and Galileo are also supported