Apple today introduced the iPhone 12 lineup with four new models, all of which support 5G networks for the first time. However, the super-fast 5G mmWave is exclusive to models sold in the US. In order to improve support for the new 5G network, the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro comes with a new side cutout that has confused some people.
mmWave is the version of 5G with more impressive speeds (500Mbps+), but on the flip side, it has a limited range. This means carriers have to set up more cell towers to make it available to all users. sub-6GHz 5G rollouts in the United States typically achieve speeds in the 100-150 Mbps, so it is easier to deploy but far less powerful than mmWave 5G.
During the event, Apple invited Verizon’s CEO Hans Vestberg to announce that the iPhone 12 will be able to achieve gigabit download rates and 200 Mb/sec upload rates on their network. As this 5G works based on low range frequencies, the antenna structure was redesigned to work as expected, and this resulted in a new cutout on the side edge of the iPhone 12.
As you can see above, the new 5G antenna is on the right side of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models — so no, this is not a Smart Connector to work with Apple Pencil. Interestingly enough, models with 5G mmWave will be available exclusively in the US, so iPhone 12 models sold in other countries will not have this cutout, as you can see by visiting Apple’s website from other regions.
iPhone 12 mini starts for $699, while iPhone 12 will be sold for $799. iPhone 12 Pro starts for $999 and iPhone 12 Pro Max will be priced at $1099.