Why 5G speeds on the iPhone 12 will likely disappoint

When Apple launched the 5G-enabled iPhone 12 under the banner "5G just got real," it did so with a triumphant boast of the speeds that can be achieved via its A14 chipset, which the company claimed were up to 10 times faster than those available on 4G devices.

The 1-4Gbps 5G speeds that we’ve seen splashed over marketing campaigns are possible, but they are only possible when you are within a few hundred feet of a cell tower fitted with mmWave (high-band) 5G technology, and have no signal obstructions (because mmWave won’t penetrate walls, trees, or glass).

)Once you move out of mmWave range, you’ll drop back down to a 4G/LTE connection, or low-band 5G, which operates at 600-700 MHz, and provides speeds a little higher than 4G LTE (30-250Mbps).

Low-band 5G speeds aren’t much better than 4G/LTE, and high-band doesn’t have the range or penetration to deliver a decent experience yet, so what about mid-band?

And it’s this combination of speed and range that make it the perfect band for 5G, and has led to it being coined the "Goldilocks" of 5G connectivity.

And it means that users purchasing a 5G-enabled iPhone 12, rather than being blown away by blistering download speeds, could end up being severely disappointed with the results.

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