Kuo: iPhone 14 and Apple head-mounted displays could face supply bottlenecks due to Wi-Fi 6E

Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo released a research report stating that the iPhone 14 and Apple’s upcoming head-mounted displays will support Wi-Fi 6E, causing competing products to adopt the technology. However, he warned of possible delivery bottlenecks.

Previously, Kuo said that Wi-Fi 6E is key to “wirelessizing Metaverse devices (sic)”. He added that the Wi-Fi supply chain will be the top winner in the billions of head-mounted displays market for the next decade. In its latest report, the analyst said low-temperature co-fired ceramic (LTCC) consumption for Wi-Fi 6E would be higher than previous Wi-Fi specs. However, the supply for LTCC will be scarce again in 2022.

Wi-Fi 6E supports two to three more frequency bands than Wi-Fi 6. So if it uses a 3 × 3 or 4 × 4 MIMO design and each frequency band requires two to four LTCCs, Wi-Fi 6E uses over 20 LTCCs per device. The supply crisis could seriously affect the availability of head-mounted displays.

In another previous report, Kuo found that less than 5 percent of smartphones and laptops currently sold support Wi-Fi 6. However, to optimize the wireless experience and battery life, the headset would need to support the latest Wi-Fi technologies, including Wi-Fi 6, 6E, 7 and 5G millimeter wave. Additionally, most head-mounted displays are expected to support these wireless protocols in the next two to three years.

Kuo predicts that Apple, Meta and Sony will dominate the hardware market for Metaverse devices in 2022. These companies are expected to launch their head-mounted devices in the 2H22, 4Q22 and 2Q22, respectively. The analyst added that Apple and Meta hardware would support Wi-Fi 6E, but Sony’s PS5 VR devices will only support Wi-Fi 6.

However, this is just a rumor and should be consumed with a pinch of salt. Nothing can be said for sure until Apple officially announces or teases the product. What are your thoughts on that?


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