The iPhone 15 Wi-Fi 6E upgrade might just be for the Pro models

iPhone 14 Pro
The iPhone 14 Pro (Image credit: Future)

When the iPhone 15 handsets make an appearance, we're once again expecting there to be several differences between the standard two phones and the two more expensive Pro models – and one of those differences could be in Wi-Fi support.

A leaked document posted by tipster Unknownz21 on Twitter (via MacRumors) makes reference to the antenna architecture for the iPhone 15, the iPhone 15 Plus, the iPhone 15 Pro and the iPhone 15 Pro Max.

According to the document, the standard iPhone 15 and the Plus model will stick with the same Wi-Fi 6 spec as the current iPhone 14 series. The Pro and the Pro Max, however, will be upgraded to the latest Wi-Fi 6E standard.

A numbers game

We had heard rumblings earlier in the week that Wi-Fi 6E would be coming to the iPhone 15 series in 2023, but at that stage we were thinking the upgrade was intended for all the models. Now that doesn't appear to be the case.

The difference between Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E isn't huge though: it supports an extra 6 GHz frequency band alongside 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz, so while the speeds are similar, there's more capacity for more devices. You're also going to need a Wi-Fi 6E router to take advantage of the improved technology.

While it isn't mentioned in this document leak, we're assuming that if the iPhone 15 Ultra is real then it too will have the Wi-Fi 6E upgrade as well. It's not clear yet if the phone will be a separate model or take the place of the Pro Max version of the iPhone.

Analysis: more reasons to upgrade

In recent years Apple has clearly been trying to make the Pro model upgrades as worthwhile for people as possible, most recently with the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max. The standard models almost seem neglected by comparison.

Last year, for example, we saw a speed difference between the two pairs of models for the first time: the iPhone 14 and the iPhone 14 Plus got the A15 Bionic chipset, while the more expensive pair of phones got the latest A16 Bionic upgrade.

A slight upgrade in Wi-Fi standards might not be the most important spec when it comes to choosing a phone, but it's yet another reason to pick one of the Pro models when they go on sale (which will be in September, if Apple sticks to its usual schedule).

The danger is that the cheaper iPhones get ignored by buyers (and the Plus version is rumored to be not selling well at all) – but with the Pro models retailing for more money, it seems like a trade-off that Apple is happy to make.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.