According to a new DigiTimes report citing IC backend houses and inspection labs, the first smartphones that support Wi-Fi 7 could be released as early as the second half of 2024.
Wi-Fi 7 supports 4K quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) technology and can use 320MHz channels, providing up to 2.4x faster speeds than Wi-Fi 6 with the same number of antennas.
According to the Wi-Fi Alliance, Wi-Fi 7 is positioned as the next major generational Wi-Fi technology evolution and is expected to provide speeds of “at least 30” gigabits per second and could even reach 40Gbps. It will have fast enough speeds for next-generation AR/VR, 8K video streaming, and gaming.
WiFi 6 has speeds of up to 9.6Gb/s, and WiFi 5 has a maximum speed of 3.5Gb/s, so WiFi 7 will be a significant improvement when it launches. There is currently no word on when Apple will implement Wi-Fi 7, but it is worth noting that Apple has yet to adopt Wi-Fi 6E, which has been available since 2019.
Apple devices continue to use Wi-Fi 6, and it is possible that Apple will stick with Wi-Fi 6 until the release of Wi-Fi 7, skipping Wi-Fi 6E entirely. According to DigiTimes, with Wi-Fi 7 on the horizon, Wi-Fi 6E is “just a transitional technology.”
Wi-Fi 7 will first be available on routers and notebook computers before making its way to smartphones. MediaTek demonstrated Wi-Fi 7 in January, and Intel has stated that it plans to use Wi-Fi 7 in PC laptops by 2024, with the technology becoming available in major markets in 2025. Qualcomm is also developing Wi-Fi 7 chip options, which are expected to be available around the same time.