iPhone 15 may feature an improved Ultra Wideband chip to support Vision Pro

Jun 19, 2023

Apple introduced its first mixed reality headset called the Vision Pro at WWDC 2023 earlier this month. According to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the company is already working on improving the device's integration with its other products.

Kuo says that Apple is prepping some major hardware upgrades on the iPhone 15 in order to improve support for the Vision Pro and its ecosystem.

iPhone 15 could get an improved Ultra Wideband chip

It makes sense, think about it. The success or failure of the Vision Pro doesn't rely solely on its price tag, which many people are already complaining about. Its popularity will rely heavily on the apps and games that are available on the platform. While they will obviously play a very important role in how the headset is used, apps aren't the only thing that will define the product. Compatibility with other devices is also a key factor for the Vision Pro, and the company is well aware of it.

Apple has an Ultra Wideband (UWB) chip which it terms as the U1, it has been included in all of its mobile phones since the iPhone 11 that debuted in 2019. 9to5Mac points out that the Cupertino company also equipped the short-range wireless chip on other devices such as the Apple Watch Series 6 and above, AirTags, the HomePod Mini and 2nd gen HomePod, and is also embedded in the charging case of the current AirPods Pro.

The U1 chip supports a wide variety of features from tracking the location of the device using Find My and Precision Finding, file transfer via AirDrop, and continuity features such as Handoff. As you may have seen in the Vision Pro's announcement video, the mixed reality headset will support nearly all the stock apps on iOS, including FaceTime video calls via Handoff.

It is likely that the next UWB chip made by Apple will be called the U2. This isn't the first time we are hearing about it, rumors about an improved Ultra Wideband chip have been around for years. Kuo says that the new UWB in the iPhone 15 will move from a 16 nm process to a 7 nm process. The smaller footprint of the chip could help improve the device's battery life, i.e. it will be more power efficient, and it may also improve the performance quality for nearby interactions (connections).

The iPhone 15 with improved support for the Vision Pro could provide a nudge for buyers who are interested in the headset to upgrade to a new phone. I'm intrigued to see if Apple may expand support for UWB by introducing some new features that make use of the technology. The company will announce the iPhone 15 in Fall 2023.

Kuo says that Apple would add support for Wi-Fi 7 in the iPhone 16. The multi-gigabit network protocol, which is also known as IEEE 802.11be, is said to be 5 times faster than WiFi 6E. Among other improvements, Wi-Fi 7 will have significantly reduced latency, which will provide a better experience for online connectivity, AR and VR. The analyst believes that inclusion of the next-gen wireless protocol will also help improve the integration of hardware products that are connected to the same local network.

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iPhone 15 may feature an improved Ultra Wideband chip to support Vision Pro
The iPhone 15 will reportedly be equipped with an improved Ultra Wideband chip to support Apple's Vision Pro mixed reality headset.
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