Kuo: iPhone 14 and Apple Head-Mounted Displays Could Face Supply Shortages due to Wi-Fi 6E

BY Chandraveer Mathur

Published 17 Nov 2021

Apple AR Headset concept

Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has posted a research report saying that iPhone 14 and Apple’s upcoming head-mounted displays will support Wi-Fi 6E, steering rival products to adopt the technology. However, he has warned of potential supply shortages.

Previously, Kuo said that Wi-Fi 6E is the key to the “wirelessization of Metaverse devices (sic).” He added that the Wi-Fi supply chain would be the primary winner in the market for billions of head-mounted displays in the next ten years. In his latest report, the analyst said that the consumption of LTCC (Low-Temperature Co-fired Ceramic) for Wi-Fi 6E would be higher than previous Wi-Fi specifications. However, the supply for LTCC will become tight 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 will use over 20 LTCCs per device. The supply crunch could significantly impact the availability of head-mounted displays.

In another previous report, Kuo noted that less than 5 percent of smartphones and laptops currently on sale support Wi-Fi 6. But 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, it is expected that most head-mounted displays will support these wireless protocols in the next two to three years.

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

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

[Via Gizchina]