Mystery Patch on Edge of iPhone 12 is a mmWave 5G Antenna Exclusive to U.S. Models

We've been getting a number of questions from readers about a mysterious "patch" on the edge of all of the iPhone 12 models introduced today. The patch is unlabeled on Apple's specs page, but The Verge has confirmed that it is a window for the mmWave 5G antenna.


mmWave 5G support is only included on U.S. models of the iPhone 12 lineup, and thus the window is only present on those devices, as seen in images shared on Apple's pages for various countries.

Side-by-side comparison showing U.S. phones with the antenna window and international phones without (via Apple and The Verge)

The mystery patch was first seen in leaked schematics dating back many months, and was initially speculated to potentially be a Smart Connector or docking site for a small Apple Pencil, given its similar appearance to the magnetic ‌Apple Pencil‌ attachment site on iPad Pro models. That speculation was, however, quickly dispelled as new rumors indicated it was for a 5G antenna.

Related Roundup: iPhone 12
Buyer's Guide: iPhone 12 (Buy Now)

Top Rated Comments

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2 weeks ago
It should have been a fingerprint reader like the new iPad. :(
Score: 37 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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2 weeks ago
Rest of the world: pay more for less.
That's taking care of costumers.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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2 weeks ago
So what’s the technical reason this is USA only, and why aren’t non-USA phones $50 cheaper since they don’t need the mmWave modem.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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2 weeks ago
inb4 youtubers make Antennagate test videos by covering up that patch with their hand.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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2 weeks ago


It should have been a fingerprint reader like the new iPad. :(

Yep, that’s why I’m skipping iPhone 12. Maybe TouchID will make a return next year. As good as FaceID is, I really miss it.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
2 weeks ago


inb4 youtubers make Antennagate test videos by covering up that patch with their hand.

Is it not normal to hold the phone with your hand?... I’m scared to ask what you use to hold your phone.... ?
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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