Apple Inc. iPhone XR smartphones sit on display at a SoftBank Group Corp. store in Tokyo, Japan, on Friday, Nov. 2, 2018. Softbank will announce its half-year earnings figures on Nov. 5. Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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Apple could incorporate a wireless technology called ultra-wideband (UWB) into the iPhones it expects to launch this fall, according to TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo in a note distributed on Friday.
Ultra-wideband technology could also be incorporated into a small hardware “tag,” the note continues.
MacRumors previously reported that Apple plans to release small, circular tags that can be attached to backpacks, keys, bicycles and other belongings. The tags would enable users to locate their possessions through the iPhone’s forthcoming “Find My” app.
Apple’s strategy, according to the note, is that it wants to build infrastructure for an indoor navigation service. Indoor navigation currently relies on indoor maps, and Apple Maps currently features several indoor environments. UWB technology could be paired with other technologies to increase the precision of indoor mapping, according to the note.
“From the technology point of view, we also expect that Apple will ship UWB tags for users to build the infrastructure for providing an iPhone indoor navigation service,” Kuo wrote in the note. “We predict that Apple could cooperate with more industries/companies by offering a more precise indoor navigation service, which will benefit the iPhone/iOS ecosystem and provide an innovative user experience.”
Apple is holding a launch event on its campus on Tuesday, when Apple is expected to launch new iPhones, Apple Watches, and possibly the new hardware tracking tag, although Apple doesn’t comment on unannounced products.
Friday’s note also includes a few predictions about the iPhones expected to launch in the fall of 2020.
“We predict that new 2H20 iPhone models will have three key selling points, including (1) all-new form factor design, (2) 5G support, and (3) camera function upgrades,” Kuo wrote.