Following in the footsteps of iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro, the first Android smartphones with Ultra wideband will be released starting in 2020, according to Barclays analysts.
In a research note obtained by MacRumors, analysts said Android smartphones will be equipped with an all-in-one Ultra Wideband, NFC and Secure Element chip introduced by Dutch chipmaker NXP Semiconductors last year. It is unclear which Android smartphones will adopt the Ultra Wideband first, but Samsung has joined a consortium with NXP last year to help develop this technology, and it's easy to imagine that the South Korean giant took this step first.
In a press release last year, NXP said that the ultra-wideband will offer several interesting new features to mobile devices, such as the ability to unlock a car's doors when the device is in the immediate vicinity of the vehicle, a feature that could soon also work on the iPhone 11 line up.
The iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max models, remember, are equipped with an U1 chip designed by Apple with ultra-wide band, which allows devices to understand their precise spatial position compared to other Apple devices always equipped with U1 nearby. On iOS 13, for example, there is an AirDrop directional function, in which it is possible to point an iPhone 11 towards another iPhone user to instantly share the files with the latter.
Apple has repeatedly made clear, as the macrumors points out, that the directional function of AirDrop represents "only the beginning" of what can be done with the ultra-wideband, which will soon add several functions.
Soon, for example, Apple could also release AirTags, tools to find lost objects, and which will support the Ultra Wideband. At the moment, however, it is unclear when Apple will publicly announce tags for object tracking; in fact, he hasn't heard of it for a while, and the specter of an abandoned project, like the state of AirPower, begins to make its way into the minds of the most pessimistic.