Thank You, Apple: More Android Phone Makers Planning Upgrade to Replace Car Keys

UWB appears to be the next big thing in the mobile industry, with more and more companies reportedly interested in equipping their phones with such capabilities.

According to a recent report, companies like Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo are already planning UWB upgrades for their phones, with flagships likely to get it as soon as this year.

Ultra-wide band, or UWP, allows for a wide variety of applications based on a short-range radio transmission, and Apple was the first company to bring it to the mobile industry by allowing the iPhone to turn into a car key.

The Cupertino-based tech giant has already signed a partnership with BMW in this regard, but of course, UWB can also be used for other capabilities, including location-based smart trackers.

On the other hand, Apple rival Samsung announced UWB support on the Galaxy S21 earlier this month, once again with the purpose of allowing the smartphone to play the role of a car key. The South Koreans are already working with Audi, BMW, Ford, and Genesis for such capabilities, and the launch should take place by the end of the year.

After Apple and Samsung, now more Android device makers are aiming for the whole thing, with UWB thus expected to become a common feature in the mobile market rather sooner than later.

Of course, while the expansion of UWB in the mobile industry is gaining pace, we still need a compatible car to leave the traditional car keys behind. As you can see, only a handful of carmakers are currently in talks of bringing such capabilities to their models, so we’re probably still several years away from the moment when locking and unlocking a vehicle with the phone becomes mainstream.

In the meantime, Samsung and its partners are expected to share more information on their UWB collaboration by the summer, with the first cars supporting the Galaxy S21 likely to go on sale later this year.

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