Some apple devices unable to connect to 5GHz networks after period of time

It's IPhone 6s Plus. It really disliked it. It would sometime connect for a short while then disconnects again.

The routers are very different; one is an ISP-supplied ZTE with stock firmware and the other is Asus RT-AC66U with a custom firmware.

Did you operate the RT-AC66U with AsusWRT-Merlin or OpenWRT? Or something else?

What you see is that your Apple WiFi STAs only connect to your AP directly after your AP booted, but not later?

Yeah, essentially shortly after rebooting everything can connect fine, but over time Apple devices will switch over to the 2.4GHz network.

Is your OpenWRT C7 running as a router or as an access point?

Solely as an AP. Have an EdgeRouterX acting as the router.

How is your DNS configured for those STAs?

Via DNS is specified (recommended?) via DHCP which points to a local docker container running PiHole and if that is down.

Why are you running that snapshot? Have you tried other OpenWRT versions with your C7?

I was initially flashing this guy's custom image although I realized that I actually didn't need it since I wasn't doing any NAT on the device. I should probably move back to a stable release version.

Overall, my ultimately conclusion is that I've had solid stability for all devices since my last post now that I've changed the channel width to 40MHz from 80MHz.

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AdvancedTomato. I am using it as an access point. But again the issue was also experienced with the ISP router

I don't wish to hijack the topic; I was only punting put to the fact that it appears that iPhones appear to not like some WiFis sometimes.

Same issue, XiaoMi AIOT AC2350 snapshot firmware. My macbook air M1 took 2 minutes to discover the wireless, that's why I restored the stock firmware.