2019 iPhone, iPad Pro Models Rumored For Antenna Redesign To Boost Production

A demonstration of the newly released Apple products is seen following the product launch event in Cupertino
FILE PHOTO: A man holds the newly released Apple iPhone XS and XS Max during a product demonstration following the Apple launch event at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California, U.S., September 12, 2018. (Photo: REUTERS/Stephen Lam)

Apple is implementing a crucial internal redesign of the iPhone and iPad Pro models that are scheduled to roll out in the second half of 2019. The decision was made to address the purported limited technology involving the liquid crystal polymer (LCP) material used with the 2018 iPhone lineup, reports said.

Shifting from LCP antenna to modified-PI (MPI), for instance, will lead to a more reliable production of the iOS-powered devices that Apple will mass assemble in the coming months, AppleInsider reported, citing the latest research note issued by Taiwan-based analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Kuo has made a name in the Apple world as provider of mostly accurate advanced information on upcoming iPhone and iPad releases.

"We believe that the liquid crystal polymer antenna limits the iPhone XS Max/XS/XR's RF performance in some cases because of production issues; even [though] LCP theoretically has advantages for high-frequency RF transmission," the same report quoted the Apple-focused analyst as saying.

As LCP is touted to be more technologically superior compared to MPI, which is said to be true for the next-gen iPhone and iPad releases with 5G capability, Kuo said Apple intends to shift back to LCP in time for the 2020 production of iOS devices. It is expected that by next year, all production issues connected with the use of LCP would have been resolved.

While MPI materials for iPhones and iPads will make for easier and cheaper production effort for Apple, the tech giant is still gearing to make LCP as standard for future device models, which is specifically the plan for the iPad Pro that will get unpacked in 2020.

According to MacRumors, again quoting a separate prediction from Kuo, there will be two iPad Pro refreshes for next year bearing screen sizes of 11-inch and 12.9-inch. If the forecast will turn out correct, these tablets will begin wholesale production between late 2019 and early 2020.

The exact release date, however, for these devices was not mentioned in the report. Nonetheless, Kuo has indicated that planned iPad Pro upgrades for next year will be utilizing flexible circuit boards, with the analyst also confirming the presence of LCP components as part of the whole contraption.

As for the next iPhone release, speculations are rife that major external overhaul will be part of the deal, meaning Apple is likely to unpack fresh iPhones that will boast of a different design language from the last two iterations.

In addition, the iPhone 2019 models will be packed with camera enhancements, headlined by a 12MP selfie shooter and a super-wide main camera. It is believed as well that the much-appreciated OLED display last year will be applied across the board, suggesting that all screen sizes - 5.8-inch, 6.1-inch, and 6.5-inch - will retail having OLED out of the box.

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