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Kuo: 2019 iPhones and New iPad Pro Models in Late 2019 to Early 2020 to Adopt New Antenna Technology

Apple plans to use modified-PI (MPI) material for most antennas in 2019 iPhones, rather than the liquid crystal polymer (LCP) material used for the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR antennas, according to the latest research note from reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, obtained by MacRumors.


Kuo believes that LCP limits the RF performance of the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR antennas due to current technology limitations and production issues. This puts the RF performance of MPI material at least on par with LCP, despite MPI being easier and cheaper to produce.

While switching to MPI material for 2019 iPhone antennas appears to be a no-brainer decision for Apple, Kuo expects that LCP will still be the primary material for 5G antennas in 2020 iPhones, as he believes that the production issues limiting the RF performance of LCP will be resolved by then.

In today's note, Kuo also said he expects Apple to use LCP material in future iPad models, starting from the late fourth quarter of 2019.


In a separate research note last month, which has only been seen by Taiwanese media so far, Kuo said two new iPad Pro models with the same 11-inch and 12.9-inch screen sizes as the current models will enter mass production between the fourth quarter of 2019 and the first quarter of 2020.

Kuo said those new iPad Pro models will feature flexible circuit boards using LCP, but we've yet to receive that research note in English, so we cannot confirm any further details at this time.

Related Roundups: iPad Pro, 2019 iPhones


Top Rated Comments

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6 weeks ago

Will they silently address bendgate too, I wonder


Bendgate really? You spend to much time online
Rating: 34 Votes
6 weeks ago
Is it just me or are iPhone rumors just getting really boring
Rating: 28 Votes
6 weeks ago
For those wondering - like me - MPI is Modified Polyimide.

From what I can gather (I have designed antennas on LCP materials), I know there was a delivery problem with LCP for one major manufacturer as a sub-supplier stopped production of certain base materials.

LCP had good performance up to 77GHz IIRC.

I presume MPI may allow easier integration with flex-rigid designs - perhaps also better heat handling in solder phases and probably lower cost (for Apple profitz)
Rating: 17 Votes
6 weeks ago
Anything that steps up reception is a welcome change.
Rating: 16 Votes
6 weeks ago

Really? Sounds to me like they haven't been online since 2014 when bendgate was a thing.

iPad Pro had its own bendgate issue with bent iPads in the box. Part of the reason I’m waiting until fall to get a new iPad Pro, assuming they fix it.
Rating: 13 Votes
6 weeks ago
and then antennagate version 2
Rating: 11 Votes
6 weeks ago

Is it just me or are iPhone rumors just getting really boring


The whole product line up is boring. And to top if off, updates to that lineup have slowed to a trickle. So that's why it feels boring. Why would an antenna update to an otherwise boring product be of interest?
Rating: 10 Votes
6 weeks ago
Will they silently address bendgate too, I wonder
Rating: 10 Votes
6 weeks ago

The whole product line up is boring. And to top if off, updates to that lineup have slowed to a trickle.


Another one, so what are you expecting Apple to introduce that would be really exciting? Have do you taken consideration maybe it’s not the products that are not exciting, maybe it’s your attitude towards these products or they just don’t appeal to you? Also, the AirPods, HomePod and Apple Watch weren’t exciting products? They just revamped the iPads including Face ID, I mean, what is it that you want them to do to make the products ‘exciting’?
Rating: 9 Votes
6 weeks ago

Another one, so what are you expecting Apple to introduce that would be really exciting? Have do you taken consideration maybe it’s not the products that are not exciting, maybe it’s your attitude towards these products or they just don’t appeal to you? Also, the AirPods, HomePod and Apple Watch weren’t exciting products? They just revamped the iPads including Face ID, I mean, what is it that you want them to do to make the products ‘exciting’?


I don't really use much of the stuff (watch, ipad, airpods, etc.), but phones and macbooks are of interest to me.

The current lineup of phones are too heavy and too slippery for my liking. Must use a case which further adds to weight and bulk. It looks like there will be no updates to form factor at least until 2020, so as far as phone rumors go, I'm on snooze. If I had to get a phone today, it would be the iPhone 8. That would still be ~30% weight increase over my SE. (I did buy an XR and returned it after a day of use.)

The macbooks all represent weird compromises and they are not being updated regularly. Want a 12" macbook or a nTB macbook pro? Get something with 2 year old processor technology, not to mention all the other compromises. If I had to buy one today, I would just get the nTB MBP because I don't care for the touch bar.

If I were to buy an iPad I would not get the new form factor. I actually prefer the looks and the feel of the older ones. But I'm a minimalist to I prefer to buy as few gadgets as possible, so no iPad for me.

In other words, I don't buy Apple stuff because I'm wow'ed by it. I buy it only if I have to (mac or phone breaks) because I prefer Apple's privacy and ecosystem. Otherwise, in terms of hardware, there are much better options in the windows/android world.
Rating: 7 Votes

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