Apple could make some major changes to the antenna design in its iPhone models this year. The 2019 iPhone models could use a new antenna technology, according to well-known Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Back in November last year, Kuo had predicted that Apple will use a new antenna combination in its 2019 iPhone models. As of now, Apple uses a liquid crystal polymer (LCP) material in the antennas present in iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR.
The most recent research note from Kuo, spotted by MacRumors, claims that Apple will use modified-PI (MPI) material for the antennas in 2019 iPhone models. Kuo claims the current LCP material limits RF performance on iPhone models due to technology limitations.
MPI material is easier and cheaper to produce compared to LCP, but its performance remains at par. However, Kuo says Apple will continue to use LCP material in the 5G models of its iPhones in 2020. He also said he believes that by 2020, RF performance of LCP material will be resolved.
Kuo further explained in his research note that LCP material manufacturing issues cause problems for high-frequency cellular transmission. The move will also enable Apple to tap into more suppliers rather than remaining dependent on just two suppliers as of now.
While other smartphone companies are launching 5G variants of their flagship devices, Apple isn't expected to introduce a 5G iPhone before 2020.
Apple is also expected to use LCP material in upcoming iPad Pro models. These new iPad Pro models are likely to ship in the last quarter of 2019.
This year's iPhone models are expected to feature an upgraded selfie sensor and three rear cameras with 12-megapixel sensors, according to a report. The 2019 iPhone models with three rear cameras are expected to come in 6.1-inch and 6.5-inch OLED display sizes.
According to a previous prediction by Kuo, Apple is also expected to offer reverse wireless charging with the 2019 iPhone models. As the year progresses, rumours around the upcoming iPhone models will continue to offer us a glimpse of what to expect from Apple's new iPhone models this year.