While a lot of talk has been passed around regarding a 5G iPhone arriving next year, a similarly-equipped iPad has been missing from the rotation. But that changes today, as one analyst predicts Apple could be preparing a launch in 2021.
It is not surprising that the iPhone lineup will be the first to offer 5G from Apple, but that doesn’t mean the cellular-enabled iPad will miss out on the fun. According to TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple is planning on launching a 5G-enabled iPad model in 2021. To get there, Apple needs to lay the groundwork in 2020, though.
Kuo expects Apple will use an “LCP Soft Board” in the next-generation iPad Pro, the first time the company has done such a thing. That model is expected to start mass production sometime between the fourth quarter of this year and the first quarter of next year. The models will retain the 11- and 12.9-inch display sizes that are currently on the market.
That aforementioned LCP Soft Board will make it a flexible piece within the new iPad models, allowing it to connect components together in a different way than the rigid boards currently used. This is Apple’s first step to improve the overall antenna technology in the cellular iPad Pro, but it will also lay down the path to a 5G iPad Pro in 2021.
Nothing is confirmed just yet. And Apple’s plans could certainly change before mass production kicks off for this particular iPad. But a 2021 launch makes sense, with iPhone kicking off the 5G love in 2020.