Ming-Chi Kuo is out with a new report today in which he claims that Apple will be making some massive changes to the antenna structure and arrangement in 2019 iPhones. The analyst had made similar claims last year as well.
Apple is making the change due to a change in technology and suppliers. The company will be using a new modified-Pl antenna structure which will offer cost and production improvements. Apple uses LCP antenna technology on its 2018 iPhone lineup which has yield issues and also causes problems during high-frequency transmission.
Due to ultra-wideband upgrades, the production cost for antennas will be 10-20 percent higher for Apple in 2019. The upgrades, however, will lead to improved indoor navigation performance on 2019 iPhones.
The new complicated antenna structure on the 2019 iPhones will involve Apple using one single MPI and LCP unit for the top antenna and three MPI units for the bottom antennas. The switch will mean that Career will no longer supply antenna components to Apple in 2019. It will also not be a part of Apple’s supply chain for the 2019 iPad and Apple Watch production.
The switch will only be temporary in nature as Apple will go back to LCP antenna technology in 2020 when it launches a 5G iPhone.
In the end, Kuo notes that iPhone shipments will remain flat year-over-year in H2 2019. With smartphone market peaking, this should not be surprising since 2019 iPhones are not going to pack any massive new improvements. They are going to feature triple cameras at the rear, improved front camera, bigger batteries, and more.
With the 2018 iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, Apple finally made the switch to a Gigabit LTE modem on its iPhone lineup. It remains to be seen if the switch to a PI antenna tech on the 2019 iPhones will lead to faster LTE performance or not.