Apple's 2019 iPhones to feature a new antenna design, reveals analyst Ming-Chi Kuo

Kuo states that the cost of the antenna technology in the 2019 iPhones will be up by 10-20% YoY.

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, known for his close eye on Apple's supply chain has just penned down a new report with a bunch of juicy details on the 2019 and 2020 iPhones.

Kuo in his latest research note states that Apple's 2019 iPhones will feature “vast changes” in antenna structures due to a change in the technology being used.

As reported by MacRumors, Kuo explains that the iPhones due later this year will use a new modified-PI antenna structure, a claim he first made in November 2018 but is now reaffirming. The analyst explains that Apple’s current iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR utilise liquid crystal polymer (LCP) antennas which Kuo believes limits their RF performance in some cases due to production issues, despite LCP theoretically having advantages when it comes to high-frequency RF transmission.

Apples 2019 iPhones to feature a new antenna design, reveals analyst Ming-Chi Kuo

Apple iPhone XR. Image: tech2/Omkar Patne

Meanwhile, the switch to modified-PI antenna structure in the 2019 iPhones will bring both cost and production improvements for Apple. For consumers though, the change will offer the same performance as LCP when it comes to 4G LTE connectivity.

In total, however, Kuo explains that the cost of the antenna technology in the 2019 iPhones will be up by 10-20 percent (compared to last year) due to new ultra-wideband upgrades. These will improve the performance of 2019 iPhones when it comes to indoor navigation.

Lastly, Kuo notes that iPhone shipments in the second half of 2019 will be flat year-over-year. He also reiterates that the 2020 iPhones will adopt 5G technology, and switch back to the aforementioned LCP antenna tech. Last month, Kuo predicted that the 2020 iPhones will use modems from Samsung and Qualcomm, and said the switch to 5G could help Apple drive 200 million iPhone shipments in 2020.

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