Apple to Bet Big on LCP Antenna Design for 5G iPhone

Bringing 5G to the iPhone appears to be a top priority for Apple, and the company intends all its fall 2020 models to feature such capabilities – as a side note, Apple is also working on a second-generation iPhone SE during in the spring, but it’s unlikely to come with 5G due to cost reasons.

Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes that these 5G iPhones will account for 15% to 20% of all iPhone sales in the second half of 2020, and they will support both mmWave and sub-6GHz bands to offer increased reliability on 5G networks in the US and elsewhere.

“This will benefit LCP FPC usage a lot, given the 5G mmWave iPhone uses three LCP FPC units (vs. other iPhone models’ single LCP FPC unit),” he said in an investor note, as per 9to5mac.

Increase LCP adoption

Kuo believes Apple will continue to invest in the Liquid Crystal Polymer (LCP) antenna design to allow for improved 5G performance on the new models. LCP has already been used on the iPhone X, but at this point, not all new models feature this material.

However, the analyst thinks that Apple will increase LCP usage in its lineup from 45%-50% to no less than 75% next year, as it’s pushing hard for 5G across its lineup, and there’s a chance this material will be one of the primary investments on the new models.

Kuo says LCP will be used in more areas on the iPhone 11 successor, and the adoption will increase also because sales of older iPhones will decline. iPhone 7 and iPhone XR, two models that do not feature LCP, will be left behind, with the focus to be entirely on 5G devices.

Apple is expected to unveil its 5G iPhone in September, while the second-generation iPhone SE should get the go-ahead in March or April.

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