Apple will be redesigning 2019 iPhone antennas for improved cellular performance and indoor navigation, as per a new report by Ming-Chi Kuo. The antennas will use modified-PI (MPI) material instead of liquid crystal polymer (LCP) material, which is currently used by iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR.
As per Kuo, production issues and technical limitations with LCP cause network performance issues in 2018 iPhones. Using MPI will not improve the performance but it will reduce production issues, while still delivering the same performance as LCP in its current state. However, Kuo believes that 2020 iPhones will jump back to LCP, for 5G antennas, as production issues and technical limitations should be resolved by then. This, along with settlement with Qualcomm, confirms that Apple will be moving to 5G technology in 2020.
People have reported disappointment with antenna performance in iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR. Users noted slower download and upload speeds over cellular and WiFi networks which was attributed to weak antenna gain.
Despite MPI being cheaper, the cost for antennas in 2019 iPhones will be 10-20% more than current iPhones. This is due to new Ultra-Wide Band which will improve indoor navigation performance in iPhones.
Kuo also shared that iPhone shipments will be flat year-over-year in second half of 2019. This is expected but Apple will likely try to counter this with trade-in deals and price cuts in different regions.
This is not the first time that Kuo has shared details with regards to 2019 iPhones and Ultra-Wide Band (UWB). Previously, Kuo shared a note with the following details, related to the antenna upgrade, and the expected triple lens camera system:
The new 5.8″ OLED may support DSDS, and the new 6.1″ LCD may be upgraded to 4GB. All of part of the new models’ main upgrades include Ultra-Wide Band (UWB) for indoor positioning and navigation, frosted glass casing, bilateral wireless charging for charging other devices, upgraded Face ID (with a higher power flood illumination), larger batteries, and triple camera feature (wide, telephoto, and ultra-wide lens).
2019 iPhones seem to be gearing up to be major upgrades but let’s hope that Apple is able to reduce the price. It is all but certain that increased smartphone prices are a major reason why sales are going down. Bringing costs down would definitely allow more people to upgrade to Apple’s latest phones .