TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is out with a new investor note detailing Apple’s 5G push in 2020. The analyst says that Apple will add 5G to all three iPhones in 2020.
He believes that the 5G iPhones will comprise about 15-20% of the total iPhone shipments in the second half of 2020. He also details that Apple will switch to LCP FPC (flexible printed circuit) antenna design across more iPhones in 2020.
The company first started using the LCP antenna in the iPhone X and iPhone 8 in 2017. While ideal for use, LCP is relatively costly which is why it has not made its way to the cheaper iPhone XR and iPhone 11. It is also relatively tough to produce and there are supply constraints as well. However, for 5G, LCP antennas are recommended since their performance is not negatively affected due to temperature changes.
Right now, Apple is only sourcing LCP FPC antennas from Murata for the iPhone 11 Pro series. To make the switch across all three iPhones in 2020, the company is looking for more suppliers who can provide a stable supply of the antenna. Kuo says that Avary/ZDT has the best chance of providing Apple with a stable supply of the antenna as it is already supplying the company with the antenna components for the Apple Watch.
For 2020, Kuo expects Apple to ship iPhones around 70-75% iPhones with an LCP antenna design compared to 45-50% in 2019. This will be due to the discontinuation of the iPhone XR and iPhone 7 which don’t use an LCP antenna. Additionally, Apple also plans on using LCP FPC antenna for the Apple Watch and the iPad from 2020.