Most of the talk about Apple and 5G revolves around the iPhone. Now that the settlement with Qualcomm
(neither side has discussed this officially), we can expect Apple to launch a 5G iPhone by next year. But what about the Apple iPad? After all, the Wi-Fi + Cellular version of the iOS-powered tablet can connect to a wireless carrier’s 4G LTE network.
The answer to that question comes from TF International’s reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo
). According to his report, Kuo expects to see the first 5G iPad shipped no earlier than 2021. Meanwhile, the analyst says that two new
models will be in mass production during the fourth quarter of this year to the first quarter of 2020. The units will have the same 11-inch and 12.9-inch screen sizes that the current model’s sport, but will not offer support for 5G connectivity.
Besides adding 5G modem chips to the iPad Pro in 2021 or later, Kuo expects Apple to employ an LCP (liquid crystal polymer) soft board at the same time. This will reduce signal loss and improve networking performance. Kuo says that because the iPad Pro is used as a business productivity tool and for entertainment, the slate needs to offer better connectivity than the iPhone. The new soft board will allow Apple to attach the iPad Pro’s antennas to the motherboard, improving the user experience of the device. The report adds that Murata will be one of the companies supplying Apple with the LCP soft board. The firm already supplies soft boards to Apple for the iPhone.
Apple could turn the iPad Pro into a legitimate laptop replacement with iOS 13.
The most recent versions of the iPad Pro, launched late last year, featured a big change in the design of the tablet. Gone was the home button and Touch ID, replaced with a TrueDepth Camera and Face ID (which works regardless of how the tablet is being held). The bezels are thinner resulting in an edge-to-edge Liquid Retina (LCD) display. Using magnets, the second generation
can stick to the side of the tablet and charge up at the same time. Measuring only 5.9mm high, the latest iPad Pro models are sleek and thin.
As we passed along to you the other day,
with iOS 13. This could help some see the iPad Pro as a legitimate laptop replacement (Apple notes that the iPad Pro is faster than 92% of “portable PCs”). Apple’s high-end tablet line competes with Microsoft’s Surface Pro in the premium tablet niche, but the latter has the advantage of running on Windows 10 and supporting the wireless Surface Mobile Mouse that connects via Bluetooth.
It is interesting that in the discussions about 5G, the tablet market has been overlooked. The next generation of wireless connectivity will bring data speeds as fast as 10 times that achieved on 4G LTE networks. With the faster speeds, movies that take minutes to download now will load in seconds. It also will bring about new innovations, services, and businesses that we can’t even imagine right now. For example, when 4G LTE service became widespread, it led to the creation of the ride-sharing industry and the two multi-billion dollar companies that are leaders in the industry (Uber and Lyft). 5G networks will also help cars drive by themselves as the Internet of Things becomes the Internet of Many More Things.