Nov 10, 2018

Kuo: Apple To Use 4 MPI And 2 LCP Antennas On 2019 iPhones For Better Cellular Performance

TF International analysts Ming-Chi Kuo predicted that Modified PI (MPI) will replace Liquid Crystal Polymer (LCP) to become the mainstream antenna technology for the new iPhones in 2019. The Apple analyst has listed serval reasons that the company plan to do, and said it will pave the way for upcoming 5G technology.

According to Kuo, the first reason is that Apple is losing in bargaining for LCP raw material supplies, Secondly, the LCP antenna is really complicated to produce, plus LCP is brittle, which is not ideally for manufacturers to gain yield rate. Furthermore, based on current technical limitations, if you want to improve the LCP production yield, it may reduce antenna performance. Last but not the least, MPI antenna performance is improved by fluoride formulation, and higher frequency performance at 10-15 GHz is much comparable to LCP.

Kuo expects the shipment of LCP antennas for the new iPhone is expected to decline by more than 70% in the second half of 2019. The new iPhones (XS Max, XS and XR) currently uses 6 LCP antennas. In next year, however, Apple is likely to use 4 MPI antennas and 2 LCP antennas for better cellular usage on 2019 iPhones (6.5-inch OLED, 5.8-inch OLED, and 6.1-inch LCD).

MPI and LCP antennas are expected to coexist in the 5G era, but the market will have high growth expectations for LCP materials. The market is currently confident that LCP antennas demand will grow significantly due to the arrival of the 5G era. During the transition time, it will still consist of MPI and LCP antennas.

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