In all the excitement over the possibility of Apple adopting 5G for its 2020 iPhone lineup, the company’s other major mobile device has been all but forgotten about. It stands to reason that if the iPhone is getting 5G, the iPad is as well, but according to Ming-Chi Kuo, one of the top Apple analysts, it might be some time before Apple’s tablets are able to take advantage of the new technology that has just begun to roll out around the world.
Citing a note from Kuo, Economic Daily News reports that Apple will make significant internal changes to the iPad Pro in the coming years, with the goal of eventually bringing full 5G support to its tablets. Some of these changes may be implemented as early as this year, but Kuo believes 5G won’t come to the iPad until at least 2021.
Kuo claims that Apple will equip future iPad Pro models with an LCP (liquid crystal polymer) soft board, which will reduce signal loss and increase networking performance. The use of LCP soft boards in iPad models will supposedly begin in the fourth quarter of 2019 and the first quarter of 2020, but it’s not clear when the iPads equipped with soft boards will actually launch. That said, we shouldn’t see them before the end of this year.
That’s the good news. The bad news (if you’re desperate for a 5G tablet) is that Kuo doesn’t expect Apple to put a 5G baseband chip in the iPad until 2021 or later. That would be at least several months after the launch of the iPhone 5G, which is expected to debut in 2020 as a result of Apple’s settlement and subsequent partnership.