Apple Preparing to Launch MacBooks With 5G Cellular Data Connectivity in 2020: DigiTimes

Apple is seemingly looking to launch a MacBook with 5G support in 2020.

According to a new report from DigiTimes, Apple is apparently preparing to debut its first cellular MacBook models next year, with 5G-enabled MacBooks coming in the second half of 2020.

“The world’s top-3 notebook vendors Lenovo, HP and Dell are set to introduce their first 5G models in the second half of 2019,” reads the report, “and Apple is also expected to roll out its 5G MacBook series in the second half of 2020, according to industry sources.”

DigiTimes says their notebook supply chain connections claim Apple has finalized the design of its 5G cellular-capable MacBooks and while it will debut later than its rivals’ designs, the MacBook’s 5G transceiver offers better efficiency and faster high-speed transmission rates than its rivals.

The report says Apple will achieve better 5G performance via the use of a ceramic antenna board, which is six times more expensive than a regular antenna board but offers twice the radio efficiency. The 5G-enabled MacBook is said to require 13 to 15 antennas due to its metal chassis, which shields 5G signals.

If Apple does introduce MacBook Pros with 5G support, it will be a method of “future-proofing” the laptops because it will be a while before 5G reaches its full potential. While it eventually will feature peak speeds up to 20 Gbps, it will be years before that happens.

In order to transition to 5G from existing networks, the majority of new deployments will see a need to build 5G architecture on top of current LTE,  4G and 4.5G radio access and core infrastructure. Also, the initial subscription plans are likely to be more expensive than the ones currently available.

The 2020 MacBooks will likely run using an Apple-made modem we haven’t heard of yet. Apple bought Intel’s modem business earlier this month in a bid to expand its in-house components. The news followed widespread issues with Intel’s 5G modem production which, according to previous reports, radically delayed Apple’s iPhone development road map.