According to TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, new iPad Pro models with improved antenna technology will release in the first half of 2020 (via Apple Insider). The veteran Apple analyst has also claimed in his latest investor note that 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models with 5G cellular connectivity will arrive in 2021.
Next year’s iPad Pro models will only feature internal updates, most importantly the first usage of a “Liquid Crystal Polymer (LCP) Soft Board”. As the name implies, the LCP board is soft as opposed to rigid PCBs and can be used as a flexible way to connect components together.
Kuo believes the use of LCP Soft Board is being made in preparation for the use of 5G modems in the iPad Pro:
“It is claimed the LCP Soft Board will be used to connect the antenna to the motherboard, which will supposedly help reduce signal loss and improve overall networking performance. Positioned as a productivity tool, the analyst believes that sometimes the connection requirements could be even higher than that of a mobile phone, making connectivity an important element to the iPad Pro.”
It is being speculated that ‘Murata’, a firm that currently provides LCP components for the iPhone, will be the leading provider of LCP components for the iPad Pro’s construction.