Ming-Chi Kuo says that more of Apple's iPhone models will feature Liquid Crystal Polymer antennas next year

iPhone 11
iPhone 11 (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says that new 5G iPhones will account for 15-20% of new iPhone shipments next year.
  • They will reportedly be compatible with mmWave and sub-6GHz bands.
  • Kuo says more of Apple's iPhones will feature Liquid Polymer Crystal circuitry, increasing demand in the sector.

According to reports, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes that Apple's next generation of 5G iPhones will feature improved Liquid Crystal Polymer Flexible Printed Circuits, significantly increasing the demand for the parts.

As reported by AppleInsider, Kuo made the prediction that demand for LCP FPC parts would increase to 220 million units, a 110% increase on current orders.

LCP is a material first introduced with the iPhone X in 2017. As noted by 9to5Mac, it's a desirable material for use in antenna's because it performs consistently at any temperature, and minimizes signal loss. Kuo predicts that on the whole, LCP FPC based iPhones will make up roughly 70-75% of Apple's iPhone shipments next year. This is in part because the successor to the iPhone 11 will adopt LCP FPC, but also because the iPhone 7 has been discontinued, and because the iPhone XR, which does not feature the tech will see shipments decline. Furthermore, 5G phones require three such units, rather than one, as is the case with 4G.

Ming-Chi Kuo has previously reported that Apple plans to adopt 5G across its iPhone range when it announces new models next year. This latest report suggests that these phones will feature the aforementioned LCP FPC design, along with mmWave and sub-6GHz band compatibility, vastly improving the performance of data usage in the next iteration of the iPhone.

The only problem mentioned in the report is the fact that Apple's sole supplier of LCP FPC parts, Murata, may not be able to handle the predicted surge in demand. According to the report:

"The greatest challenge for Apple's FPC procurement strategy in 2020 is to find new LPC FPC suppliers who can offer massive stable shipments, besides Murata," Kuo writes.

Amidst all the LCP FPC jargon, the report brings us a clearer prediction of the nitty-gritty behind Apple's 5G tech, rumored to feature in the next range of iPhones. Kuo does also mentioned that another supplier has been pegged to supply LCP FPC for the iPhone SE 2, but not in high volumes. If these reports are true, Apple's next generation of iPhones may well feature increased 5G performance and strong compatibility with existing 5G networks.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9