Renowned analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has stated in a recent research note (accessed by AppleInsider) that Apple is planning to use a new soft board battery technology for its next-generation iPhone devices. The new circuitry will result in the batteries becoming physically smaller, occupying less space in the devices.
These liquid crystal polymer (LCP) soft boards offer an alternative to the traditional printed circuit board, bringing benefits such as higher flexibility, faster data transfer speeds, and more. The Cupertino giant already leverages this circuit technology for the in-device antennas. The adoption is reportedly going to benefit suppliers such as Career Technology – which is expected to receive up to 50% of the orders for the boards, in turn improving profits for such suppliers.
The new technology is expected to not just benefit iPhones, but also the third generation AirPods – which the analyst says is expected in the first half of 2021. The earbuds are rumored to sport a design similar to the AirPods Pro and will benefit from the soft boards. As for the iPhones, the company could choose to either shrink the size of the batteries, making space for more components – like a periscope camera for improved zoom capabilities – or increase the capacity of the batteries while retaining the physical dimensions.
Kuo also predicted that the first mini-LED display-sporting iPad Pro tablets will debut in the first half of next year, contradicting earlier predictions of a Q4 2020 release. The firm is reportedly also working to bring high-end MacBook devices featuring mini-LED displays in the first or second half of 2021.
Update: An earlier version of the article inaccurately claimed that the change in the board technology would lead to fewer panels. It has now been changed to clarify that the increased orders for such panels from fewer suppliers will lead to increased profits for the suppliers.