2021 iPad Pro could have custom Apple mmWave 5G module

Ewdison Then - Nov 26, 2020, 8:25pm CST
2021 iPad Pro could have custom Apple mmWave 5G module

Although it’s difficult to top the waves that Apple made with its M1 Silicon this year, its early 2021 device lineup won’t be slouches either. There will be new iPad Pros that will use a new display technology but that might not be its only claim to fame. According to the latest tip, these high-end iPads won’t just have 5G support nor just mmWave 5G even. They will, in fact, be the first to test Apple’s in-house 5G antenna-in-package or AiP.

One consistent rumor about the next iPad Pros is that they will be ditching the cheap but outdated edge backlight technology for mini-LEDs. This type of backlighting would allow Apple to brighten or dim specific areas of the display rather than having an all or nothing setup. This, in turn, will improve the visual experience, especially by increasing the iPad Pro’s contrast performance.

MacRumors, however, now got wind of another change coming to the iPad Pro. According to DigiTimes, Apple’s self-sufficiency in developing its in-house 5G mmWave module means there could be a change it will be used on 2021 high-end iPads, a.k.a. the new iPad Pro. This module was initially rumored to be used in next year’s iPhone generation but this development could mean Apple will have the chance to test the component early.

These antenna-in-package or AiP would give the iPad Pros support for the higher 6GHz 5G spectrum, more commonly known as mmWave 5G. This is pretty much the same type of 5G that this year’s iPhone 12 models support exclusively in the US. The difference is that the 2021 iPad Pros will be using a component built by Apple itself.

This success in a 5G component is actually critical to Apple’s goals of self-sufficiency. It is a small but important step towards building its own 5G modem that will finally give it independence from the likes of frenemy Qualcomm.

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