KGI: Smaller circuit boards mean faster Apple Watch LTE, MacBooks

Of all the things to talk about in the spec space, printed circuit boards may be the least interesting thing in the world. But they serve a purpose and they, like anything else, can always be improved.

KGI Securities has a new note out from its Apple analyst Ming-chi Kuo describing one improvement: making PCBs out of liquid crystal polymer.

The iPhone 8 and iPhone X currently use this material for its PCBs, taking up less space than using a typical copper and laminate board. Less space is always good, but it means that more things can be put into a given space. It’s also less prone to signal diffusion and is more resistant to heat and moisture.

The note, obtained by 9to5Mac, suggests that Apple is looking to save space on some of its non-iPhone devices and may commission designs for flexible PCBs for the MacBook and cellular antennas for the Apple Watch with LTE connectivity from its current provider, Career.

The important bit: if LCP gets implemented into the supply chain next year, Apple may be able to squeeze a year’s advantage on the competition with this technology as fabrication of liquid crystal polymer board is still rather difficult.

Of course, there has to be proof in the pudding if any of this “advantage” is to be gained.

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Jules Wang
Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.