iPad Pro could get super-fast mmWave 5G in 2021

By

Brydge-Pro-iPad
But not all models?
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Apple’s next-generation iPad Pro could bring 5G with super-fast mmWave support, according to a new report. The new slates, which are expected to launch in 2021, may use Apple’s own 5G modem.

It’s difficult to imagine what Apple could do to improve iPad Pro. It’s already pretty spectacular. But in addition to faster chipsets, next year’s models are expected to get new displays and faster connectivity.

Recent reports have indicated next year’s iPad lineup will introduce Apple’s first mini-LED displays, while some could get OLED screens. More expensive models could also pack 5G connectivity.

5G on its way to iPad in 2021

“Apple reportedly will continue developing its own mmWave AiP (antenna in package) modules for its next-generation iPhone lineup,” reads a new Digitimes report published on Thursday.

“The self-sufficiency in design and development of AiP modules also means that Apple’s next-generation high-end ‌iPad‌ products to be released in 2021 may also come with mmWave technology.”

Although the report doesn’t mention iPad Pro specifically, it does specify “high-end iPad products.” The technology will likely be reserved for these models initially due to higher production costs.

However, other iPad models could get slower sub-6GHz 5G support. This is the same technology found inside iPhone 12 models outside of the U.S. It’s slower than mmWave 5G, but more widespread.

mmWave offers the fastest data speeds

mmWave 5G promises to be up to 25 times faster than 4G, but it has its downsides. It doesn’t travel well, and it is only supported by a small number of carriers — most of which are located in the U.S.

For more on the differences between sub-6GHz and mmWave connectivity, be sure to check out our 5G explainer. It focuses on iPhone 12, but would apply to all Apple products that get 5G later.