Apple is already excepted to launch 5G iPhones and iPads, and now the company is rumored to bring the next-generation wireless standard to MacBooks. Apple will supposedly unveil MacBooks with 5G wireless support in 2020, according to a report from Taiwanese tech site Digitimes.
Based on the report, Apple will use ceramic 5G antennas that could provide 2x faster wireless speeds and a more reliable connection than metal antennas. But ceramic doesn't come cheap, and at six times the price of a traditional metal antenna, the component would add a hefty premium on top of the MacBook's already exorbitant price.
It wouldn't be unlike Apple to use a different material than its competitors if it meant improving performance and reliability. But with the MacBook Pro already starting at $1,299, Apple risks pricing out even more customers, on top of those who switched to Windows when the last-gen MacBook Air (the least expensive Apple laptop) was discontinued.
If you're holding off on buying a new laptop for a 5G MacBook, then I'm afraid you have a long wait ahead. Digitimes says the 5G MacBook won't arrive until late 2020, if it does at all. As appealing as a MacBook with support for the next-gen cellular network might sound, we're pretty skeptical of the rumors. Digitimes has a hit-or-miss track record and the sources cited in this particular report don't instill confidence. That doesn't mean a MacBook with 5G isn't coming, we just wouldn't hold our breaths.
Apple is also rumored to be working on a 16-inch MacBook Pro and a new foldable iPad. The new flagship tablet would support 5G and have display options similar to those offered on the MacBook Pro (13-inch and 15-inch). Unsurprisingly, all of Apple's 2020 iPhones are also rumored to be 5G-ready, even the lower-end models. If that's true, we can only hope Apple's more affordable MacBook Air also gets the 5G treatment when the time comes.
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Phillip Tracy is the assistant managing editor at Laptop Mag where he reviews laptops, phones and other gadgets while covering the latest industry news. After graduating with a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin, Phillip became a tech reporter at the Daily Dot. There, he wrote reviews for a range of gadgets and covered everything from social media trends to cybersecurity. Prior to that, he wrote for RCR Wireless News covering 5G and IoT. When he's not tinkering with devices, you can find Phillip playing video games, reading, traveling or watching soccer.