Apple will likely stick to simpler battery components to keep iPhone 13 cost in check

Apple will likely stick to simpler battery components to keep iPhone 13 costs in check
Apple is not going to significantly revise the SLP (substrate-like PCB) mainboard design for the iPhone 13 series this year, says DigiTimes in a report that's largely centered on the PCB supply chain.

Apple is known to revise materials and circuit designs of SLP mainboards every other year. This year, the specifications will allegedly not be changed much when compared to the iPhone 12. The same is apparently the case for flexible PCB modules, but the two components that will likely see relatively larger changes are battery and antenna modules.

For the batteries of its first 5G handsets that came out last year, Apple replaced rigid-flex PCB solution with a SiP (system in package) design and flexible PCBs with a lower surface area and fewer layers. The company is said to be prioritizing flexible SiP battery modules this year as well. 

That's not to say rigid-flex PCBs are inferior. In fact, they are said to be more efficient and reliable and are something of a gold standard for electronic items.

Flexible PCBs are apparently cheaper to produce and can help reduce costs by up to 50 percent. And given that this year's lineup will reportedly cost the same as last year's range - despite upgrades like 120Hz screens for the Pro models, improved cameras, and a slightly revamped design - it's not hard to see that Apple wants to cut costs wherever possible.

While we are on the topic of batteries, the upcoming lineup is rumored to offer more capacity, which will be made possible by a new space-saving design that involves integrating the SIM card slot with the motherboard and decreasing the thickness of the TrueDepth system.

iPhone 13 will feature LCP-based flexible PCBs for mmWave 5G

Apple started veering towards LCP (liquid crystal polymer)-based flexible PCBs antenna modules in 2020. Previously, MPI (modified polyimide)-based models were used more commonly. LCP antennas perform better for high-speed data transmission and in millimeter waves, which makes them ideal for 5G connectivity.

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