Apple is getting ready to introduce its first iPhone with 5G but the iPad and possibly the MacBook will likely follow suit.
A 5G connection will come with, most notably, the rumored iPhone 12 Pro Max, which may get the fastest kind of 5G called mmWave, aka millimeter-wave 5G (via FastCompany).
Less-expensive future iPhones may get sub-6GHz 5G, which is slower but has better coverage.
But 5G will makes its way to the iPad and probably the MacBook.
Future iPad and Apple-processor MacBook with 5G
Like the iPhone, future iPads will support both sub-6GHz 5G and mmWave 5G.
Today, Apple offers iPads with the option for 4G. For example, the new iPad Pro is configurable with 4G/LTE for an extra $150. Expect similar options for future 5G iPads.
And with Apple switching to its own processors on future MacBooks — processors similar to those found in the iPhone and iPad — it’s likely that 5G will eventually be offered on its laptops too.
It would be a first for Apple. To date, the company has never offered a cellular connection on its MacBook, despite being available on laptops from companies like Hewlett-Packard and Dell for years.
- Fast 5G: mmWave, aka millimeter-wave
- Slower 5G: Sub-6GHz — but better coverage than mmWave*
A long Reddit post (via iMore) in June from an Apple leaker briefly discusses a possible future 12-inch MacBook packing 5G (and repeats rumors about a powerful Apple processor for MacBooks with more cores than the A series processors found in the iPhone and iPad today).
A Digitimes report (via MacRumors) from last year also mentions a MacBook with 5G that has achieved better 5G performance than the competition via a ceramic antenna board.
Whatever happens, eventually Apple will likely have to offer a 5G option on its MacBooks simply to stay competitive. HP, which has been a longtime leader in offering laptops with cellular connections, will offer 5G on future laptops, a source close to HP told me recently.