Why do newer devices lack external antennas?

  • Technology got better: sensitivity increased, antenna design got better so patch antennas (integrated with PCB or integrated with the case) became not just practical but universal.
  • The second technology reason is probably an aspect that antennas have become much more complex: multiple bands, MIMO, etc. As a result, it is important they are aligned just so, and placed carefully. Patch antennas fixed at manufacture make that practicable.

 

  • From a consumer perspective, antennas were not necessary most of the time anyway. Famously, there was one model of cellphone (a Motorola I think) that did not have an external antenna in Europe or Asia (where they were considered ugly & old-fashioned) – but did have in the USA because that was what the market required, because they were considered better.
  •  Of course, it would have been really hard (electrical design, PCB layout, RF testing, EMC compliance) to actually have two designs – so the US market had an ‘antenna; which was a plastic fake; the rest of the world had exactly the same phone but no fake plastic antenna.

 

Read More: How to Design PCB Antenna Like a Pro?

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Oliver Smith

Oliver is an experienced electronics engineer skilled in PCB design, analog circuits, embedded systems, and prototyping. His deep knowledge spans schematic capture, firmware coding, simulation, layout, testing, and troubleshooting. Oliver excels at taking projects from concept to mass production using his electrical design talents and mechanical aptitude.
Picture of Oliver Smith

Oliver Smith

Oliver is an experienced electronics engineer skilled in PCB design, analog circuits, embedded systems, and prototyping. His deep knowledge spans schematic capture, firmware coding, simulation, layout, testing, and troubleshooting. Oliver excels at taking projects from concept to mass production using his electrical design talents and mechanical aptitude.

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