Apple’s Recent Devices Feature Thread Radios

Apple's New Macs And iPads With Hidden Smart Home Thread Radio

Published on July 7th, 2024

According to a report from The Verge, Apple has quietly integrated Thread radios into most Macs and iPads released over the past eight months.

While not explicitly mentioned in the device specifications, FCC reports indicate the presence of Thread radios.

Inclusion Across Mac And iPad Models

Thread radios have been spotted in various models:

  • M4 iPad Pro
  • M2 iPad Air
  • M3/M3 Pro/M3 Max MacBook Pro
  • M3 MacBook Air
  • M3 iMacs

It’s uncertain whether the Thread radios are currently active or dormant, as Apple has not provided clarification.

The lack of mention in specifications could suggest inactivity.

What Is Thread Technology?

Thread is a wireless networking protocol designed for smart home IoT devices, offering robust, secure, and efficient communication.

Key Features:

  • Mesh Networking: Each device connects to multiple others, ensuring reliable and self-healing communication.
  • Low Power Consumption: Ideal for battery-operated devices, enabling long-lasting operation.
  • High Security: Advanced encryption and access control protect the network from unauthorized access.
  • Scalability: Supports networks with hundreds of devices, suitable for large homes and commercial settings.
  • Simplicity and Reliability: Easy to set up and maintain, with reliable communication.

Integration with Matter:

Thread is crucial for the Matter protocol, which aims to unify smart home device communication across different brands.


  • Wi-Fi: Thread is more power-efficient and reliable for IoT devices.
  • Bluetooth: Thread’s mesh networking offers better range and scalability.


Used in smart lighting, security systems, and environmental monitoring, Thread enhances connectivity and interoperability in smart homes.

Future Integration And Possibilities

While Thread integration has not been officially confirmed by Apple for these devices, speculation suggests potential futureproofing measures.

The presence of Thread radios could pave the way for expanded Home app integrations and device connectivity beyond Bluetooth.

Implications For Macs And iPads

With Thread radios, Macs and iPads could potentially serve as Thread border routers or Home Hubs for HomeKit devices.

However, this functionality is currently limited to HomePod and Apple TV models.

Looking Ahead

Thread’s integration hints at Apple’s strategic approach to future device connectivity and smart home ecosystem expansion.

As technology evolves, Thread may play a significant role in enhancing device interoperability and user experience.