Apple's 'iPad Pro' might include USB expansion ports, new fast charging tech

Posted:
in General Discussion edited March 2015
Following reports that claimed Apple was forced to push back its production timeline for a larger 12.9-inch iPad, new rumors suggest the company is looking to incorporate USB 3.0 connectivity and possibly ports for keyboards and a mouse.



Citing sources familiar with Apple's plans, The Wall Street Journal reports production of a rumored 12.9-inch iPad has indeed been pushed back to the second half of 2015, but not due to component shortages as previously thought.

The publication claims Apple has not yet decided on a final design and is still working on new iterations and enterprise features, including USB ports and incorporation of the faster USB 3.0 protocol. While a move to USB 3.0 sounds reasonable, the assertion that Apple could make a last-minute decision to tack on external expansion ports is highly suspect. Since the iPad platform debuted in 2010, Apple has relied on one connector for charging, syncing and data transfer; first the 30-pin adapter and now Lightning, both proprietary designs.

"Apple has continued to rework some of the features of the larger iPad. It is now considering the faster technology for data synchronization between the larger iPad and other computing devices," the source said. "Apple is also working on technology to speed up the iPad charging time, but it remains uncertain if the final design will have these new features."

The person also mentioned "iPad Pro" may include options to connect a keyboard and mouse, though it is unclear if they were referring to additional Lightning connector inputs, a breakout cable or separate USB ports.

Past reports touched on the potential a larger iPad would have in enterprise. Earlier this year, noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo speculated that Apple could sell a simple tablet stylus to go along with the large-screened device, enabling handwritten notes and precise onscreen interactions.

Not much is known about the rumored tablet, but previous reports suggest Apple is planning to incorporate extra speakers into the larger iPad chassis, affording stereo sound while using the device in landscape mode.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 32
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    USB ports for a mouse and keyboard ?

    Very un-Apple.

    I expect 2 thunderbolt inputs at the most.
    But there will most likely be no ports.
  • Reply 2 of 32
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member

    Nah.

     

    I’m glad it’s a 12.9” now, though, over the original 12.2”.

  • Reply 3 of 32
    kkerstkkerst Posts: 330member
    This is sounding more and more like a MacBook Air with a Llightning charging port. iOS 8 was not designed to use a mouse.
  • Reply 4 of 32

    What if apple is addressing the Microsoft Service Pro. While I know some people on this site hate anything non apple but the service pro is a great concept as a device. Imagine this: Mac OS 10 on a full touch screen that is super slim, great battery life, and when you need it has a keyboard and mouse it works with it. Apple can position it as a super professional iPad. I would buy one if priced right and toss an i5 or i7 in it and you have a day one purchase. 

  • Reply 5 of 32
    loekfloekf Posts: 36member
    USB 3.0 ?

    Hopefully Apple starts the introduction of USB 3.1 with the new type C connector. Even the current Lighting connector is still limited to USB 2.0 speeds.
  • Reply 6 of 32
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,637member

    Can the storage in iOS devices be written to at speeds significantly faster than USB 2.0 yet?  I recall that being a bottleneck that would have made using a faster protocol (people kept asking for Thunderbolt) rather pointless.

  • Reply 7 of 32
    iPad Pro Book Air?
  • Reply 8 of 32
    Mouse support?

    So Steve Ballmer has taken over from Tim Cook.

    Steve Jobs would not have done this.
  • Reply 9 of 32
    I doubt Apple will use anything other than a lightning connector on an iOS device. What this possibly means is usb 3.0 speeds through the lightning port. Unless they start making a mobile OSX with touch input, then I could see the new usb 3.1 connectors for input/output.

    I'm certain that they are working on an OSX tablet. They just need to figure out the right time to release it as far as development of hardware and software matching up to what they want them to be.
  • Reply 10 of 32
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,667member
    cali wrote: »
    USB ports for a mouse and keyboard ?

    Very un-Apple.
    Why? IPad has always supported an external keyboard and frankly has done well with that support.
    I expect 2 thunderbolt inputs at the most.
    But there will most likely be no ports.

    Actually I'm hoping that Apple pulls head from ASS here and considers the needs of users. A port, accessible to programmers without the MiFi program, would allow far more application to be built. Especially the one offs so common in a modern plants.
  • Reply 11 of 32
    heli0sheli0s Posts: 9member
    There will never be a 12" iPad. It's all speculation and idiotic at that. USB 3?! on an iPad!?
  • Reply 12 of 32
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,972member
    cali wrote: »
    USB ports for a mouse and keyboard ?

    Very un-Apple.

    I expect 2 thunderbolt inputs at the most.
    But there will most likely be no ports.

    Because an input isn't a port.
  • Reply 13 of 32
    Steve would not do this given old tech limits. There may be a touch pad box and full OS X access. Imagine how haptic feedback would change the design parameters.
  • Reply 14 of 32
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,364member
    kkerst wrote: »
    iOS 8 was not designed to use a mouse.
    I doubt an iPad "Pro" would run OS 8.wouldnt you expect it will launch with a whole new iOS? And while I would not expect a mouse to have any use on the home screen or device navigation, there are times when I'm text editing on my iPad where I would kill for a mouse and keyboard, and most sites I vist on Safari would still benefit from point and click.
  • Reply 15 of 32
    misamisa Posts: 827member
    What if apple is addressing the Microsoft Service Pro. While I know some people on this site hate anything non apple but the service pro is a great concept as a device. Imagine this: Mac OS 10 on a full touch screen that is super slim, great battery life, and when you need it has a keyboard and mouse it works with it. Apple can position it as a super professional iPad. I would buy one if priced right and toss an i5 or i7 in it and you have a day one purchase. 

    That's a dead market.

    The Surface is kaput, the Surface Pro survives only because it's a mediocre touch/stylus "laptop"

    An iPad Pro moving in the opposite direction by adding a much more sensitive lag-free 2048-pressure-level stylus would absolutely get all the artists out there who were putting off getting Cintiq's an excuse to get one. The Surface Pro 2 was originally being recommended, but the SP3 dropped the ball by putting in a much inferior nTrig digitizer that relies on the touch system and is now not recommended.

    Ultimately such a thing wouldn't be an iPad Pro, but a new MacBook Air crossover product if it runs Desktop software. If it runs iOS software, then I'd be concerned on how heavy it would be. Microsoft/Intel position the Surface Pro device as a competitor to the iPad when it's not really. The Surface Pro is a competitor to the Macbook Air.
  • Reply 16 of 32
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,226member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ERokthemicright View Post



    I'm certain that they are working on an OSX tablet. 

    There is likely little debate that Apple is particularly desirous of merging OSX and iOS. "All works seamlessly" is something of a mantra to them. I can see a modular iPad pro line - Apple adds a lightening port on the side to allow addition of a MBA type keyboard (with a trackpad). Lots of examples of this kind of device by other manufacturers, and perhaps Apple sees a market for these "convertables."

     

    Now imagine the iPad pro could have multitasking windows running iOS, OSX, and..MSwindows?

  • Reply 17 of 32
    The iPad is intended to be a cable free tablet.. bluetooth connectivity allows connection of input devices such as keyboard and mouse. Adding USB or Firewire ports is backward thinking and will result in a lack of improvement in Bluetooth connectivity which is the future connectivity WIRELESS!!!! Apple should work on developing Firewire over bluetooth to solve this issue.. if that's what you want to call it.
  • Reply 18 of 32
    brlawyerbrlawyer Posts: 828member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Benjamin Frost View Post



    Mouse support?



    So Steve Ballmer has taken over from Tim Cook.



    Steve Jobs would not have done this.



    As I said before, the Michael Spindler era Take II is about to begin. If true, yet another pathetic move by Cook et al - first the terrible decision to distribute dividends and destroy Apple's reputation as a growth stock; then the even worse decision to buy Beats and his "Dre"; then the decision to launch the bulky, fugly and batteryless AWatch.

     

    And now this - time to summon Woz perhaps?

  • Reply 19 of 32
    damonfdamonf Posts: 217member

    I doubt USB port for keyboard/mouse.  Apple hates wires.  I could see them adding basic (i.e., 2 button) Bluetooth mouse support though.  Bluetooth keyboard support is already present in iPhones and iPads.  USB 3.0 speed support for the Lightning connector would be nice, it takes forever to restore data to 64 GB and higher iPads, either wirelessly or over the current Lightning connector (which is apparently limited to slower speeds on the device side, not the host PC).

  • Reply 20 of 32
    crowley wrote: »
    Can the storage in iOS devices be written to at speeds significantly faster than USB 2.0 yet?  I recall that being a bottleneck that would have made using a faster protocol (people kept asking for Thunderbolt) rather pointless.
    Believe if they use the SSD in the MacBook Pro it would(all Pro devices have it?).

    I can see them adding an USB type C or 2. Honestly it seems what Apple asks for, thin enough, reversible, and well functioning. Only lack is self made(or controlled), like Thunderbolt, lighting, and MagSafe.
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