New iPad Pro again rumored to ditch Lightning for USB-C

Posted:
in iPad edited October 2018
Rumors out of Asia this week again suggest Apple intends to swap out its proprietary Lightning connector for the faster, more robust USB-C protocol when it ships an expected iPad Pro revamp this fall.




Reporting from the Global Sources Mobile Electronics trade show in Hong Kong, Japanese language blog Mac Otakara on Thursday said each accessory maker it spoke with expects Apple to introduce a redesigned iPad Pro with USB-C connector this fall.

Today's rumblings line up with recent rumors and analyst reports regarding a switch to USB-C. In September, noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo issued a note predicting Apple would replace Lightning to facilitate faster data transmission and charging speeds.

More recently, code in Apple's iOS 12.1 beta suggests the new iPad Pro will support 4K external displays, a feature that would likely require USB-C. Output at such a high resolution is not supported by any existing iOS device or accessory, including Apple's Lightning-to-HDMI adapter.

If true, the change marks the first major shift in iPad connectivity since Apple replaced its 30-pin connector with Lightning on the fourth-generation iPad in 2012.

In addition to whispers of USB-C compatibility, one vendor showed Mac Otakara a diagram depicting the dimensions of a supposed next-generation iPad Pro. Sizing was largely similar in scale to supplier information the publication shared in July.

Finally, the report claims Apple will concentrate on iPad Pro's creative capabilities when it unveils the new hardware. The company could also take its Apple Business Manager out of beta at the same event, the publication said.

Apple is widely expected to release new iPad Pro hardware at a special event on Oct. 30. The next-generation tablets are anticipated to ditch the Touch ID home button in favor of Face ID, granting space for a full-face display.

AppleInsider will be at the fall "There's more in the making" event, where we expect new iPad Pros, and maybe even new Macs! Keep up with our coverage by downloading the AppleInsider app for iOS, and follow us on YouTube, Twitter @appleinsider and Facebook for live, late-breaking coverage. You can also check out our official Instagram account for exclusive photos.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 30
    Makes sense if they want to continue marketing it as a computer.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 30
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,256member
    Would also let you use your MacBook Pro charger & cable for your iPad. Of course the pencil wouldn’t be comparable without an adapter, but they might be able to squeeze one more spot on the dongle wall at the Apple store. 
    uktechie
  • Reply 3 of 30
    There is not much point to the Lighting connector anymore. Everything should just have a USB-C connector: Thunderbolt if it's on a computer and USB 3.x if it's on a portable device. We can keep the audio port on the computer around a bit longer, but portable devices need to make the switch now.
  • Reply 4 of 30
    TomETomE Posts: 167member
    The iPad Pro must move to USB-C and the "Button" must be eliminated.  As Apple Cranks up the A Series chip, it will eventually be more than able to handle its weight as a Computer.  One can be sure OSX is running on an A series chip in the lab and it will not be long before we see it marketed.  Long is relative.  

    For me personally, the keyboard issues have held me back from buying a new Mac for quite a while & I am not sure they will be much better in the future.  I hate to see a company I have so much stock in make so many mistakes.  There is no room for a misfire because the press beats Apple to pieces over any thing, big or little.

    I am looking forward to buying a new iPad.  If they don't put USB-C on it and remove the "Button" I am not going to buy one and I consider it to be a misfire beyond forgiveness.

    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 5 of 30
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,380member
    Totally makes sense.
  • Reply 6 of 30
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,543member
    I doubt Ipad will adopt USC-C but if it did than 2019 iPhone will be next to adopt.
  • Reply 7 of 30
    wood1208 said:
    I doubt Ipad will adopt USC-C but if it did than 2019 iPhone will be next to adopt.
    I don’t see the need for iPhone to switch to USB-C. 
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 30
    Apple sure loves for people to have to carry around a bunch of cables. :( Being able to use the same lightning to USB-C cable to charge both my iPad Pro and iPhone was great.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 9 of 30
    wood1208 said:
    I doubt Ipad will adopt USC-C but if it did than 2019 iPhone will be next to adopt.
    I don’t see the need for iPhone to switch to USB-C. 

    Couldn’t it at least be lightning to USB-C especially since new Mac laptops are all USB-C?
    netroxdblanch369
  • Reply 10 of 30
    chasmchasm Posts: 2,391member
    Apple sure loves for people to have to carry around a bunch of cables. :( Being able to use the same lightning to USB-C cable to charge both my iPad Pro and iPhone was great.
    This tired old canard again.

    No you don't have to "carry around a bunch of cables." You might possibly need one -- a Lightning-to-USB-A (3.0) adapter.

    I see lots and lots of iPads Pro and MacBooks et al out in the wild, since I travel and frequent coffeeshops. The number I've seen with any sort of adapter, or even a power cord, attached: one. Sure, that's just anecdotal, but we're talking hundreds of machines out in the real world here. I was surprised about this wrt to MacBooks, since there's no SD card reader in them, but ... that's just not a thing you do at Starbucks, I guess.
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 30
    chasmchasm Posts: 2,391member
    As far as the USB-C rumour goes: if Apple doesn't introduce Lightning 2.0 which has vast speed improvements (though nobody actually knows what the top speed of Lightning actually is, I must point out -- it can handle USB 3.0 speeds, we know that for a fact), then yes they might also include a USB-C (or Thunderbolt?) port on the Pro models. It would be more like Apple to redesign Lightning, but hey -- they helped design the USB-C/TB3 standard as well, so a lateral move is not out of the question.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 30
    ne1ne1 Posts: 62member
    There is not much point to the Lighting connector anymore. Everything should just have a USB-C connector: Thunderbolt if it's on a computer and USB 3.x if it's on a portable device. We can keep the audio port on the computer around a bit longer, but portable devices need to make the switch now.
    Lightning is way more durable than USB-C. If you want your iPad or iPhone port to eventually fail, then USB-C is the way to go. 
    SpamSandwichwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 30
    chasm said:
    Apple sure loves for people to have to carry around a bunch of cables. :( Being able to use the same lightning to USB-C cable to charge both my iPad Pro and iPhone was great.
    This tired old canard again.

    No you don't have to "carry around a bunch of cables." You might possibly need one -- a Lightning-to-USB-A (3.0) adapter.

    I see lots and lots of iPads Pro and MacBooks et al out in the wild, since I travel and frequent coffeeshops. The number I've seen with any sort of adapter, or even a power cord, attached: one. Sure, that's just anecdotal, but we're talking hundreds of machines out in the real world here. I was surprised about this wrt to MacBooks, since there's no SD card reader in them, but ... that's just not a thing you do at Starbucks, I guess.
    Why would I need a lightning to USB-A adapter? I use the 29W USB-C charger with a lightning to USB-C cable. I use that to charge both my iPad and my iPhone. If the iPads ditch lightning then yeah everyone will need a different cable to charge their new iPad vs their iPhone. Also if this new iPad is USB-C then anyone with an original Apple Pencil will need an adapter if they want to charge it from their iPad. If the only reason for this change is 4K monitor support that’s pretty weak. How many iPad owners need to drive 4K monitors?
    edited October 2018 williamlondon
  • Reply 14 of 30
    netroxnetrox Posts: 1,050member
    chasm said:
    Apple sure loves for people to have to carry around a bunch of cables. :( Being able to use the same lightning to USB-C cable to charge both my iPad Pro and iPhone was great.
    This tired old canard again.

    No you don't have to "carry around a bunch of cables." You might possibly need one -- a Lightning-to-USB-A (3.0) adapter.

    I see lots and lots of iPads Pro and MacBooks et al out in the wild, since I travel and frequent coffeeshops. The number I've seen with any sort of adapter, or even a power cord, attached: one. Sure, that's just anecdotal, but we're talking hundreds of machines out in the real world here. I was surprised about this wrt to MacBooks, since there's no SD card reader in them, but ... that's just not a thing you do at Starbucks, I guess.
    Why would I need a lightning to USB-A adapter? I use the 29W USB-C charger with a lightning to USB-C cable. I use that to charge both my iPad and my iPhone. If the iPads ditch lightning then yeah everyone will need a different cable to charge their new iPad vs their iPhone. Also if this new iPad is USB-C then anyone with an original Apple Pencil will need an adapter if they want to charge it from their iPad. If the only reason for this change is 4K monitor support that’s pretty weak. How many iPad owners need to drive 4K monitors?

    Apple Pencil is a great stylus to use for writing and drawing but how it's implemented to be recharged is horrible. It would benefit from having wireless recharger - imagine just leaving a pencil in a nice container instead of plugging it in a slot. Think AiriPods. Recharged by wireless rechargers. And that eliminates the need for a lightning port. 
     
    I also imagine that iPad Pros with USB-C can be used as wacom tablets, not just as to output to 4K monitors but also to serve as a wacom tablet and I am sure Apple has been asked for that feature many times. 
  • Reply 15 of 30
    anomeanome Posts: 1,463member

    My prediction is they'll just ship the iPad Pro with the 30W USB-C charger, but still using Lightning.

    I predicted this a couple of years ago, and I was wrong, though, so probably not right this time, either. At this point, I see it as more probable than putting a USB-C port on the iPad Pro, but I have no information.

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 30
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,107member
    If the iPad is going USB C then I would hope it gets extensive peripheral support to go with it. Even a mouse and external drives, which would also imply full file system support.
  • Reply 17 of 30
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    wood1208 said:
    I doubt Ipad will adopt USC-C but if it did than 2019 iPhone will be next to adopt.
    Why the doubt.   IPad is the one device that can leverage USB-C right now, not to mention what it could do in the future.  The only real question is will it support TB.  
  • Reply 18 of 30
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    wood1208 said:
    I doubt Ipad will adopt USC-C but if it did than 2019 iPhone will be next to adopt.
    I don’t see the need for iPhone to switch to USB-C. 
    With a suitable display iPhone will soon be able to replace PC’s for many users.   The display would need a couple of USB-C ports itself to handle human I/O and possibly a network connection.    So your iPhone then becomes your big screen PC simply by plugging it in.  IOS would have to morph into a desktop OS but that isn’t a big deal.  
  • Reply 19 of 30
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    chasm said:
    Apple sure loves for people to have to carry around a bunch of cables. :( Being able to use the same lightning to USB-C cable to charge both my iPad Pro and iPhone was great.
    This tired old canard again.

    No you don't have to "carry around a bunch of cables." You might possibly need one -- a Lightning-to-USB-A (3.0) adapter.

    I see lots and lots of iPads Pro and MacBooks et al out in the wild, since I travel and frequent coffeeshops. The number I've seen with any sort of adapter, or even a power cord, attached: one. Sure, that's just anecdotal, but we're talking hundreds of machines out in the real world here. I was surprised about this wrt to MacBooks, since there's no SD card reader in them, but ... that's just not a thing you do at Starbucks, I guess.
    Why would I need a lightning to USB-A adapter? I use the 29W USB-C charger with a lightning to USB-C cable. I use that to charge both my iPad and my iPhone. If the iPads ditch lightning then yeah everyone will need a different cable to charge their new iPad vs their iPhone. Also if this new iPad is USB-C then anyone with an original Apple Pencil will need an adapter if they want to charge it from their iPad. If the only reason for this change is 4K monitor support that’s pretty weak. How many iPad owners need to drive 4K monitors?
    Where did this idea that 4K monitors are the only reason to go USB-C.   Many companies won’t or can’t support non standard technology.   This isn’t always stubbornness some operations have to struggle to stay in business supporting a limited clientele.   One example is vendors supplying USB based electronic instrumentation.  Another is the realm of professional audio hardware.  

    IPad will have an appeal to a much broader market with a standard I/O port.   This assumes that Apple doesn’t screw it up with a suspect MiFi program.    Avoid a narrow mind here, we are not not beginning to see iPads potential.   
  • Reply 20 of 30
    foljsfoljs Posts: 382member
    Apple sure loves for people to have to carry around a bunch of cables. 
    Apple has done more than any other company to get ditch of the multiple cables. If it was for the PC industry we'd still have floppy disks and RS232 ports on top of all the newer stuff
    commentzillawatto_cobra
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