Rumor: New iPad Air to adopt USB-C, iPad mini to retain Lightning

Posted:
in iPad edited May 2021
According to rumblings from the Chinese supply chain, Apple's rumored fourth-generation iPad Air will sport a USB-C connector when it launches later this year, trickle-down tech first seen in an Apple tablet in 2018.




Citing sources familiar with the matter, Mac Otakara on Tuesday reports Apple's rumored 10.8-inch "iPad Air 4" will be the second iPad variant to feature a USB-C connector after the protocol debuted on iPad Pro in 2018.

The report goes on to suggest the upcoming "iPad Air" could be based on the 11-inch iPad Pro, just as the third-generation iPad Air unveiled in 2019 shared similarities with the 10.5-inch iPad Pro platform. Specifically, the most recent iPad Air design uses a downgraded camera array and lacks iPad Pro's ProMotion display to cut down on costs and, assumedly, weight. Mac Otakara believes Apple could do the same with the upcoming refresh.

Further, suppliers claim a forthcoming 8.5-inch "iPad mini" redesign will retain Apple's Lightning connector.

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo in May predicted Apple to debut a 10.8-inch iPad model in the second half of 2020. While the "Air" designation was not mentioned, it is the most likely to receive an update based on the Apple's typical product refresh cycle.

Kuo expects an "iPad mini 6" with an 8.5- to 9-inch screen to see release in the first half of 2021. Apple last refreshed the mini line in March 2019.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,965member
    We’ll see what happens, but what’s the point of keeping half of the line on one connector and half on another? If they’re going to switch to USB C, just switch and get it over with. 
    JapheycaladanianPetrolDavemuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 2 of 17
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 2,370member
    MplsP said:
    We’ll see what happens, but what’s the point of keeping half of the line on one connector and half on another? If they’re going to switch to USB C, just switch and get it over with. 

    If half can't drive a second monitor then they should stay Lightning or transition to the rumoured smart connector. It's way of distinghishing function.
    Xed
  • Reply 3 of 17
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    MplsP said:
    We’ll see what happens, but what’s the point of keeping half of the line on one connector and half on another? If they’re going to switch to USB C, just switch and get it over with. 
    One of the reasons I’m not Renewing my developer account.   We have no idea if this rumor is true but Apples hardware is so frustrating at this time I see no reason to move forward.    Even the laptops are a poor excuse compared to what might be possible; desktop is dead at Apple as they haven’t done a decent design there in years.    I really hope this rumor isn’t true but honestly it sounds like Apple over the last half decade.     

    As much as I’ve liked the iPads I’ve owned over the years I’d need to see a significant change of direction at Apple before buying another.    Screw ball hardware, locked down hardware and high costs really cool any interest I had in iPad.   IPad is not an IPhone, Apple needs to live and breath that idea.  
  • Reply 4 of 17
    CheeseFreezeCheeseFreeze Posts: 1,283member
    What a port mess. 

    Just switch ALL devices to USB-C for the next generation, or replace it with port-less for specific devices like the iPhone (I would prefer a magnetic connection like Apple Watch and I bet third party adapters like microphones would prefer some sort of smart connector).
    caladanianPetrolDave
  • Reply 5 of 17
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 2,851member
    I hip this is wrong. 

    Either move to USB C and go all in or don’t go at all. 

    Stop fragmenting things. 

    You are APPLE for crying out loud. Make a choice, make it great, and run with it. 
  • Reply 6 of 17
    mattinoz said:
    MplsP said:
    We’ll see what happens, but what’s the point of keeping half of the line on one connector and half on another? If they’re going to switch to USB C, just switch and get it over with. 

    If half can't drive a second monitor then they should stay Lightning or transition to the rumoured smart connector. It's way of distinghishing function.
    That makes no sense. It just means you have to carry more chargers...
    DogpersonMplsP
  • Reply 7 of 17

    I hope this is wrong. 

    Either move to USB C and go all in or don’t go at all. 

    Stop fragmenting things. 

    You are APPLE for crying out loud. Make a choice, make it great, and run with it. 
    Yes please. Now I have different cable for Watch, iPhone+Headphones and iPad. Would love to have just 2 again...
    Dogperson
  • Reply 8 of 17
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,919member
    Why ? Make it all USB-C until no port wireless becomes norm. End of story.
  • Reply 9 of 17
    seanismorrisseanismorris Posts: 1,624member
    mattinoz said:
    MplsP said:
    We’ll see what happens, but what’s the point of keeping half of the line on one connector and half on another? If they’re going to switch to USB C, just switch and get it over with. 

    If half can't drive a second monitor then they should stay Lightning or transition to the rumoured smart connector. It's way of distinghishing function.
    A magnetic smart connector for charging and data would be amazing.  I don’t see much point in switching from Lightning to USB C.
  • Reply 10 of 17
    seanismorrisseanismorris Posts: 1,624member

    wood1208 said:
    Why ? Make it all USB-C until no port wireless becomes norm. End of story.
    I’m not a fan of the current wireless charging mats for anything but charging accessories.  iPads and iPhones need to be able to used normally while they’re being charged.
    Dogperson
  • Reply 11 of 17
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 2,725member
    wizard69 said:
    MplsP said:
    We’ll see what happens, but what’s the point of keeping half of the line on one connector and half on another? If they’re going to switch to USB C, just switch and get it over with. 
    One of the reasons I’m not Renewing my developer account.   We have no idea if this rumor is true but Apples hardware is so frustrating at this time I see no reason to move forward.    Even the laptops are a poor excuse compared to what might be possible; desktop is dead at Apple as they haven’t done a decent design there in years.    I really hope this rumor isn’t true but honestly it sounds like Apple over the last half decade.     

    As much as I’ve liked the iPads I’ve owned over the years I’d need to see a significant change of direction at Apple before buying another.    Screw ball hardware, locked down hardware and high costs really cool any interest I had in iPad.   IPad is not an IPhone, Apple needs to live and breath that idea.  
    Since the introduction of iPadOS and the Magic KB, I think we're seeing solid steps taken.  What significant change in direction are you looking for?
  • Reply 12 of 17
    seanismorrisseanismorris Posts: 1,624member
    wizard69 said:
    MplsP said:
    We’ll see what happens, but what’s the point of keeping half of the line on one connector and half on another? If they’re going to switch to USB C, just switch and get it over with. 
    One of the reasons I’m not Renewing my developer account.   We have no idea if this rumor is true but Apples hardware is so frustrating at this time I see no reason to move forward.    Even the laptops are a poor excuse compared to what might be possible; desktop is dead at Apple as they haven’t done a decent design there in years.    I really hope this rumor isn’t true but honestly it sounds like Apple over the last half decade.     

    As much as I’ve liked the iPads I’ve owned over the years I’d need to see a significant change of direction at Apple before buying another.    Screw ball hardware, locked down hardware and high costs really cool any interest I had in iPad.   IPad is not an IPhone, Apple needs to live and breath that idea.  
    Since the introduction of iPadOS and the Magic KB, I think we're seeing solid steps taken.  What significant change in direction are you looking for?
    Added to that... the new Mac Pro is an impressive machine.

    I’ll agree (with the other persons post) that the “value” of the new IPad Pro isn’t great, but the iPad Air gets my vote... it’s a good machine. 

     My main beef with iPads in general is you’re paying for a camera when you already have one as good or better in the iPhone.  I think the vast majority of iPad owners have a iPhone.  The rear facing camera is redundant...
  • Reply 13 of 17
    jdb8167jdb8167 Posts: 626member
    MplsP said:
    We’ll see what happens, but what’s the point of keeping half of the line on one connector and half on another? If they’re going to switch to USB C, just switch and get it over with. 
    It’s very likely based on use cases for each device. It is unlikely that most iPad Air users will care very much if Apple switches to USB-C. You might lose the use of a cable or two but nothing significant. A new iPad Air will probably ship with a USB-C charger with much higher watts that allows faster charging obsoleting whatever the customer currently has anyway.

    The iPad mini on the other hand is likely used for a lot of vertical and industrial uses. Changing the cable might have serious consequences. Apple will have the information to make this determination. We as observers do not. The low-end iPad is also likely to have the same issue. Many cash registers and other terminals have external hardware that connects via lightning. I wouldn’t be surprised if the cost of that hardware is actually higher than the iPads used. Again, Apple has more information than we do and aren’t just making dumb moves.
    edited June 2020 fastasleep
  • Reply 14 of 17
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 6,444member
    wizard69 said:
    MplsP said:
    We’ll see what happens, but what’s the point of keeping half of the line on one connector and half on another? If they’re going to switch to USB C, just switch and get it over with. 
    One of the reasons I’m not Renewing my developer account.   We have no idea if this rumor is true but Apples hardware is so frustrating at this time I see no reason to move forward.    Even the laptops are a poor excuse compared to what might be possible; desktop is dead at Apple as they haven’t done a decent design there in years.    I really hope this rumor isn’t true but honestly it sounds like Apple over the last half decade.     

    As much as I’ve liked the iPads I’ve owned over the years I’d need to see a significant change of direction at Apple before buying another.    Screw ball hardware, locked down hardware and high costs really cool any interest I had in iPad.   IPad is not an IPhone, Apple needs to live and breath that idea.  
    Yeah, I’m sure the two different cables are what made you not renew your developer account, that makes perfect sense. You just hate everything about Apple hardware to the point of absurdity. Desktop is “dead” yet many millions of people are doing just fine with the iMac and mini, and the Mac Pro is a beast. Just move on already if you’re not happy. 
    tmayDogperson
  • Reply 15 of 17
    jdb8167jdb8167 Posts: 626member
    wizard69 said:
    MplsP said:
    We’ll see what happens, but what’s the point of keeping half of the line on one connector and half on another? If they’re going to switch to USB C, just switch and get it over with. 
    One of the reasons I’m not Renewing my developer account.   We have no idea if this rumor is true but Apples hardware is so frustrating at this time I see no reason to move forward.    Even the laptops are a poor excuse compared to what might be possible; desktop is dead at Apple as they haven’t done a decent design there in years.    I really hope this rumor isn’t true but honestly it sounds like Apple over the last half decade.     

    As much as I’ve liked the iPads I’ve owned over the years I’d need to see a significant change of direction at Apple before buying another.    Screw ball hardware, locked down hardware and high costs really cool any interest I had in iPad.   IPad is not an IPhone, Apple needs to live and breath that idea.  
    Yeah, I’m sure the two different cables are what made you not renew your developer account, that makes perfect sense. You just hate everything about Apple hardware to the point of absurdity. Desktop is “dead” yet many millions of people are doing just fine with the iMac and mini, and the Mac Pro is a beast. Just move on already if you’re not happy. 
    Yet Apple has spent $millions to develop the new Mac Pro. Weird huh?

    People need to realize that Apple has limited resources. You can’t add engineers and designers just by snapping your fingers. If you think Apple innovation and quality has declined recently, add another few thousand engineers based purely on headcount and not on talent and drive and you’ll see a real drop.

    The Mac desktop line has limited room for growth. That is the reality for the whole PC segment. Spending more resources than is warranted means that something else that has more potential gets dropped. I’m sure Apple makes mistakes balancing this but they are only human working with the best information they have to try and prioritize products. I suspect we will see a surge in Mac innovation if Apple does decide to go with their own CPU chipset. Otherwise, there isn’t that much interesting going on with PCs which is why a relatively modest speed bump with AMD is getting so much notice.
    Dogperson
  • Reply 16 of 17
    JFC_PAJFC_PA Posts: 934member

    wood1208 said:
    Why ? Make it all USB-C until no port wireless becomes norm. End of story.
    I’m not a fan of the current wireless charging mats for anything but charging accessories.  iPads and iPhones need to be able to used normally while they’re being charged.
    And for mobile charging the wireless inefficiency wastes half the power pack battery charge. When plugged into a wall I don’t care, but when I have to carry the battery pack? Oh yes. 
  • Reply 17 of 17
    harry wildharry wild Posts: 812member
    Hoping for a 8.5” iPad Mini Pro instead of a warm over 2 year old components and equal to the sucky “Air”!  Apple alway base it hierrachy base on size only!  It is about they based on need and customer demand!
    edited June 2020
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