Tenth-gen iPad's USB-C limited to Lightning speeds

Posted:
in iPad
Apple's addition of USB-C to the iPad doesn't offer all of the benefits of the port, with it limited to transfer speeds equal to the Lightning connector it replaces.

A USB-C cable.
A USB-C cable.


The migration to USB-C from Lightning offers many advantages, such as being able to connect the iPad to many USB-C accessories. However, it seems that while the physical connector is in place, it's not working at the high speed expected of USB-C.

Initially reported by The Verge, the tenth-generation iPad's USB-C works as expected for charging, but for data, it connects only at "USB 2.0 data speeds." At 480Mbps, this is the same speed offered by Lightning, as used on the ninth-gen iPad.

The connection can still handle external monitors, though up to 30fps for a 4K resolution and up to 60fps for 1080p.

The 480Mbps speed is a far cry from what USB-C is capable of. For example, the iPad Pro uses Thunderbolt USB-C connections that can transfer at up to 40Gbps, meanwhile the USB-C in the iPad Air and iPad mini manages 10Gbps and 5Gbps respectively.

Apple does not mention the limited speed of the iPad's USB-C port, but it is unlikely to be a factor for most end users, except in cases where they must perform large file transfers to a computer, or need to restore a backup.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 23
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,748member
    ...and yet people complain that the EU is limiting Apple by forcing the use of USB C. It appears Apple is the one doing the limiting.
    muthuk_vanalingamlkruppITGUYINSDtwokatmewOfergrandact73williamlondonkiehtanelijahgAlex1N
  • Reply 2 of 23
    rob53rob53 Posts: 3,129member
    MplsP said:
    ...and yet people complain that the EU is limiting Apple by forcing the use of USB C. It appears Apple is the one doing the limiting.
    Apple is the manufacturer and can do anything they want to, regardless of the interference by the EU and other countries. There's no real reason for the connector to have anything faster than what it is. It's mainly a charging port. I'd bet >95% of iPad users will never attach the iPad to any accessory other than a charger. Its WiFi and cellular connections are what it uses 100% of the time.
    twokatmewllamawilliamlondonstrongyAlex1Nappleinsideruserwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 3 of 23
    badmonkbadmonk Posts: 1,179member
    Likewise are we sure the Verge used the right USB-C tipped cable for the testing?
    strongyAlex1Nlukeiwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 23
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,557member
    So Apple changed the connector and not the chip. Well, the EU didn’t mandate the interface did they, just the charging port. So much for those techies who wanted TB4 for no apparent reason on a cellphone. But then, techies being who they are, would have screamed bloody murder if it had not been TB5 or 6 even if they don’t exist yet.
    edited October 2022 mike1twokatmewllamawilliamlondonwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 5 of 23
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,858member
    Such is the nature of the USB-C connector. You can’t assume anything about what’s behind the connector or what flavor of cable you’ll need to buy in order to do anything other than charging the host device, if in fact the device supports charging through its USB-C port or ports. 

    It’s not a bad thing, but you’ll have to do a little work and digging to find out what your USB-C ports are capable of doing and make sure the cables you select are compatible with the functionality you expect. 

    Welcome to the mysterious world of USB-C connectors and cables. Are we having fun?
    edited October 2022 twokatmewllamastrongyMplsPAlex1Nappleinsideruserwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 6 of 23
    twokatmewtwokatmew Posts: 47unconfirmed, member
    This is the least expensive iPad out there.  Not surprised Apple didn’t offer more features of USB-C. The target market for this device won’t even notice. Users who need more will buy a more advanced iPad. 
    Oferwilliamlondonwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 7 of 23
    netroxnetrox Posts: 1,332member
     dewme said:
    Such is the nature of the USB-C connector. You can’t assume anything about what’s behind the connector or what flavor of cable you’ll need to buy in order to do anything other than charging the host device, if in fact the device supports charging through its USB-C port or ports. 

    It’s not a bad thing, but you’ll have to do a little work and digging to find out what your USB-C ports are capable of doing and make sure the cables you select are compatible with the functionality you expect. 

    Welcome to the mysterious world of USB-C connectors and cables. Are we having fun?
    It's not really mysterious. 

    The goal of USB4 being the requirement is to stop cable waste. The law doesn't require that devices have to meet the full speed specs. Higher speed often means more power. With USB-C cables, you are guaranteed that you'll have the minimum specs met for the cable, not for the device. It does state that it must be labeled for its capacities. 

    I very much welcome the mandate. I am tired of dealing with different cables. Also, it should mandate that for many appliances, not just computers like beard trimmers, electric brushes, et al. I am sick of losing cables for them. With the USB4, I'd never have to deal with that. 

    elijahgwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 23
    nubusnubus Posts: 158member
    twokatmew said:
    This is the least expensive iPad out there.  Not surprised Apple didn’t offer more features of USB-C. The target market for this device won’t even notice. Users who need more will buy a more advanced iPad. 
    Apple is not playing fair by selling the new iPad 10th gen (far more expensive than 9th gen) with connectivity matching the performance of a 22 year old standard dating back to the days of Pentium 4. It is planned obsolence calculated by a penny-pinching corporate financial department. Perhaps Apple should be required to inform users when using technologies dating more than 5 years back. In a country where even a bottle of water comes with an FDA nutrition label it seems reasonable.
    williamlondonsaarekelijahgAlex1Nmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 9 of 23
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,557member
    nubus said:
    twokatmew said:
    This is the least expensive iPad out there.  Not surprised Apple didn’t offer more features of USB-C. The target market for this device won’t even notice. Users who need more will buy a more advanced iPad. 
    Apple is not playing fair by selling the new iPad 10th gen (far more expensive than 9th gen) with connectivity matching the performance of a 22 year old standard dating back to the days of Pentium 4. It is planned obsolence calculated by a penny-pinching corporate financial department. Perhaps Apple should be required to inform users when using technologies dating more than 5 years back. In a country where even a bottle of water comes with an FDA nutrition label it seems reasonable.
    Typical “Old man yells at cloud” response. And you are, of course, free to switch platforms any time you wish.


    edited October 2022 williamlondontwokatmewstrongyAlex1Nwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 10 of 23
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,443member
    lkrupp said:
    So Apple changed the connector and not the chip. Well, the EU didn’t mandate the interface did they, just the charging port. So much for those techies who wanted TB4 for no apparent reason on a cellphone. But then, techies being who they are, would have screamed bloody murder if it had not been TB5 or 6 even if they don’t exist yet.
    I'm not sure why you find it unreasonable for those that spend thousands on Apple devices to want/expect fast transfer speeds via cable should they need it. After all much cheaper devices achieve these fast speeds and have done for years now. 

    You personally may not need it, I know that I don't, but I do know people whom would find it very useful if their iPhone or iPad could transfer at fast speeds and for the money being charged by Apple it's not an unreasonable expectation.
    elijahgMplsPAlex1Nmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 11 of 23
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,443member
    twokatmew said:
    This is the least expensive iPad out there.  Not surprised Apple didn’t offer more features of USB-C. The target market for this device won’t even notice. Users who need more will buy a more advanced iPad. 
    No, you're thinking of the iPad 9th Generation. This is the new iPad where they charge significantly more than the previous generation.
    elijahgMplsPmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 12 of 23
    neoncatneoncat Posts: 112member
    lkrupp said:
    nubus said:
    twokatmew said:
    This is the least expensive iPad out there.  Not surprised Apple didn’t offer more features of USB-C. The target market for this device won’t even notice. Users who need more will buy a more advanced iPad. 
    Apple is not playing fair by selling the new iPad 10th gen (far more expensive than 9th gen) with connectivity matching the performance of a 22 year old standard dating back to the days of Pentium 4. It is planned obsolence calculated by a penny-pinching corporate financial department. Perhaps Apple should be required to inform users when using technologies dating more than 5 years back. In a country where even a bottle of water comes with an FDA nutrition label it seems reasonable.
    Typical “Old man yells at cloud” response. And you are, of course, free to switch platforms any time you wish.


    That's super rich coming from you.
    edited October 2022 elijahgMplsPmuthuk_vanalingamh4y3s
  • Reply 13 of 23
    twokatmewtwokatmew Posts: 47unconfirmed, member
    saarek said:
    twokatmew said:
    This is the least expensive iPad out there.  Not surprised Apple didn’t offer more features of USB-C. The target market for this device won’t even notice. Users who need more will buy a more advanced iPad. 
    No, you're thinking of the iPad 9th Generation. This is the new iPad where they charge significantly more than the previous generation.

    edited October 2022 watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 23
    nubus said:
    twokatmew said:
    This is the least expensive iPad out there.  Not surprised Apple didn’t offer more features of USB-C. The target market for this device won’t even notice. Users who need more will buy a more advanced iPad. 
    Apple is not playing fair by selling the new iPad 10th gen (far more expensive than 9th gen) with connectivity matching the performance of a 22 year old standard dating back to the days of Pentium 4. It is planned obsolence calculated by a penny-pinching corporate financial department. Perhaps Apple should be required to inform users when using technologies dating more than 5 years back. In a country where even a bottle of water comes with an FDA nutrition label it seems reasonable.
    Not to defend Apple, but the primary purpose of any publicly traded company is to maximize shareholder wealth. So any other goal that conflicts with that will lose.
    watto_cobrampantone
  • Reply 15 of 23
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,858member
    netrox said:
     dewme said:
    Such is the nature of the USB-C connector. You can’t assume anything about what’s behind the connector or what flavor of cable you’ll need to buy in order to do anything other than charging the host device, if in fact the device supports charging through its USB-C port or ports. 

    It’s not a bad thing, but you’ll have to do a little work and digging to find out what your USB-C ports are capable of doing and make sure the cables you select are compatible with the functionality you expect. 

    Welcome to the mysterious world of USB-C connectors and cables. Are we having fun?
    It's not really mysterious. 

    The goal of USB4 being the requirement is to stop cable waste. The law doesn't require that devices have to meet the full speed specs. Higher speed often means more power. With USB-C cables, you are guaranteed that you'll have the minimum specs met for the cable, not for the device. It does state that it must be labeled for its capacities. 

    I very much welcome the mandate. I am tired of dealing with different cables. Also, it should mandate that for many appliances, not just computers like beard trimmers, electric brushes, et al. I am sick of losing cables for them. With the USB4, I'd never have to deal with that. 

    Not following your response at all. This has nothing to do with USB-4. It has everything to do with USB-C connectors on products.

    If you encounter a device equipped with a USB-C port/connector you have no idea about what protocols are supported through that connector until you dig into the product specifications. You don't know if the USB-C connector supports USB2, USB3, USB-3.1, USB-3.2, USB3.1 Gen 1, USB3.2 Gen 2, USB-4, Thunderbolt 3, Thunderbolt 4, power charging, power delivery, DisplayPort, etc.

    Same deal with the cables that you purchase to plug into those USB-C ports. Some cables only support a subset of the protocols that can exist behind the USB-C port. A USB-C cable that's designed for USB-3.1 will very likely not support a high-resolution monitor that requires USB 3.1 Gen 2 or USB 3.2 Gen 2 with DisplayPort support. There's a very good reason why some 1m USB-C cables cost $15.00 USD and some 1m USB-C cables cost $129.00 USD (like Apple's TB3 USB-C cables do).

    Until buyers of products with USB-C connectors dig into what protocols and capabilities are supported by those connectors it is a mystery. Fortunately, once you unravel the mystery and understand what your USB-C connectors can do you can buy the right cable for the functionality you need. No big deal. By the way, devices equipped with multiple USB-C ports, e.g., the Mac Studio, do not always support the same protocols on every USB-C port. The rear ports USB-C ports on Mac Studio computers support Thunderbolt 4 and the front USB-C ports can support either USB-3.1 Gen 2 or Thunderbolt 4, depending on the Mac Studio model you purchase.

    Time will tell whether the mandate for USB-C connectors on consumer products will result in a reduction in electronic waste. I'd hate to see someone purchase a $129.00 USD cable that has the mandated USB-C connectors on both ends just to charge their beard trimmer. Ouch! Likewise, I'd hate to see someone attempt to use the USB-C cable that came with their beard trimmer to connect their computer to a high speed backup drive or to a monitor. 

     
    edited October 2022 strongyAlex1Nmuthuk_vanalingamentropysuraharawatto_cobrabeowulfschmidt
  • Reply 16 of 23
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,949member
    I am surprised Apple would go to the work of building a different port in an ipad to an IPA or IPP. I would have thought it cheaper to just use the same port guts.  i find it surprising it would be cost effective, but i guess thunderbolt is expensive.

    This really is about the upsell by creating a bullet point difference, although I am at a loss to see where it could be. it isn’t as though the intersection of 10th gen ipad owners and owners of thunderbolt peripherals on any venn diagram would have a large enough area to be observable. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 23
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,858member
    entropys said:
    I am surprised Apple would go to the work of building a different port in an ipad to an IPA or IPP. I would have thought it cheaper to just use the same port guts.  i find it surprising it would be cost effective, but i guess thunderbolt is expensive.

    This really is about the upsell by creating a bullet point difference, although I am at a loss to see where it could be. it isn’t as though the intersection of 10th gen ipad owners and owners of thunderbolt peripherals on any venn diagram would have a large enough area to be observable. 
    I think it is more likely that Apple was perfectly content to stick with Lightning on their lowest tier iPad until such time that they could justify moving higher-end functionally like Thunderbolt down to this product. 

    The EU forced them to put a USB-C connector on this product for charging, so they did. Check the box. The EU mandate does not state what functionality other than charging the USB-C connector must expose. 

    The EU’s USB-C connector mandate only applies to charging. It does not define the functionality that the port must support. If you were hoping that the EU charging connector mandate would somehow force Apple to put Thunderbolt 4 and/or USB-4 functionality in every iPhone and iPad you are going to be disappointed. Apple will add those capabilities to its products when they decide the time is right. 

    The iPad mini with the USB-C port does not support Thunderbolt, so we should not be too surprised that the base iPad does not support Thunderbolt. 
    edited October 2022 watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 18 of 23
    uraharaurahara Posts: 733member
    rob53 said:
    MplsP said:
    ...and yet people complain that the EU is limiting Apple by forcing the use of USB C. It appears Apple is the one doing the limiting.
    Apple is the manufacturer and can do anything they want to, regardless of the interference by the EU and other countries. There's no real reason for the connector to have anything faster than what it is. It's mainly a charging port. I'd bet >95% of iPad users will never attach the iPad to any accessory other than a charger. Its WiFi and cellular connections are what it uses 100% of the time.
    Try regular sync/transfer some media files (e.g. movies, couple thousand books (which is being regularly rearranged) of the size e.g. 200 GB. How much time would it take with Wifi? I guess in this (my) use case it's better to use Thunderbolt speeds. Unfortunately, the best you can get on Thunderbolt port on iPad is 500 MB/s. 
  • Reply 19 of 23
    uraharaurahara Posts: 733member
    Same story on M1 iPad with Thunderbolt port.
    Apple doesn't provide on iPad Pro M1 with its Thunderbolt only about 500 MB/s instead something closer to Thunderbolt Speeds 40 Gb/s.
  • Reply 20 of 23
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,858member
    urahara said:
    rob53 said:
    MplsP said:
    ...and yet people complain that the EU is limiting Apple by forcing the use of USB C. It appears Apple is the one doing the limiting.
    Apple is the manufacturer and can do anything they want to, regardless of the interference by the EU and other countries. There's no real reason for the connector to have anything faster than what it is. It's mainly a charging port. I'd bet >95% of iPad users will never attach the iPad to any accessory other than a charger. Its WiFi and cellular connections are what it uses 100% of the time.
    Try regular sync/transfer some media files (e.g. movies, couple thousand books (which is being regularly rearranged) of the size e.g. 200 GB. How much time would it take with Wifi? I guess in this (my) use case it's better to use Thunderbolt speeds. Unfortunately, the best you can get on Thunderbolt port on iPad is 500 MB/s. 
    The ONLY thing the EU cares about is that devices use a USB-C cable for charging. That is the beginning and the end of their mandate. Whatever else happens on the USB-C port is totally up to the product owner.

    The port/connector (USB Type C) and the protocols (TB3, TB4, USB 3.1, etc.) are separate. The EU does not specify the protocols, only the port/connector. Nobody is "limiting" anything.

    My Raspberry Pi 4B has a USB-C connector for power. That's all that port does and all that it will ever do.

    I apologize if I sound like I'm beating a dead horse, but the uncertainty or mystery around the USB-C connector is probably one of the reasons why Apple was hanging on to Lightning for so long. There was no mystery around having a Lightning port on an Apple device meant. It was a WYSIWYG sort of thing. With USB-C this is no longer the case.

    When Apple voluntarily put a USB-C connector on one of its devices it implied that Apple was doing something a little different, even if it just meant adding the ability to mount external storage. With the Pro devices it could also mean a Thunderbolt connection and Apple advertised it as such. Once the EU mandate intruded into Apple's product development space it disrupted the apple cart a bit and Apple was forced to shoehorn a USB-C port into products regardless of whatever port migration plans were already on Apple's product roadmap. So now you have a product like the latest iPad base model that basically puts Lightning level functionality into a USB-C port. Chalk up a win for governmental overreach and check-the-box forced compliance over innovation.
    edited October 2022 watto_cobrabeowulfschmidtjony0
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