Updated 2022 iPad Pro models could use four-pin Smart Connectors

in iPad
Apple could provide users of the 2022 iPad Pro with more connectivity to accessories, with a rumor claiming a pair of "four-pin connectors" will be added to the tablet's casing.

The iPad Pro has a Smart Connector, a row of three exposed pins on the lower rear of the tablet, which is used to connect with hardware such as the Magic Keyboard. If a rumor is to be true, the concept could be expanded for the upcoming range of iPad Pro models.

According to Chinese sources of Macotakara, the general design of the housing of the 6th-gen 12.9-inch iPad Pro and 4th-gen 11-inch iPad Pro will be the same as the current models. However, rather than just offering the usual three-pin Smart Connector, Apple instead plans to use two "four-pin" connectors instead.

The report claims the new connector type will be located at the top and the bottom of the iPad Pro, but stops short of saying exactly where they will be positioned.

It remains to be seen what the extra pin could be used for as part of a connection, given Apple's existing pin-based connectors. The report reasons that the extra pin could help with power transfers between the iPad Pro and a connected accessory.

The current Smart Connector's use of three pins may mean the new connectors won't be compatible with three-pin accessories. MagSafe, another pin-based connector used in the MacBook Pro, uses five pins.

While the number of pins in the rumor may be questionable, having two connectors does offer the potential for smaller accessories to be attached, one at either end of the tablet.

Read on AppleInsider


  • Reply 1 of 6
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,800member
    Well, I hope somebody uses it, with three or four pins. So far aside form the Magic Keyboard and one from, I believe Logitech, the accessory community has been staying away in droves. For most things current Bluetooth works just fine. (Typing this on a ‘22 iPP with Brydge keyboard/trackpad.)
  • Reply 2 of 6
    ne1ne1 Posts: 69member
    You know what this means. I have to buy another #%& Magic Keyboard. 
  • Reply 3 of 6
    thttht Posts: 5,496member
    English is not my strong suit here.  :s

    Is that 2 8-pin connectors, located at the top and bottom?  o:)

    Ok, the rumor is that the new Smart Connector will have 4-pins, with one located at the top and one located at the bottom. Odds are quite good that Apple will down select to one location, and they may even fall back to the normal 3-pin Smart Connector, as this sounds like a very early prototype.

    Perhaps it is a Mac-like MagSafe charger instead of a Smart Connector? The rumored “MagSafe” inductive charger always sounded crazy. 

    The current 3-pin is basically a minimum viable connector strategy, only designed for Apple’s keyboard case/folios. Would be nice for the Smart Connector to transport USB3.2 gen2 or TB3, but Apple doesn’t roll that way. So, if it is really 4 pin, I’m guessing it is there for faster charging capabilities, or perhaps, to separate power and data signals so that the Magic Keyboard is easier to support, and works more robustly. 
  • Reply 4 of 6
    entropysentropys Posts: 4,192member
    The smart connector has never been properly realised. I think it’s original vision was so limited there wasn’t much third party interest. So something does need to happen to increase its utility. Could it be replacing a USBc or lightning port should be the goal, or enhancing functionality of accessories?

    that said, they will need to ensure backwards compatibility for those that have shelled out for the outrageously expensive keyboards that use it.
    edited August 2022 watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 6
    Maybe they will add a USB port to the keyboard?
  • Reply 6 of 6
    3 or 4 pins, I don’t care. Put one set on the bottom edge and one on a side edge. I’m tired of attached keyboards having to stick to one orientation. 
Sign In or Register to comment.