A big change might be coming to this year’s rumored iPad Pros.
For months, the rumor mill has suggested Apple’s next-gen tablets will come with thinner bezels and Face ID support, but there might be an even bigger surprise in store: It might ditch the Lightning port for USB-C.
Kuo reiterates that the next iPad Pros, which might be announced alongside the three rumored iPhones, will have Face ID. However, the most notable nugget is the switch from Lightning to USB-C.
This change would be a historic move for Apple, not just because it would be the first iOS device to use a non-proprietary Apple port, but because it’d make the iPad even more computer-like. Apple’s MacBook Pros switched to only USB-C ports in 2016, and though some people like yours truly miss the MagSafe charging connector, the world hasn’t ended.
Switching to USB-C would mean many accessories that utilize the port (i.e. flash drives, memory card readers, etc.) would work with the iPad Pro. Sure, there are some Lightning versions of these accessories, but those usually cost more than their USB-C counterparts.
Accessories would only be scratching the surface. Think outside of the box, and it’s not hard to imagine being able to plug something like an external GPU into an iPad Pro to supercharge its already powerful A-series chip.
The new iPad Pros, rumored to come in a new 11-inch and 12.9-inch models, will reportedly ship with an 18-watt USB-C charger.
If Apple doesn’t announce them at its upcoming iPhone event, they will probably be unveiled at a separate event in October.
The bigger question is what becomes of the Lightning port on the iPhone if the iPad dumps it. Will the iPhone adopt USB-C, too? That doesn’t sound like Apple. Instead, what’s more likely is Apple will muster up another round of courage and remove it altogether for wireless charging (something we predicted with our iPhone 2020 concept last year).
Updates for 13-inch MacBook, Apple Watch, “iPhone XC”
Besides the new iPad Pros with USB-C ports, Kuo is also predicting the rumored 13-inch MacBook with Retina displays could replace the current 12-inch MacBook (which makes total sense) and might have a Touch ID fingerprint reader without the controversial Touch Bar as found on the MacBook Pros. Finally, some sensible laptop options.
Lastly, Kuo says the 6.1-inch iPhone (rumored to be called the XC or XR) might not launch until late September to early October due to LCD assembly bottlenecks. Bloomberg first reported this iPhone might launch in “limited quantities” due to the same reason.