Apple may be preparing to remove its own Lightning port from its range of iPad tablets. According to a new report from a Japanese supply chain blog, Mac Otakara (via MacRumors), next-generation iPad Air will swap the Lightning connector for a USB Type-C connector.
Apple has so far limited the universal USB Type-C connector to its high-end iPad Pro series – primarily because it enables broader connectivity and compatibility with input and output accessories compared to Lightning.
As Apple is preparing to position the iPad as a computer alternative for most people, it could be planned to extend USB Type C to tablets in the lower price range. The company has already provided Apple Pencil and Keyboard support for non-Pro iPads. Last month, the next low-cost iPad should run on the premium A12 processor.
In addition, Mac Otakara says the new "iPad" Air will be based on the 11-inch "iPad Pro". It is unclear whether this means that some design features from the iPad Pro series will be adopted, e.g. B. slimmer bezels and a box-shaped, metallic exterior.
That said, a fourth-generation iPad Air could have a fingerprint sensor on the screen, a touch ID instead of a face ID, and Apple's long-rumored mini-LED display technology, which is said to offer a far better contrast, according to an earlier leak Reach than what is available on existing iPads today.
The upcoming iPad Mini, which is expected to land next year, will initially stick to the Lightning port. In a research report, longtime Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo previously claimed that the next iPad mini display would be 8.5 to 9 inches in size. Kuo also indicated a new 10.8-inch iPad, although it has not yet been confirmed whether it referred to the Air model or an updated base iPad.
Apple is expected to launch a number of new iPads by 2021, including an update for the entry-level iPad. An updated Apple Pencil is also reported to be released, this time also available in black.