Aside from slimming down its display bezels and adding Face ID, Apple’s next iPad Pro could be making a major I/O change. As noted by 9to5Mac, reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says that the next high-end version of the tablet will switch over to USB Type-C.
Now, it seems pretty hard to believe that Apple would already start moving away from its own Lightning connector in 2018; my first instinct was that this report simply means they’ll be including a Lightning-to-USB-C cable and USB-C charger in the box. Frankly, that’s what I’d still bet on. We’re getting closer to this device’s announcement and this move to USB-C hasn’t been reported previously. But Kuo specifies that it’s the entire I/O that’s changing, and his reputation speaks for itself.
Bluetooth aside, if the headphone jack is going away (as has also been rumored), we’re really going to have to depend on USB-C headphones? Or USB-C headphone adapters? I’ve already lamented that taking away the headphone jack will really be a headache and unnecessary frustration for musicians. Throwing USB-C in the mix, while clearly putting the iPad on track to become more of a future-proofed computer, seems like a lot of change for one generation. As part of the shift, Kuo predicts that the iPad Pro will ship with an 18W charger in the box.
Apple could unveil the new, redesigned iPad Pro at its iPhone event this week, but it seems just as likely that the company will hold it back for another event or announcement in October; Wednesday is already looking pretty loaded with three iPhones and an all-new Apple Watch design to go over.
Speaking of those new iPhones, Kuo says that the 6.1-inch LCD iPhone is could launch slightly later than the OLED models in “late Sep/early Oct due to quality issues of assembly and display.” In a separate report today, Bloomberg claims Apple has considered branding this iPhone as the “iPhone XR.” What does that even mean? If true, we’ll soon have — in order of highest pricing to lowest — the iPhone XS Max, the iPhone XS, and the iPhone XR. It’s worth noting that iPhone XC has also been tossed around as a possible name for the lower-priced LCD model.
New low-cost MacBook, Apple Watch, etc.
To round out his latest predictions, Kuo says Apple might give the new entry-level MacBook a Touch ID sensor without also adding a Touch Bar to go with it. And the Apple Watch Series 4 will supposedly gain electrocardiography (ECG) and include ceramic back covers on all models.