‘Leaked’ iPad Pro case shows off that surprising USB-C port

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A USB-C port appears on this image advertising a case for the 2018 iPad Pro.
A USB-C port appears on this image advertising a case for the 2018 iPad Pro, which is expected to be announced tomorrow.
Photo: Olixar

Olixar is best known for two things: one, regularly showing its cases wrapped around unreleased Apple products, and two, having its predictions turn out to be correct.

That’s why it’s a big deal that this company posted images on its site of an iPad Pro with a USB-C port.

These pictures add to the overwhelming evidence that Apple’s next tablet includes significant changes. Part of this redesign is a USB-C port on the bottom edge, replacing the Lighting connector. 

Olixar isn’t a household name, but its marketing plan seems to be getting free publicity by leaking images of upcoming products.  It showed off accurate designs of the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR months before the release. This company also revealed that there wasn’t going to be an iPhone SE 2 well before anyone else. And these are just a couple of examples. There are many more.

To be clear, Olixar doesn’t specifically say that the 2018 iPad Pro has USB-C. But the port in its product image definitely isn’t for a Lighting connector, and the resemblance to USB-C is very strong. The company can’t be more explicit because it’s certainly not getting its information from Apple but from sources in Apple’s Asian supply chain.

Still, its images adds to earlier evidence found buried in iOS 12 that iOS tablets with USB-C are coming. That said, there’s some disagreement about whether this change is going to happen.

2018 iPad Pro mysterious second port still mysterious

Olixar doesn’t do anything to clear up another mystery about Apple’s next tablet. There’s a port on the right edge that no one has been able to identify yet, and this case maker is no different.

The mysterious new side port can be seen but not identified in this image of the 2018 iPad Pro.
The mysterious new side port can be seen but not identified in this image of the 2018 iPad Pro.
Photo: Olixar

The port shows up in the images of Olixar’s cases, but not as anything recognizable. And the written product description only says: “This tough protective case has been designed specifically for the Apple iPad 12.9 2018 and has cut-outs for the main ports and features of the tablet such as the camera with flash. The power and volume buttons are covered, but remain functional.”

Other 2018 iPad Pro leaked details

Obviously, this case maker’s images concur with earlier reports that Apple has removed the Home button from its next tablets. This allowed designers to shrink the bezels on all four sides of the display, reducing the overall bulk of the iPad.

That change requires a move from Touch ID to Face ID. The necessary cameras and scanner don’t show up in Olixar’s images, but they also don’t show up in pictures of iPhone models that certainly have them.

Those product images do show that the Smart Connector moved from the left edge to the bottom, above the USB-C port. That in line with previous unconfirmed reports. 

The official announcement of this device, and a confirmation of all the leaked details, should be revealed at Tuesday’s Apple press event. There could also be an improved Apple Pencil and even an iPad mini.