The fourth-generation iPad Air will reportedly come with a USB-C connector instead of the Lightning connector of previous models, claims a Mac Otakara report, citing sources in the Chinese supply chain.
USB-C is a data and charging port that first landed on iPad with the iPad Pro in 2018. However, since then it has remained only on that series of iPads, rather than being adopted for other models. That could be about to change, however. At least, kind of.
Unlike Lightning, USB-C is an open standard that makes it possible to connect all kinds of peripherals to the iPad. For more on its advantages, you can read our comparison post with Lightning here. The TL;DR version is that it makes the iPad into more of a traditional laptop with plenty more options for peripherals that can be plugged in.
Since it debuted on the iPad Pro, there has been plenty of call to bring it to other devices. There have been rumors that USB-C is on its way to the iPhone at some point, although this is apparently unlikely to happen. Instead, Apple will supposedly stick with Lightning for the iPhone until Apple’s handset goes all-in on wireless charging.
The Mac Otakara report suggests that Lightning is also likely to hang around for the next iPad mini, too. That means that the iPad line would be segmented with the typically higher price iPad Pro and iPad Air offering USB-C and the entry level iPad and iPad mini sticking with Lightning.
Would you like to see Apple embrace USB-C for other devices? Has its presence on the iPad Pro changed the way you use your iPad? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.