Budget iPad could finally dump Lightning and adopt USB-C

Budget iPad could finally dump Lightning and adopt USB-C

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New budget iPad 9 gets better video chat, doubles storage
The iPad 9 could be the last Apple tablet with a Lightning port, as its successor might use USB-C instead.
Photo: Apple

The budget iPad will reportedly be the next Apple device to dump the Lightning port in favor of USB-C. The tenth tablet in this series might also have a larger screen, a faster processor and optional 5G.

The upcoming device is expected to debut this fall.

Last iPad with Lightning port might switch to USB-C

The $329 price makes the 10.2-inch iPad very popular. It’s one of Apple’s cheapest computers but offers a good-quality 10.2-inch display and decent performance.

One of its few real limitations is the Lightning port that prevents it from easily using plug-in accessories designed for Mac and other iPad models. The budget line has used this port for about a decade, but that’s about the change, according to info leaked to 9to5Mac. The iPad 10 will supposedly make the switch to USB-C, the same port now used by every other Apple tablet and the entire Mac lineup.

The news isn’t surprising given that the European Union is forcing Apple to fully embrace USB-C. iPhone 15 is rumored to drop its Lightning port in 2023.

Bigger display and faster processor, too

The 10.2-inch display in the current budget iPad will also get an upgrade. “We can expect a slight screen increase to 10.5 inches or even 10.9 inches,” reports 9to5Mac.

If true, that would make the screen as large as the one in the iPad Air. And it could also signal that the upcoming tablet will drop the physical Home button to make room for a nearly edge-to-edge display, as other iPads offer.

The iPad 10 will supposedly have an Apple A14 processor, up from the Apple A13 chip in the current model.

4G cellular-wireless access has been an option in the tablet line for many years, and the next-gen model will up that to 5G. All current iPad Air, iPad mini and iPad Pro versions already the offer the 5G option.

Apple released a new budget tablet every year going back to 2017. If it sticks with that pattern, and this leak is correct,, the iPad 10 with USB-C will launch in September 2022.