last week and eye-opening report claimed that Apple will split its iPhone 15 release in two, with standard models continuing to use the Lightning port and Pro models moving to USB-C. Now a new iPad leak has made this twist even more likely.
In an exclusive report 9toMac has revealed that Apple’s next entry-level iPad will feature an A14 Bionic chipset, support for 5G, and — yes — it will drop Lightning in favor of a USB-C port. And this signals a decisive shift.
If correct, the leak would be a major first: the first time Apple has released a consumer-oriented mobile device with USB-C. The iPad Pro made the switch to USB-C in 2018, but Apple justified the move by saying the port was only needed for professionals.
Even today, Apple promotes USB-C on the iPad Pro due to its compatibility with accessories such as DSLR cameras, external monitors, external storage, audio interfaces and MIDI devices, ahead of the more obvious industry shift led by all rival tablets and smartphones.
Cleverly, Apple also used this same argument to justify why iPhones keep the Lightning port. Smartphones weren’t primarily considered professional tools, despite the branding of so-called iPhone “Pro” models. But after the entry-level iPad leak, this position no longer stands.
The obvious question at this point is, of course: Why would Apple split the USB-C transition for iPhone 15 between Pro and non-Pro models?
The first reason is the practicality of production – Pro-only means Apple can avoid any lingering restrictions in the supply chain. The second reason is that it only needs to test the port at half the range — a crucial factor if Apple continues its iPhone 14-led decision to ship standard and Pro models. with different chipsets† The third reason is a result of the other two: if you’re limited to switching half the range to a future-proof standard, start with the Pro models.
For Apple, change now seems inevitable. The EU agreement forcing all mobile devices to adopt USB-C by the end of 2024 means Apple must act quickly, and pressure is mounting for the US to follow the example†
All of this has a real impact on Apple fans in the here and now, because if USB-C comes along, then despite what delicious iPhone 14 upgradespay out record prices on a new iPhone in 2022 seems like a decision that will bite you.
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