One of the earliest (and most recently corroborated) rumors about Apple’s 2018 iPad Pros is that in lieu of Lightning to USB, they’d transition to the industry standard USB-C connector for charging and data transfers. Notably, this is the ubiquitous next-generation universal USB standard promising ultra-fast data and power transfer speeds, which Apple’s almost fully employed as the exclusive connectivity option on its latest MacBook and MacBook Pro models.
While a switch to USB-C would afford iPad Pro a number of key benefits bringing it more in line PC notebooks, the change, for Apple, would represent a fundamental shift in the company’s way of doing things.
From its early days, Apple has clung to its proprietary standards for mobile device charging and data transfer — with the 30-pin connector on its original iPod and iPhone, followed by the transition to Lightning in 2012.
Of course, this rumored transition to USB-C (while beneficial for the end-user) is still an unconfirmed and somewhat unlikely development.