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Renowned analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has released a new report just two days ahead of Apple’s fall iPhone event. While the research note is packed with information, much of which corroborates older reports, there’s a new tidbit buried within it that’s interesting enough to single out.
Essentially, Kuo expects this year’s 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models to ditch Lightning in favor of USB-C.
In his words, that includes nixing the Lightning port in favor of a “USB-C interface” and bundling the new tablets with Apple’s newly designed 18W power adapter.
Kuo added that the switch to USB-C would allow for better charging and data transmission speeds on the upcoming tablet lineup.
On the other hand, Kuo expects the 2018 iPhone lineup to retain their Lightning ports.
What’s more, the analyst suggests that they could continue to be bundled with Apple’s standard 5W power brick — instead of the rumored 18W adapter.
Switching to a USB-C charger and bundling a USB-C to Lightning cable has been a recurring rumor for the 2018 iPhone and iPad lineup. Kuo’s report shakes that up.
For one, this is the first time we’ve heard any rumors suggesting Apple could switch the entire charging interface on the new iPad Pro models. But, taken in context with other past reports, Kuo’s forecast could hint at Apple’s wider plans when it comes to its charging and data transfer infrastructure.
Back in June, supply chain sources told DigiTimes that Apple was considering replacing the Lightning port on its 2019 iPhones with USB-C ports.
Essentially, such a switch would likely begin the process of phasing out Lightning entirely. That’s especially true if Apple begins killing off the Lightning port on its 2018 lineup of tablets — not that a switch to USB-C would be purely negative.
Of course, Kuo could still be referring to the USB-C port on the new 18W charger — rather than the actual port on the new tablets. But it certainly seems like the analyst is referring to the actual port on the iPad Pros themselves.
Kuo has a solid track record of accurate information about Apple’s future plans. And if his prediction about the iPad Pro charging interface turns out to be true, it’s likely that Lightning’s days are numbered.