While the new iPad (2022) was one of Apple’s least leaked products of the year, we’ve finally started to hear details about the next entry-level tablet – and it already sounds better in a major way than the iPhone 14 that’s expected to debut next door. .
Apple fan site 9to5Mac (opens in new tab) received some information about the upcoming iPad, apparently from the same source that correctly provided the iPad Air 5 information, although as with all leaks, take that with a pinch of salt.
Apparently, the next iPad will have a USB-C port, making it the final iPad lineup to use this standard plug, as iPad Pro devices were the first to make the leap in 2018. Existing entry-level iPads use the Lightning port, a proprietary Apple technology that iPhones also use (and are expected to use for this year’s models as well).
Thanks to EU regulations, Apple is having to migrate its smartphones to USB-C in the next few years, but it’s apparently jumping the gun with its iPads. USB-C is faster to charge and allows for faster data transfers than Lightning, so Apple fans will likely be happy.
Another intriguing move is that the entry-level iPad will apparently offer 5G connectivity – well, on certain models. For current versions, you can opt for a Wi-Fi-only or cellular version, and it looks like the 2022 version will connect to 5G and 4G networks for that cellular option.
Lastly, the leak says that the iPad (2022) will have the A14 Bionic chipset, which isn’t exactly a surprise as the latter had the A13. So it will be reasonably powerful, but not exactly a rival to the iPad Pro.
There are probably more iPad updates we haven’t heard of yet, but USB-C and 5G alone are huge improvements.
Analysis: goodbye Apple Pencil?
If Apple ditches the Lightning port on its next iPad, it will have a knock-on effect in the pen department.
Entry-level iPads currently use the original Apple Pencil, which requires the Lightning port to be charged, but newer USB-C slates use the Apple Pencil 2. It has started to go down the dodo path.
If the Lightning port is finally dropped from the final iPad that uses it, that could mean the original Apple Pencil is also on its way to retirement – only older versions of the slate will be able to use it, after all.
The Apple Pencil 2 is more convenient for its charging solution and also offers better pressure sensitivity, so this isn’t a bad thing – but an interesting change for Apple. If you want to know more, we have a complete guide to Apple Pencil on iPads.