When Apple introduced its 12.9-inch iPad Pro, it came with many features and from what we’re seeing, a USB 3.0-Compliant Lightning Port. From the pencil to its keyboard, the tablet is designed with power users in mind. Like with every other mobile device it makes, Apple included a Lightning port in its newest iPad. To that degree, the Lightning port received an upgrade of its own.
According to an iFixit breakdown, the iPad Pro comes with a USB 3.0 controller on board. Apple confirmed to Ars Technica that the Lightning port does, in fact, support USB 3.0 transfer speeds. For those playing the home game, USB 3.0 is just north of 10 times faster than USB 2.0, speeds of 5Gbps (3.0) to 480Mbps (2.0).
Here’s the kicker, while the iPad Pro comes with USB 3.0 capabilities, it still comes with a USB 2.0 cable. This means you’ll have to pick up a separate 3.0 capable Lightning cord for your new $800+ iPad Pro and that will come at an extra cost. What that cost is though has yet to be determined. There’s a possibility that the new cable will be physically different than that of the current cord. But again, until that cord hits the market, it’s all speculative. It’s not a matter of if, but a matter of when.
It’s rumored that Apple’s newest SoC, the next-gen A10 could have a USB 3.0 compatible controller built in — removing the need for an additional controller altogether — but again, only time will tell. With Apple making it a priority for iDevice users to transfer files between the devices and their Macs, a Lightning port with USB 3.0 speed is one tool to add into the quiver of arrows that include iTunes WiFi syncing and AirDrop.
Does the idea of Apple boosting its Lightning cord to having a throughput of USB 3.0 speeds interest you? Let us know in the comments below or on social media.