Apple just released a new kind of Apple Watch charger, and it hints at a major feature rumoured to be coming to iPads

  • Apple now sells an Apple Watch charger with a USB-C connector at the other end.
  • This adds credence to the rumours that Apple’s upcoming iPad Pro models might ditch Apple’s proprietary Lightning connector for the USB-C standard.
  • Apple is expected to launch new iPads on October 30 in Brooklyn, New York.

Apple quietly started selling a charging cable for the Apple Watch that uses a USB-C connector.

This could hint at one of the biggest rumours about Apple’s upcoming iPads: that they could be equipped with a USB-C port, instead of Apple’s proprietary Lightning charger.

Apple is widely expected to launch new iPad Pro models in Brooklyn on October 30, when it has scheduled a launch event.

Usb type c
A USB-C connector. YouTube/ThioJoe

Apple’s MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops already sport USB-C connectors. The ports are symmetrical and smaller than the USB-A ports that have been standard on most phones and laptops for the past decades. They also support a lot of other nifty features, like powering an external display.

If Apple wanted to make its iPad Pro more like a laptop, including a USB-C port would be a logical move. It could enable professional users to use specific accessories, like mice or keyboards, if Apple wanted to support them.

And with Apple’s new USB-C charger for the Apple Watch, people could conceivable charge their smartwatch from their iPad, too, without an adaptor. There are no officially licensed third-party Apple Watch chargers.

Screen Shot 2018 10 19 at 9.23.22 AM

There are a fair amount of rumours pointing to a USB-C iPad Pro, although the move would be a break from tradition for Apple, which prefers to use its proprietary charger on its iOS phones and tablets.

In September, well-connected TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted that Apple’s new iPad Pro would come with a USB-C connector for input and output.

Earlier this week, accessory makers at a trade fair in Hong Kong said that they expect the upcoming iPad Pro to have USB-C instead of Lightning, according to MacOtakara, a Japanese Apple blog. So it’s entirely possible that Apple could equip the new iPads thought to come out this month with a new kind of connector, making them more like a laptop.

However, Apple still includes an older USB-A iPhone charger with new iPhones, so the transition to next-generation USB-C isn’t complete yet.

Business Insider will cover all of Apple’s announcements as they happen on October 30.