Apple iPad Pro/Plus could take page from Surface Pro 3’s playbook, get full-sized USB 3.0

Yesterday those just-can’t-shake-’em larger-screened iPad rumors popped their head back up again, claiming that Apple both really was intending to get this so-called iPad Pro (or is it Plus?) out this spring, and that those plans have since been shelved, with a fall launch now looking more likely. Say what you will about how a still-unofficial model’s release can’t be capital-d delayed; that’s just what sources have been reporting. Now a new source is attempting to confirm those same post-spring launch rumors, as well as talking a little about possible hardware decisions, including the possibility of the tablet breaking new (Apple) ground with the inclusion of not just an industry-standard USB port, but also a full-sized one just asking to be used with accessories.

The Wall Street Journal doesn’t confirm all the same details as yesterday’s rumor, but says that it’s heard from its own sources that Apple’s suppliers will be starting work on the new iPad sometime in the second half of the year – and that at least aligns with the specific September start to manufacturing we heard earlier.

As for this USB action, we could be looking at a full-sized (standard-A) port supporting the new high-speed USB 3.0 standard. That’s exactly the same type of USB connectivity we saw Microsoft deliver with its own productivity-focused Surface Pro 3 tablet last spring.

Considering the descriptions we’ve heard of this iPad Pro being much more of a direct laptop replacement than existing iPad models (and leaving the door open for possibly even running OS X instead of iOS), a proper USB port could be an invaluable tool for connecting accessories ranging from mice, to high-end audio interfaces, to graphics tablets.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bits Read more about Stephen Schenck!