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    The Evolution of iPad Ports: Does iPad Use USB-C?

    • 4 min read

    In this evolving tech era, the nature of device connectivity takes a vital role, and when it comes to the illustrious Apple products, the question often arises, "Does iPad use USB-C?"

    This article addresses this significant query, taking you through a journey of iPad's transitioning connectors over the years and unearthing the crux of USB-C incorporation. We’ll hop into the distinctive advantages that a USB-C interface introduces to the iPad—in terms of universal compatibility, power management, and enhanced data transfer speed.

    We’ll also give you insightful information on how to choose the perfect USB-C accessories, ensuring a seamless iPad experience, powered by advanced USB-C technology. Let’s get it on!


    Different Types of Connectors for iPads over the Year

    An integral part of the iPad's success has been its varied connectivity features. Over the years, Apple has adapted and improved the connectors used to charge and sync their devices. Here is a look at the key connectors that have been used in iPads:

    30-Pin Dock Connector

    The first generation of iPad connectors was the 30-pin dock connector, which was introduced in 2003 and continued to be used on iPads until the fourth generation. This connector was larger than those that would follow and could handle audio, video, data and power transfer. Albeit, over time, it was considered by Apple that the size of the 30-pin dock connector was perhaps unnecessary hence, a more compact solution was preferred.

    Lightning Connector

    The Lightning Connector was first introduced in September 2012 when Apple launched the iPhone 5. This new smaller connector replaced the 30-pin dock connector and provides the same functionality in a smaller form. The Lightning connector features an easy-to-use, reversible design, which means it can be inserted into the device in any direction.


    Many people may wonder, “Are iPads USB-C”? Well, yes. The most recent shift is to the USB-C connector with the introduction of the third-generation iPad Pro in 2018. USB-C is a ubiquitous standard in tech and provides more connectivity options as well as faster charging and data transfer.

    What advantages does USB-C bring to the iPad?

    USB-C brings several advantages over the older connectors, some of which include:

    1. Universal Standard: USB-C is being adopted across various devices, from laptops to smartphones, which means it’s likely you can use the same charger and cables across multiple devices.
    2. Charging Capabilities: SB-C offers faster charging compared to previous generations of Apple connectors. A notable feature with a USB-C PD (Power Delivery) charger is that it can also charge your larger devices, such as MacBook, without issue.
    3. Fast Data Transfer: USB-C offers faster data transfer rates, up to 10 Gbps with USB 3.1, meaning you can move files quicker than ever before.
    4. Video Output: USB-C allows for 4K video output to external displays, which wasn’t possible with the Lightning connector.


    How to choose the right USB-C accessories for iPad?

    How you choose the right USB-C accessories for your iPad depends on your specific needs, but here are some general tips to follow:

    USB-C chargers

    • “Can I use any USB-C charger for my iPad”? Ideally, you should always use the charger that came with your device or an equivalent replacement. Consider buying one that has at least the same wattage as your original charger to get the benefits of fast charging.
    • Apple iPads (especially Pro versions) support USB-C PD (Power Delivery) for faster charging. Look for chargers that support this standard.
    • If you travel frequently, opt for compact and lightweight USB-C chargerslike the Anker Prime 100W GaN Wall Charger(3 Ports). With this charger, you can fast charge three of your gadgets at the same time. It delivers efficient dual-port charging with a full-fledged 100W output. It's ultra-compact, much smaller than a standard MacBook charger, and the ActiveShield 2.0 system provides secure charging.
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    USB-C cables

    • Consider the material used to make the cable. Braided nylon cables usually tend to be more durable than their rubber counterparts.
    • Look for MFi (Made for iPhone/iPad/iPod) certified cables. These cables are approved by Apple and are made to meet their performance standards.
    • Depending on your use, length of the cable can be an important factor. If you need to use your iPad while it's charging, consider a longer cable.
    • Keep a spare USB-C cable in your travel bag such as Anker 543 USB-C to USB-C Cable. Since USB-C is a universal standard, you can use it to charge multiple devices, including non-Apple ones. 
    • Choose the highest quality from a reputable brand because your devices only deserve the best. Anker USB-C cables are tested rigorously to ensure durability, making them an excellent choice for your iPad.
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    Choosing the right USB-C accessories for your iPad isn't just a savvy tech choice, but it's also a leap towards seamless connectivity and faster data transfer. So, does iPad use USB-C? Absolutely! This means diving headfirst into the future of technology, where adaptability, convenience, and high-speed synchronization set the tone. Embrace the USB-C era; step into a world where your iPad's potential unfolds through one universal, all-encompassing connector!


    Here are some commonly asked queries about ‘does iPad use USB-C’.

    Which iPad models use USB-C connectors?

    The iPad models that use USB-C connectors are the iPad Pro models starting from the 3rd Generation (2018 and later), and the iPad Air 4th Generation (2020 and later). These models replaced the traditional Lightning connector with the USB-C connector which provides a faster and more versatile connection.

    Can I charge an iPad Pro with a USB-C charger?

    Yes, you can charge an iPad Pro with a USB-C charger. Starting from the iPad Pro 3rd generation, Apple shifted from the Lightning connector to the USB-C connector for charging and data transfer. Therefore, any USB-C charger that meets the power requirements can be used to charge these models of iPad Pros.

    Do USB-C iPads support external displays?

    Yes, iPad models that use USB-C, such as the iPad Pro (3rd Gen onwards) and iPad Air (4th Gen onwards), support external displays. Through the USB-C connection, you can connect the iPad to monitors, TVs, and other display devices that are HDMI or VGA compatible using an appropriate adapter.