Apple’s iPad Pro doesn’t currently bring any major improvements in transfer speeds over previous iPads, but that could change with the arrival of new adapters.
A teardown of the iPad Pro by iFixit revealed that Apple’s jumbo tablet includes a 4-port USB 3.0 Host Controller. In theory, this should allow for USB 3.0 transfer speeds through the iPad Pro’s Lightning port.
But as MacRumors reports, using a standard Lightning cable only transfers data in the 25 MBps to 35 MBps range. USB 3.0 allows for speeds beyond 60 MBps, up to a theoretical maximum of 640 MBps.
Apple has told CNet that USB 3.0 speeds should be enabled through adapters, though it’s unclear when these might hit the market. Photographer and Macworld contributor Jeff Carlson also reportedly heard from an Apple source that adapters for faster transfer speeds are on the way.
One might hope that Apple would just skip the adapter and include a USB-C port in future iPad Pro models. USB-C was at one point rumored for the current iPad Pro, but those reports didn’t pan out.
Why this matters: As the iPad Pro’s name suggests, Apple is really pushing the idea of a tablet for professional use. Faster wired transfer speeds would be a huge boon to photographers and videographers out in the field, especially when wireless transfer isn’t an option. While the iPad Pro lacks a proper USB 3.0 port, it sounds like those users will get some of the benefits before long.