iPad Pro 3 might ditch Lightning for USB-C, according to respected analyst

You can always count on Apple supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo to deliver the goods when it comes to making predictions about the Cupertino company's upcoming products – even if they don't always turn out to be 100% accurate. 

As reported by MacRumors, in the lead up to this week's Apple event the prolific prognosticator has once again published research notes detailing what he believes Apple has in store for us for the rest of the year, and while his previous report from July was more Mac-focused, Kuo's latest predictions center on the iPad Pro 3, iPhone 9 and Apple Watch 4

Kicking off with the upcoming 2018 model iPad Pro, Kuo believes Apple will include the iPhone X's celebrated Face ID functionality, and will also be making the switch from its proprietary Lightning connector to the industry standard USB Type-C format. 

"In addition to Face ID support, we expect the new iPad Pro models' main upgrade to include replacing Lightning with a USB-C interface and bundling with a new unibody design 18W power adapter, which cancels the removable plug design," said Kuo. 

Kuo notes that this year's iPhone models will keep their existing ports and adapters, though a recent ruling by EU regulators could force Apple to ditch Lightning for future iPhones

More predictions

Speaking of iPhones, Kuo believes an entry-level 6.1-inch iPhone model with an LCD display will be launched in October this year (slightly later than the hotly-anticipated iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max) – could that be the rumored cheaper iPhone XC that we've reported on?

In his notes, Kuo also made some predictions regarding this year's Apple Watch range, stating that each model "will have narrower bezels, support electrocardiography (ECG), and all be equipped with ceramic backs (currently, some models are equipped with composite backs)".

While the ceramic backs are news to us, we've heard rumors of 15% larger displays and ECG/EKG support in the past – here's what the edge-to-edge Apple Watch 4 screen resolution may look like.

Kuo also finds time to offer some MacBook-related speculation, with the analyst predicting the release of a "new, low-price MacBook" with Touch ID functionality (but no Touch Bar) that could potentially replace the current 12-inch MacBook

Stephen Lambrechts
Senior Journalist, Phones and Entertainment

Stephen primarily covers phones and entertainment for TechRadar's Australian team, and has written professionally across the categories of tech, film, television and gaming in both print and online for over a decade. He's obsessed with smartphones, televisions, consoles and gaming PCs, and has a deep-seated desire to consume all forms of media at the highest quality possible. 

He's also likely to talk a person’s ear off at the mere mention of Android, cats, retro sneaker releases, travelling and physical media, such as vinyl and boutique Blu-ray releases. Right now, he's most excited about QD-OLED technology, The Batman and Hellblade 2: Senua's Saga.