Apple's new iPad is missing a key USB-C upgrade

Blue iPad (2022) laying screen side down with Apple Pencil
(Image credit: Luke Filipowicz / iMore)

Buyers of the brand-new iPad who are looking forward to blazing-fast transfer speeds via that new USB-C port are set to be disappointed. In fact, they might as well just be using Lightning.

While the new iPad does have a USB-C port like the iPad mini, iPad Air, and new iPad Pro, it isn't anywhere near as fast. Tests carried out by one YouTuber confirm that file transfers via that USB-C port are limited to the same USB 2.0 speeds that we've been used to from Lightning.


One of the reasons some iPhone users are so keen for the iPhone 15 to switch to USB-C is the prospect of faster file transfers. But as the new iPad shows, that might not necessarily be the case. Tests run by YouTuber Max Tech show that a file transfer from an external SSD to the iPad and back again maxes out at around 480Mbps, or standard USB 2.0 speeds.

For comparison, all other iPads can transfer files with speeds of at least 5Gbps, with the iPad Pro good for a whopping 40Gbps. That alone makes it the best iPad for anyone who finds themselves transferring large files regularly.

Whether this slow transfer speed will be a key factor among those likely to be buying the new iPad is a question worth considering, but it's a point that could inform Apple's thinking for the iPhone 15. Could Apple ship the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus with a USB-C port limited to just USB 2.0 speeds, for example?

In that scenario Apple could save the faster USB-C transfer speeds for its high-end iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, further differentiating the lineup.

Apple's new iPad is now on sale with prices that start at $449. The 9th-gen iPad remains on sale, but the new model benefits from a faster A14 Bionic Chip, a more modern design with no Home button, and 5G support.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.