M2 iPad Pro could get a new connector, but no one knows why

iPad Pro 2021 on Magic Keyboard with lightning port showing
(Image credit: Daniel Bader / Future)

The next iPad Pro could be getting a new connector that we haven't seen on the device before.

In a new report by Macotakara, a new 4-pin connector has been seen on the iPad Pro. The report states, "the upcoming iPad Pro 12.9-inch (6th generation) and iPad Pro 11-inch (4th generation) will have the same chassis design as the current iPad Pro series, but with 4-pin connectors on the top and bottom side edges."  

The report doesn't make it explicitly clear whether this connector replaces the Smart Connector or if it's in addition to the Smart Connector, which is a 3-pin connector located on the back of the device.

So what's the purpose of the new 4-pin connector?

Well, Macotakara guesses "that the 4-pin connector may be a terminal to assist in powering peripherals that connect to the Thunderbolt/USB-C port on the M1 chip-equipped iPad, as macOS' DriverKit will be available starting with iPadOS 16."

Just recently, there's been a rumor that iPadOS 16 is being delayed by about a month. It seems most likely that Apple's new iPad software will now be released in October rather than September, as previously thought. However, the official release window of iPadOS 16 has always been just Fall 2022.

Macotakara's reports typically come from supply chain sources, and their record has been mixed; however, the site accurately predicted several iPad Air 5 features, including the inclusion of 5G on the newest iPad Air.

Of course, this isn't the first (nor will it be the last) rumor we've heard about Apple's upcoming best iPad. Some notable rumors include a 14-inch model being produced, having an OLED display, and that the next iPad Pro will be powered by Apple's M2 chip.

The next iPad Pro is rumored to be revealed sometime this fall; only then will we know if this mysterious new 4-pin connector will be on the iPad Pro. 

Luke Filipowicz
Staff Writer

Luke Filipowicz has been a writer at iMore, covering Apple for nearly a decade now. He writes a lot about Apple Watch and iPad but covers the iPhone and Mac as well. He often describes himself as an "Apple user on a budget" and firmly believes that great technology can be affordable if you know where to look. Luke also heads up the iMore Show — a weekly podcast focusing on Apple news, rumors, and products but likes to have some fun along the way. 

Luke knows he spends more time on Twitter than he probably should, so feel free to follow him or give him a shout on social media @LukeFilipowicz.