The iOS 12.1 beta simulator in Xcode offers support for 4K external displays, meaning that the new iPad Pros could be getting USB-C instead of Lightning ports.
Existing iOS devices use can use a Lightning to HDMI adapter to connect to an external display, however, with HDMI using a 4K display is not possible. Connecting to a 4K display would be well supported using the USB-C interface.
New in iOS 12.1: the iOS Simulator supports virtualized 4K external displays. This is not possible on any existing iOS device via the Lightning HDMI adapter — lends credence to iPad perhaps getting a USB-C port for 4K video-out? pic.twitter.com/WfNBerHIrb
— Steve Troughton-Smith (@stroughtonsmith) September 19, 2018
Apple started transitioning its Mac lineup to USB-C in 2016, but even though there have been many rumours, the company has not adopted this on any other of its product lines. An iPad Pro with USB-C would definitely bridge the gap between the Mac and the iPad. For some, this would make the iPad an even more viable computer replacement.
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says that the USB-C iPad Pro models would ship with an 18W USB-C power adapter that enables fast charging.
Apple is expected to hold an event in October, where it will unveil the new iPad Pros that are rumoured to have edge-to-edge displays with a TrueDepth camera system for Face ID.