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iPad Pro's Lightning Port Supports USB 3.0 Transfer Speeds, New Adapters in the Works

Apple's larger-screened iPad Pro includes a Lightning port that's capable of supporting USB 3.0 speeds, according to both an iFixit teardown and several sources that have spoken with Apple. When taking apart the iPad Pro, iFixit discovered a Fresco Logic FL1100 4-port USB 3.0 Host Controller, pointing towards support for USB 3.0 transfer speeds.

In its recent iPad Pro review, CNET also mentioned the tablet will support "USB 3-level speeds with forthcoming adapters," which reviewer Scott Stein confirmed was information that came directly from Apple. Photographer Jeff Carlson also claims a source has told him the Lightning port on the iPad Pro is capable of transferring data at USB 3.0 speeds.

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Support for USB 3.0 speeds is notable because the Lightning port on current iPads and iPhones can only transfer data at around 25 to 35MB/s, which is USB 2.0 speed. At USB 3.0 speeds, data transfers would be upwards of 60MB/s and up to 625MB/s. USB 3.0-style speeds for data transfers over Lightning have been rumored to be coming to Apple devices for several years now, but have thus far not materialized.

Both Stein and Carlson have pointed towards the upcoming release of new adapters that will enable the faster file transfers, but a release timeline is not yet clear. It is also not known if Apple plans on introducing new Lightning cables that will enable USB 3.0 speeds when transferring files from a computer to an iPad Pro.

Tests conducted by readers on the MacRumors forums and on Reddit with existing Lightning cables and accessories are only transferring files to the iPad Pro at USB 2.0 speeds, indicating new hardware is required to take advantage of the iPad Pro's updated Lightning Port.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro
Buyer's Guide: 12.9" iPad Pro (Caution)


Top Rated Comments

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12 months ago
I can't wait.. another adapter to add to my list.
Rating: 30 Votes
12 months ago
This is infuriating. Why not just get rid of the stupid lightning port and move across to usb-c?!
Rating: 29 Votes
12 months ago

This is infuriating. Why not just get rid of the stupid lightning port and move across to usb-c?!

On one hand, it wouldn't be Apple if it didn't involve a million adapters.

On the other hand, the USB-C design is backwards compared to Lightning. I think USB-C does it wrong. The male plug shouldn't be "wrapping around" a piece lodged in the female port.
Rating: 18 Votes
12 months ago

Just put an OS X on it, finally.

OS X is not for touch input!!!!!
Rating: 13 Votes
12 months ago
Brilliant. I remember FW on the first iPod, which was incredible. Going down to USB was ridiculous.
Rating: 11 Votes
12 months ago

Probably the only redeeming feature on the entire product.

Besides CPU power, the screen size, the amazing Stylus that already beat a three gen Surface Pro, . . .
Rating: 7 Votes
12 months ago
It's happening!
Rating: 6 Votes
12 months ago
I swear, Apple could ship the iPad Pro with 5 crisp $100 bills in the box, and you guys would bitch that the bills are too crisp, or your country doesn't except US dollars.
Rating: 5 Votes
12 months ago

This is infuriating. Why not just get rid of the stupid lightning port and move across to usb-c?!

Biggest problem with USB-C overall is it has no backwards compatibility to serial UART without an adaptor. You can't configure the pins of a USB-C adaptor to have a simple pair of serial lines to avoid complexity of the USB stack. Lighting has this option allowing very affordable accessories to communicate with the port.
Rating: 5 Votes
12 months ago

OS X is not for touch input!!!!!

It's perfectly possible to "touch up" the OS X GUI. But that involves updating the current one, obviously you can't just throw it into a tablet in its current form.
Rating: 5 Votes

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