iOS 17.1 Code References Apple Pencil With USB-C

Apple Pencil code that was added to the second beta of iOS 17.1 references USB-C charging for the ‌Apple Pencil‌, a function that does not exist for either of the two current ‌Apple Pencil‌ models that Apple sells.

black apple pencil feature orange
"Connect to USB-C to recharge soon," reads the text, which is accompanied by another line that says "‌Apple Pencil‌ Battery Very Low."

It is not clear if this is a reference to a new version of the ‌Apple Pencil‌ or text that is related to the USB-C to Apple Pencil Adapter that allows the first-generation ‌Apple Pencil‌ to be charged using a 10th-generation iPad. With this adapter, the ‌Apple Pencil‌ plugs in to the Lightning end of the Adapter and the USB-C connector plugs into the ‌iPad‌, facilitating a charge over USB-C.


Given that this adapter came out last year, it is not quite clear why Apple is just now adding the text, but it is a logical explanation and could be related to the possible launch of a next-generation low-cost ‌iPad‌. The other option is that Apple is working on a new version of the ‌Apple Pencil‌ with a USB-C connector.

Apple could in theory refresh the original ‌Apple Pencil‌ to replace the Lightning connector with a USB-C connector without too much hassle, allowing the company to carry on offering the higher-end, slimmer magnetic ‌Apple Pencil‌ that works with the iPad Pro and other iPads, and the lower-cost, rounder ‌Apple Pencil‌ that charges via a connector and works with Apple's low-cost ‌iPad‌ lineup.

A USB-C port might not make sense if Apple has plans for a third-generation ‌Apple Pencil‌ compatible with all iPads, as the new version would likely take after the second-generation ‌Apple Pencil‌ and charge magnetically via an ‌iPad‌. A single ‌Apple Pencil‌ that has no connector at all and is able to work with all iPads would simplify the ‌Apple Pencil‌ lineup and cut down on any confusion.

Apple is transitioning its products to USB-C because of new European Union regulations that require electronics to use a universal port. Apple could opt for a USB-C charging option for fast charging purposes, but a future ‌Apple Pencil‌ would also be able to skirt the USB-C requirement with wireless charging.

Whether or not a new ‌Apple Pencil‌ has USB-C, there seems to be a third-generation version in the works. Earlier this week, a rumor suggested that the next ‌Apple Pencil‌ would feature magnetic tips with different shapes for drawing, sketching, and painting.

Related Forum: iPad Accessories

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Top Rated Comments

cateye Avatar
9 months ago

so more e-waste

thanks. this usb-c move is such a cluster****
Out of curiosity, how long do you intend to tilt at that windmill? (rhetorical, you don't have to answer that). Almost of your posts are moaning about USB-C: Complaining about the EU, complaining about Apple, complaining at people who try to engage you about it. Most one sentence, just angry reactions. That's it.

To be clear, you can prefer Lightning all you like. Not for me to tell you what connector is better for your uses. Stockpile Lightning cables and devices, if you want. But, as a practical, on-the-ground distinction, all the hand-wringing about will they or won't they, who forced who, etc. That ship has sailed. The iPhone 15 lineup is the line in the sand. Not worth the sturm und drang to belabor it, honestly.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
fwmireault Avatar
9 months ago

wrong

it's simply a fact - having more models of 1 device literally produces more ewaste than just having 1 model.
You're right, and that is the case of any product from any company. But your comment was about USB-C generating more e-waste. This doesn't seem to generate more e-waste than any other possible gen 3 Apple Pencil
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mnsportsgeek Avatar
9 months ago
So it’ll be Apple Pencil 3 with usb c and magnetic charging me thinks.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Boeingfan Avatar
9 months ago

wrong

it's simply a fact - having more models of 1 device literally produces more ewaste than just having 1 model.
Sounds like you drive a Model-T Ford because every vehicle model since then is just waste, right?
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sw1tcher Avatar
9 months ago

so more e-waste

thanks. this usb-c move is such a cluster****

it's simply a fact - having more models of 1 device literally produces more ewaste than just having 1 model.
Going with that logic, Apple has been creating more ewaste way before their recent USB-C move.

How many different versions of the iPhone do we have? Regular iPhone, iPhone Plus, iPhone Pro, iPhone Pro Max. Then there's all the color and storage capacity variations. Apple should go back to how the original iPhone was... one color, one screen size, and two storage capacity choices.

The same goes for every other Apple product in the line up. Get rid of the colored iMacs and go back to offering it only in plain silver.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
fwmireault Avatar
9 months ago

so more e-waste

thanks. this usb-c move is such a cluster****
Pretty sure that wireless charging for Apple Pencil isn't going away. Maybe Apple will provide an additional charging option. So no, it shouldn't generate more e-waste
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)