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Why a USB-C iPhone Could Be Coming Globally

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The European Union has made its ruling: If Apple wants to sell new iPhones in the region, those devices will need to have a USB-C port before the end of 2024.

That means Apple’s proprietary Lightning connector, which has existed for more than a decade and established itself as a considerable money-maker for the tech giant, will need to be phased out of future iPhones. At least the ones going to the EU.

“We have no choice — as we do around the world, [Apple will] comply with local laws,” Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, said at a Wall Street Journal tech conference on Oct. 25 when asked if Apple will adhere to the EU’s common charging law.

“We think it would have been better environmentally and better for our customers to not have a government be that prescriptive.”

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While the legislation technically only applies to consumer electronics sold within the EU, Apple may be forced to decide on the fate of the Lightning port for iPhones bound for overseas. Most commercial phones charge and connect to accessories using the USB-C standard, but iPhones don’t. Could this mean future iPhones sold outside the EU will also transition to a USB-C charging port? Or will Apple make hardware changes by geography: Producing two iPhone variants to accommodate USB-C and Lightning — one for the EU and the other for the rest of the world?

Apple already modifies iPhone models regionally, as it has done with the iPhone 14. The US version only has an electronic SIM, while other variants retain the SIM slot, as Avi Greengart, analyst at Techsponential, points out. But he also thinks Apple has good reasons to move all iPhones to USB-C moving forward.

“…There are larger ecosystem, security, and accessory considerations with the power/data connector, so I think it is more likely that Apple moves all iPhones [globally] to USB-C in the iPhone 16 timeframe to comply with European regulations.”

A-usb-c-wall-charger-surrounded-by-iPhones
Most commercially available smartphones have a USB-C port, but the iPhone does not. It uses Apple’s proprietary Lightning port connector.

 


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For more than a decade, European lawmakers have pushed for electronic devices to include a standardized charger in a bid to reduce cable clutter and e-waste. The legislation, part of the amended Radio Equipment Directive, was finalized in June before the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favor of the rule in October. Its approval is widely seen as a victory for consumers, who will soon be able to use just one single USB-C charger across a range of accessories and devices, including higher-wattage ones like gaming laptops and 4K monitors. Its adoption was also viewed as a win for the environment. A European think tank estimates chargers put up to 13,000 tons of e-waste per year in the EU and have associated life cycle emissions of around 600 to 900 kilotons in carbon dioxide equivalents.

Apple has vociferously lobbied against the idea of a common phone charger. The tech giant argues such legislation could stifle innovation and exacerbate the e-waste problem since it would presumably render the Lightning cable obsolete for possibly a billion people worldwide. Apple, which collects fees from third-party companies that manufacture made-for-iPhone accessories, would potentially miss out on the earnings generated from every Lightning cable and accessory that’s compatible with the iPhone.

Despite Apple’s pushback, the tech giant has reportedly put a USB-C iPhone to the test. Noted Apple analyst Ming Chi Kuo predicts Apple will beat the EU mandate by a year, equipping a new iPhone with a USB-C port in 2023.

“USB-C could improve iPhone’s transfer and charging speed in hardware designs, but the final spec details still depend on iOS support,” Kuo wrote in a May post on Twitter.

For its part, Apple has been transitioning out of Lightning in other products for several years now. The tech giant included USB-C in 2015 with that year’s MacBook. It later replaced Lightning with USB-C on the iPad Pro in 2018, the iPad Air in 2020 and iPad Mini in 2021. In addition to including a USB-C port on a rumored 2023 iPhone, Kuo expects several other Apple accessories, including AirPods, the Magic Keyboard and the MagSafe Battery Pack, to switch over to USB-C, but he didn’t offer a specific timeline.

In the long run, the iPhone’s shift to USB-C is poised to benefit Apple customers — just as the legislation intended. Since most of the company’s iPads and Macs already use USB-C rather than Lightning, the move will streamline the charging experience. Apple loyalists currently need three different types of chargers to power the iPhone, MacBook, iPad and Apple Watch. For a company that prides itself on its ecosystem, Apple offers a cumbersome charging experience that runs counter to its ethos of simplicity.

Apple MagSafe Battery Pack snapped onto rear of iPhone 12 ProApple MagSafe Battery Pack snapped onto rear of iPhone 12 Pro
Apple reintroduced its MagSafe charging technology with the iPhone 12 lineup. Here’s an Apple MagSafe Battery Pack snapped onto the iPhone 12 Pro.

 


Patrick Holland/CNET

“It does make sense for Apple to [switch to a USB-C iPhone] across markets, as it will not only enhance the experience of the users, who are also using iPads or Macs, but will also simplify the processes in the supply chain,” Will Wong, a research manager for the International Data Corporation, told CNET.

Even if Apple eventually makes the switch to a USB-C iPhone for all models, it’s possible the connector will only be used for a short time. Rumors point to Apple abandoning ports on the iPhone altogether, moving entirely to wireless charging and connectivity like with Apple’s MagSafe accessories.

“Portless is likely to be one of the developments Apple is looking at as we saw the introduction of the MagSafe wireless charger,” Wong said. “Nevertheless, there are hurdles like slower charging speed to overcome before fully going portless,”

A USB-C iPhone is perhaps more likely than ever to hit stores worldwide, however. It’s something that’s been on Apple fans’ wish lists for years as a USB-C port is more convenient and transfers data more efficiently than its Lightning counterpart. Whether that happens in 2023, 2024 or beyond remains to be seen, but Apple is readying itself and its iPhones for a transition in the EU, at the very least.

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Fido, Virgin add $45/50GB plan for Black Friday – MobileSyrup

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Fido and Virgin Plus have joined Koodo in offering a $45/mo 50GB Black Friday plan.

Like Koodo, both Fido and Virgin offer a $65/mo plan with 50GB of data plus a $20/mo bill credit for 24 months. That means customers pay $45/mo for two years with the plan.

The plans are only available for new activations and hardware upgrades, which means if you’re with one of these providers, you’ll need to swap to another one.

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You can check out the Fido offer here and the Virgin offer here.

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Hilarious Video Shows Psyduck Startling A Pokemon Scarlet and Violet Player While Taking A Photograph

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One Pokemon Scarlet and Violet fan has shared a funny video that shows a Psyduck appearing out of nowhere to startle a player who was snapping a photo. Pokemon Scarlet and Violet are among the best selling titles of the year, despite the mixed reviews from fans and critics globally. The gameplay and multiplayer mode of the latest Pokemon games receive praise and backlash for the myriad performance issues.


Because of these technical problems, Pokemon Scarlet and Violet are getting review bombed, but some fans are embracing them. Glitches are common in the latest titles, and players have reported seeing some truly bizarre things in their playthroughs. Some gamers have seen a grotesque glitch in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet, whereas a random Psyduck bug is also common. Psyduck makes the headlines again after a player spotted it in rather unusual circumstances.

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Reddit user metronn uploaded a video that shows their funny encounter with the duck Pokemon. The user intended to photograph a scenic view of Pokemon Scarlet and Violet‘s region of Paldea. Paldea is a brand-new area introduced in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet, which is based on the Iberian peninsula and has diverse geographic features like mountains, forests, and several lakes. In the video, the player attempts to take a picture of a serene place on the shoreside of a water body, with mountains in the background and water flowing peacefully.

After successfully capturing one side of the scenery, the player slowly moves the camera to show the surrounding areas and a few fish pocket monsters in the body of water. As the camera moves, something unusual is seen in the bottom right corner of the screen, which appears to be another Pokemon. This turns out to be a Psyduck, who appears out of nowhere and is standing right next to the user, who was seemingly unaware of its presence. The original poster is understandably startled by seeing the Psyduck, who apparently photobombed their efforts to take a beautiful picture in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet.

Since its introduction in the first generation, Psyduck has established itself as one of the most famous Pokemon of all time. It has featured in almost every Pokemon game from each generation until the current ninth-gen games, Pokemon Scarlet and Violet. Psyduck is not the strongest or the fastest pocket monster, but still, it has millions of fans around the world who are excited to see it in unusual circumstances.

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M2 iPad Pro vs M1 iPad Pro: What’s changed?

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The new iPad Pro with M2 chip takes performance another step forward, but what all has changed from the previous-gen iPad Pro? Follow along for an in-depth look at what’s the same and what’s new when comparing the M2 iPad Pro vs M1 iPad Pro to help you decide what’s the best choice.

In 2021, the 11 and 12.9″ iPad Pro arrived with the powerful M1 chip, Thunderbolt connectivity, 5G for cellular models, new camera features like Center Stage, and more.

Now the 2022 M2 iPad Pro lineup brings a number of tweaks and changes, but many of them are quite minor which could push customers toward the M1 iPad Pro or even iPad Air.

Below we’ll break down all the fine details of the M2 iPad Pro vs M1 iPad Pro. We’ve also got a full comparison of the new entry-level iPad and more:

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Table of contents

M2 iPad Pro vs M1 iPad Pro

Performance

The main difference between the new and old iPad Pro is the upgrade from an M1 to M2 chip.

That delivers up to an 18% faster CPU, 35% faster GPU (10-core vs 8-core), and a 2x boost in memory bandwidth from 50GB/s to 100GB/s.

Note: 128, 256 and 512GB models have 8GB RAM, 1TB and 2TB models have 16GB RAM.

11″ M2 iPad Pro 11″ M1 iPad Pro 12.9″ M2 iPad Pro 12.9″ M1 iPad Pro
Chip M2 M1 M2 M1
CPU cores 8 8 8 8
GPU cores 10 8 10 8
Neural cores 16 16 16 16
Storage 128GB – 2TB 128GB – 2TB 128GB – 2TB 128GB – 2TB
RAM 8 or 16GB 8 or 16GB 8 or 16GB 8 or 16GB
Memory bandwidth 100GB/s 50GB/s 100GB/s 50GB/s
Thunderbolt/USB 4
Cellular 5G 5G 5G 5G

Outside of the slight boost in CPU and GPU performance, all the other specs like storage, RAM, Thunderbolt connectivity, and 5G remain the same between the new and old iPad Pro models.

Display

M2 iPad Pro vs M1 iPad Pro Display

Just like the M1 12.9″ iPad Pro, the M2 12.9″ iPad Pro is the only one that features the Liquid Retina XDR display with miniLED backlighting.

Shared display features across all pro models include up to 120Hz ProMotion, P3 wide color, full laminated displays, anti-reflective coating, and True Tone.

There appears to be just one difference between the new M2 11 and 12.9″ iPad Pro display and the M1 versions – the new Apple Pencil Hover feature.

11″ M2 iPad Pro 11″ M1 iPad Pro 12.9″ M2 iPad Pro 12.9″ M1 iPad Pro
Display 11″ 11″ 12.9″ with miniLED 12.9″ with miniLED
Resolution 2388 x 1668 2388 x 1668 2732 x 2048 2732 x 2048
PPI (pixels per inch) 264 264 264 264
Display brightness 600 nits 600 nits 600 nits SDR, up to 1600 HDR 600 nits SDR, up to 1600 HDR
True Tone
P3 wide color
ProMotion (120Hz)
Anti-reflective coating
Fully laminated display
Liquid Retina Display
Liquid Retina XDR Display
Apple Pencil Hover

Connectivity and accessories

The new iPad Pro models work with the same Apple accessories as the previous-gen iPad Pro. That includes the second-gen Apple Pencil, Magic Keyboard, and Smart Keyboard Folio.

Some small upgrades with the M2 iPad Pro include Bluetooth 5.3 and WiFi 6E.

11 and 12.9″ M2 iPad Pro 11 and 12.9″ M1 iPad Pro
Apple Pencil gen 2 support
Magic Keyboard support
5G
WiFi 6
WiFi 6E
Bluetooth 5.3 5.0
USB-C ✅ USB 4 ✅ USB 4
Thunderbolt
Face ID

Interestingly, the new iPad Pro models didn’t get a Magic Keyboard Folio as the iPad 10.

Battery life

The 2022 iPad Pro models with M2 chip feature the same battery life as their predecessors:

  • 10 hours of web or video use on WiFi
  • 9 hours of web use with cellular

Storage and price

Storage remains the same between the old and new iPad Pro models. And pricing – original MSRP pricing – is also unchanged. However, keep an eye out for M1 iPad Pro discounts with the new models now available.

11″ M2 iPad Pro 11″ M1 iPad Pro 12.9″ M2 iPad Pro 12.9″ M1 iPad Pro
128GB WiFi $799 $799 $1,099 $1,099
128GB + cell $999 $999 $1,299 $1,299
256GB WiFi $899 $899 $1,199 $1,199
256GB + cell $1,099 $1,099 $1,399 $1,399
512GB WiFi $1,099 $1,099 $1,399 $1,399
512GB + cell $1,299 $1,299 $1,599 $1,599
1TB WiFi $1,499 $1,499 $1,799 $1,799
1TB + cell $1,699 $1,699 $1,999 $1,999
2TB WiFi $1,899 $1,899 $2,199 $2,199
2TB + cell $2,099 $2,099 $2,399 $2,399

Cameras, video, and audio

M2 iPad Pro vs M1 iPad Pro cameras
2021 iPad Pro rear-facing cameras

With the iPad Pro rear camera system, you’ve got a 12MP wide lens, 10MP ultra wide lens, LiDAR Scanner, and the True Tone flash.

On the back, you get a 12MP ultra wide lens with Center Stage support.

The only changes between the M2 and M1 iPad Pro, for now, is Smart HDR 4 vs Smart HDR 3 photos and the ability to shoot ProRes video at up to 4K at 30 fps (1080p at 30 fps for 128GB models).

11 and 12.9″ M2 iPad Pro 11 and 12.9″ M1 iPad Pro
12MP wide lens
10MP ultra wide lens
LiDAR
4K video
ProRes video up to 4K 30 fps
Extended dynamic range
Slo-mo video
Rear camera flash
TrueDepth camera with Face ID
Ultra wide 12MP front camera
2x optical zoom out
Smart HDR 3 photos
Smart HDR 4 photos
Center Stage auto-tracking
4-speaker audio
Stereo recording
5 studio-quality mics

The iPad Pro front camera also features support for Portrait mode, Portrait Lighting, and Animoji/Memoji.

Strangely, while the iPad 10 got a handy Landscape ultra wide front camera, the iPad Pro retains the front camera on the top (short side) bezel.

Dimensions, weight, colors

Size and weight are identical between the M2 iPad Pro and M1 iPad Pro according to Apple:

  • M2 and M1 11-inch iPad Pro: 1.03 pounds, 9.74 inches (247.6 mm) high, 7.02 inches (178.5 mm) wide, 0.23 inches (5.9 mm) thick
  • M2 and M1 12.9-inch iPad Pro: 1.5 pounds, 11.04 inches (280.6 mm) high, 8.46 inches (214.9 mm) wide, 0.25 inches (6.4 mm) thick

Color choices remain the same with silver and space gray.

Other small differences

Two more little differences you’ll see with the M2 iPad Pro:

  • Braided USB-C cable in the box instead of a plastic cable
  • “iPad Pro” wordmark on the back instead of “iPad” on previous iPad Pro models
  • M2 iPad Pro space gray may be slightly lighter than the M1 iPad Pro space gray finish with the antenna line for cellular models being more muted
Apple’s space gray finishes as shown on its website. M2 on left, M1 on right

M2 iPad Pro vs M1 iPad Pro conclusion

Why buy M2 iPad Pro?

When considering all the similarities between the M2 iPad Pro and M1, you’ll probably only want to pick up the new model if you’re a pro with workflows that will benefit from the M2 chip/ProRes support or you’re just okay with spending the money on the latest and greatest from Apple.

The M2 iPad Pro is available at Apple, Amazon, Best BuyBH Photo, and more with stock looking good across the board.

Why buy M1 iPad Pro?

When you can get the vast majority of the M2 iPad Pro feature set with the M1 iPad Pro and the processor difference not being an issue for most users, picking one up at a discount will probably be a popular move.

Also, don’t forget the iPad Air offers a compelling package at an even cheaper price than the last-gen iPad Pro. That is if you’re okay with the 11-inch size.

Read more 9to5Mac in-depth comparisons:

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