Following up on today’s report that the 12.9-inch iPad has been pushed back to September, the Wall Street Journal claims tonight that the hardware features for the device are still in flux. According to this latest rumor, Apple is considering adding USB 3.0 ports to the tablet to allow users to connect external devices.

We’ve already heard that the company may be planning to build its first external input device for the “iPad Pro,” but this is the first time we’ve heard that there may be plans in the works to support the connection of additional peripherals.

As unbelievable as it seems, the report even suggests that Apple will allow the connection of mice and keyboards.

To quote directly from the Journal (emphasis added):

“Apple has continued to rework some of the features of the larger iPad. It is now considering the faster technology for data synchronization between the larger iPad and other computing devices,” said the person.

“Apple is also working on technology to speed up the iPad charging time, but it remains uncertain if the final design will have these new features.”

The company has also been considering adding ports to connect to a keyboard and mouse, the people said.

iPads have long been able to take advantage of Bluetooth-connected keyboards, but the potential to connect a mouse to the device would suggest a reworking of the touch-driven iOS interface to support a completely new (or rather, old) type of input.

USB 3 would be a great addition for purposes of data transfer when syncing with iTunes, but the idea that an iPad will support USB mice seems a bit absurd.

The Wall Street Journal says that because these design choices haven’t been locked down, it’s possible they may not ship on the final model.

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