Kuo: iPad Pro switching to USB-C, cheaper MacBook with Touch ID, Apple Watch gaining ECG, more

We’re just a couple days away from Apple’s big September 12th event on Wednesday, and reliable supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has published his latest predictions. Included are several new details regarding the mid-sized iPhone “Xr”, new iPads and USB-C, the cheaper MacBook and Touch ID, the Apple Watch Series 4 and ECG, and more. Here’s what Kuo is now predicting from Apple:

Kuo’s graphic for the research note also includes AirPods 2 and the AirPower charging mat, although it’s unclear if Kuo predicts new AirPods with the “Hey Siri” feature as rumored or just the new charging case that works with AirPower.

While Kuo’s memo mentions both the new iPad Pro with USB-C (wow) and MacBook with Touch ID, it’s still unclear at this point if we’ll see the iPad and Mac on stage at Wednesday’s event, or if the September 12 date will be dedicated to iPhone and Apple Watch.

We expect Apple to unveil three new iPhones — an updated 5.8-inch OLED model called iPhone Xs, a 6.1-inch LCD model possibly called iPhone Xr, and an even larger 6.5-inch OLED model likely called iPhone Xs Max — with OLED models offered in a new gold finish and LCD models offered in a variety of other colors. 9to5Mac exclusively shared the first look at the new gold color and larger version.

Apple Watch Series 4 — which 9to5Mac also exclusively shared the first look at — will feature a much larger display in a likely similar size casing. This larger screen will accommodate more information dense watch faces like the one seen in the leaked marketing image.

Kuo’s detail about all watch models switching to ceramic backs this year could mean Series 4 is only offered with LTE; Series 3 uses ceramic for aluminum models with LTE (and stainless steel and ceramic cases) while GPS-only aluminum models without LTE still use composite glass.

The big takeaways news wise is the potential switch from Lightning to USB-C for iPad Pro. That would be a massive change for an iOS device but one that could improve the iPad accessory ecosystem — and be a boon for productivity. Kuo’s memo does not suggest that this is simply a change from USB-A Lightning to USB-C Lightning but instead an actual port change on the iPad itself.

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Apple's tablet debuted in 2010. Since the original version, it's expanded into multiple screen sizes and Pro and non-Pro options.

Apple Watch

Apple Watch is Apple's wearable is designed to help you stay active, motivated, and connected. It runs watchOS, and it comes in 40mm and 44mm size options.

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