Apple’s new iPad requires a $9 dongle to use the Apple Pencil

The new iPad and keyboard accessory


Apple introduced a new iPad on Tuesday and it looks like a good upgrade with a totally new design. But there’s one thing that’s just a little silly about it: the optional $99 Apple Pencil requires a dongle to charge and pair with the new iPad.

Unlike the iPad Air, iPad Pro, and iPad Mini, the new iPad only supports the first-generation Apple Pencil. That’s not bad in itself, as much as I’d like to see extra support for the more comfortable Apple Pencil 2, which charges on the side of the aforementioned iPads.

But since Apple made the switch from a Lightning port to USB-C, you can’t just plug the Apple Pencil into the iPad’s charging port to charge it. (That was always a little weird in itself, but it worked.) Instead, you’ll need to buy one of Apple’s $9 dongles. You connect the Apple Pencil to that dongle and then connect the dongle to the iPad. That is also the only way to connect the Pencil to the new iPad.

So, a word of warning to people who may already have an Apple Pencil, or may be upgrading to the new iPad: prepare to spend another $9 if you want to use the Pencil with this iPad.

Apple has taken similar steps in the past.

It removed the headphone jack from the iPhone 7 in 2016, then put a dongle in the box until 2018, after which you had to buy a $9 dongle to use your EarBuds with the iPhone.

In 2021, Apple removed the charger and earphones from the box with the iPhone 12. It said the move, praised by sustainability experts, was to reduce environmental impact. Still, it meant anyone who didn’t already own a $19 charger had to buy one, and it probably helped people buy $19 EarPods or $129 AirPods.

Apple declined to comment on the latest move.

USB-C to Lightning dongle for Apple Pencil


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