Why Doesn’t the iPad Support a USB Port?

With USB defining how we connect, transfer and save data in 2000s, its curious as to why one of the most sought after products of 2010, Apple’s iPad, omitted the ease of USB from its tablet. Industry insiders have speculated that USB technology is a dying breed, but many believe that USB connections can be dangerous and Apple has made a conscious decision to focus on the safety of its product rather than the widespread appeal of a USB connection.


Many believed when the iPad came out that it wasn’t able to support flash technology. While this is both true and untrue (the iPad does have a camera connector kit that will allow some USB devices to connect to), Apple chose to focus on safer methods to display video specifically. There is also a USB connector in the dock which plugs into the side of the iPad, but that does little to help the external connection device. So while the USB technology is still available to iPad users, Apple has just made it a little more difficult to connect external devices to it, but for good reasons.

Video and Photos

With Apple’s focus on App technology, streaming videos is that much simpler, and safer. Apple believes websites like You Tube will support HTML5 and MP4 videos (and they have, see the You Tube non-flash App) and eventually completely support non-flash video because it crashes a lot less. However, without a USB port or SD card slot, Apple is making its consumers buy additional adapters (although a USB connection can be found in the iPad doc).

Ultimately, most of Apple’s consumers, although miffed, will continue to evolve with the company because of its proven track record. There are ways around the missing USB port for users who wish to connect external devices like thumb drives and printers, but Apple is banking on non-flash video, App technology and a focus on wireless connections beating out an industry staple.