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

The new iPad and keyboard accessory

Apple

Apple introduced a new iPad on Tuesday, and it looks like a good upgrade, with a total redesign. But there’s one thing that’s just a little silly about it: The $99 optional 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 a big deal in itself, as much as I’d like to see added support for the more comfortable Apple Pencil 2, which charges on the side of those aforementioned iPads.

But since Apple made the move from a Lightning port to USB-C, you can’t just stick the Apple Pencil into the iPad’s charging port to juice it up. (That itself was always a little weird, but it worked.) Instead, you have to buy one of Apple’s $9 dongles. You’ll plug the Apple Pencil into that dongle, and then plug the dongle into the iPad. That’s the only way to pair the Pencil with the new iPad, too.

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

Apple has made similar moves in the past.

It removed the headphone jack from the iPhone 7 in 2016, then included 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, with the iPhone 12, Apple removed the charger and earphones from the box. It said that move, praised by sustainability experts, was to reduce its impact on the environment. Still, it meant anyone who didn’t already have a $19 charger brick had to buy one, and it likely helped spur people to buy $19 EarPods or $129 AirPods.

Apple declined to comment on the latest move.

USB-C to Lightning dongle for Apple Pencil

Apple