We've known for some time that Apple will switch to USB-C for future iPhones, but we're not sure if that switch will happen in time for the iPhone 15. Now, however, a reliable source says it will, and that this switch will too. it will lead to higher data transfer speeds, at least for some models.
According to Ming-Chi Kuo (opens in a new tab), an analyst with a good track record in Apple information, the entire iPhone 15 lineup will have a USB-C port instead of a Lightning port. However, Kuo says that only the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max will take advantage of the extra speed potential of USB-C.
Both phones are said to support USB-C 3.2 data transfer speeds, which can reach 20 Gbps, or Thunderbolt 3 speeds, which can reach 40 Gbps.
However, the standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Max will apparently be stuck at USB 2.0 speeds of just 480 Mbps, which is the same as Lightning. So if Kuo is right, one of the main benefits of switching to USB-C will be reserved for the more expensive Pro models.
As always with leaks, we'd take this with a grain of salt, but speed aside, a move to USB-C seems likely. The EU has demanded that Apple make the change by 2024, and Apple itself has confirmed that it intends to comply. So it's just a matter of time, but it doesn't seem necessary for Apple to delay, and Kuo is a credible source.
Variable data transfer speeds are something we're not so sure about, but it would make sense as another way to differentiate high-end iPhones from lower-end models, and Apple has taken a similar approach with its various iPhone lines. 'iPad.
The Lightning port on an iPhone 12 Pro Max (Image credit: TechRadar)
Review: Pro-level speeds for Pro devices
Increasing your data transfer speed from 480 Mbps to 20 Gbps or 40 Gbps may seem excessive, and for many people it will be. But these massively higher speeds would be extremely useful for some users in special cases.
A key example is 4K video. Current iPhones are capable of 4K recording, but the file sizes produced by 4K images can mean it takes a long time to transfer the images from your phone to your computer or other device.
If you're a mobile filmmaker who captures a lot of images, the problem becomes even bigger. Of course, not all of them will, but there are many other types of large files you might want to transfer, and whatever you're transferring, that extra speed will make it much faster.
However, for more typical users, the slower speeds of USB 2.0 should still be adequate, so this upgrade won't necessarily be a reason to shell out for one of the best iPhones.