A new leak suggests that Apple’s iPhone 15 family, from the base model to the rumored iPhone 15 Ultra, would use USB-C instead of Apple’s Lightning connector – with one key difference between the high-end and low-end models.
USB-C ports coming to the iPhone have long been a rumored and expected change, one that could be mandated by European Union laws that will take effect in the near future, by 2024.
But an additional upgrade would see the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Ultra use a full Thunderbolt 4 port, which has much higher bandwidth for faster data transfer and intensive graphics output.
The leak comes from a subscription-based newsletter hosted by Twitter LeaksApplePro (opens in new tab)a source with a relatively decent track record of advice on future phones.
The leaker rightly suggests that recording high-resolution video, even using Apple’s efficient ProRES format, creates files that are prohibitively large to transfer over an outdated connection like Lightning. A 15-minute 4K video file would take about 40 minutes to transfer from your iPhone to your laptop.
Apple hasn’t significantly upgraded Lightning since it was introduced, and now that phones require more bandwidth for the massive video files they create, it makes sense for Apple to use something better — especially since the same method is used on the iPad Pro and Air models.
It widens the divide
In addition to the new data connection, the leak also says that Apple will continue this year’s pattern of using the latest Bionic chips only on the Pro-level iPhone and better.
The iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Ultra are rumored to get the A17 Bionic chipset, suggesting that Apple feels secure in its position as the leader in chip performance and will instead focus on energy efficiency.
We hope that the new chips will be up to 20% more energy efficient than the current A16 Bionic.
Finally, all new iPhones are expected to get the Dynamic Island hole punch feature and this would seem like a necessary step if Apple hopes that Dynamic Island will survive as an interface concept.
If only the top half of iPhone buyers, in terms of wallet size, can use Dynamic Island, then it’s essentially an island unto itself and fewer third-party developers will support it.
There’s no word on whether the cheaper iPhones will get the LPTO features that give the iPhone 14 Pro an always-on display. Other recent rumors have also suggested that every iPhone will get a Dynamic Island, but Apple won’t be able to source enough panels with LPTO capability to bring always-on display features to every iPhone 15 model.
Analysis: USB-C is a lot more exciting than it seems
We’ve been expecting Apple to adopt USB-C on the iPhone for some time, especially since the European Union ruled against the company’s proprietary port.
Of course we like the universal standard, but opening up the iPhone to USB-C will also reignite the accessory market, and this time in a much more robust way.
There are already plenty of proven USB-C accessories on the market as every other major smartphone and tablet manufacturer, and even Apple’s own iPad Pro tablet, uses USB-C.
When Apple puts USB-C on the iPhone, it won’t be reinventing the wheel from the old 30-pin connection to the new tiny port, like switching from the original iPod connector to Apple Lightning.
This will be Apple finally allowing its devices to join the mature community, with incredible potential for what USB-C, and especially Thunderbolt, can enable.