A new leak suggests that the Apple iPhone 15 family, from the base model to the rumored iPhone 15 Ultra device, would all use USB-C instead of Apple’s lightning connector — with one crucial difference between the high- and low-end models.
The USB-C ports coming to the iPhone have been a long rumored and anticipated change, one that may be mandated by European Union legislation that will come into effect in the near future, by 2024.
But with the additional upgrade, the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Ultra would use a full Thunderbolt 4 port, which has a much higher bandwidth for faster data transfers and intense graphics output.
The leak comes from a subscription-based newsletter hosted by Twitter leaker LeaksApplePro (opens in new tab)a resource with a relatively good track record of tips on future phones.
The leaker rightly suggests that recording high-resolution video, even with Apple’s efficient ProRES format, creates files prohibitively large to transfer over an outdated connection like Lightning. It takes about 40 minutes to transfer a 15 minute 4K resolution video file from your iPhone to your laptop.
Apple hasn’t significantly upgraded Lightning since its introduction, and now that the phones need more bandwidth for the huge video files they create, it makes sense that Apple uses something better – especially since the same method is used on the iPad Pro and Air models.
A wider split
In addition to the new data connection, the leak also says that this year Apple will continue the pattern of using the latest Bionic chips only on the Pro-level iPhone and better.
It is rumored that the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Ultra will get the A17 Bionic chipset, suggesting that Apple feels secure in its position as the leader in chip performance and will focus on power efficiency instead.
It is hoped 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 punch feature, and this seems like a necessary step if Apple hopes 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 screen. Other recent rumors have also suggested that every iPhone will get a Dynamic Island, but Apple won’t be able to find enough panels with the LPTO capability to bring always-on display features to every iPhone 15 model.
Analysis: USB-C is much more exciting than it looks
We’ve been anticipating Apple’s adoption of USB-C on the iPhone for a while, especially since the European Union ruled against the company’s proprietary port.
Sure, we like a universal standard, but opening up the iPhone to USB-C will also kickstart the accessory market again, and this time in a much more robust way.
There are plenty of proven USB-C accessories on the market already, 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 an iPhone, it won’t be reinventing the wheel from an old 30-pin connection to a new little port, like switching from the original iPod connector to Apple Lightning.
This will be Apple finally allowing its devices to join a mature community, with amazing potential for what USB-C, and especially Thunderbolt, can make possible.