A new leak suggests that the Apple iPhone 15 family, from the base model to the rumored iPhone 15 Ultra, will all use USB-C instead of Apple’s Lightning connector — with one crucial difference between the high and low models.
The USB-C ports coming to the iPhone have been a long-anticipated and anticipated change, one that could be dictated by EU laws coming into force in the near future by 2024.
But a further upgrade will see the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Ultra use the full Thunderbolt 4 port, which has much higher bandwidth for faster data transfers and intense graphics output.
The leak comes from a subscription-based newsletter hosted by a Twitter leaker leaks (Opens in a new tab)a source with a relatively solid track record of advice on upcoming phones.
The leaker rightly suggests that HD video recording, even using Apple’s powerful ProRES format, creates files that are too large to transfer over an old connection like Lightning. A 15-minute 4K video takes about 40 minutes to transfer from your iPhone to your laptop.
Apple hasn’t upgraded Lightning significantly since its introduction, and now that phones are demanding more bandwidth for the huge video files they create, it makes sense that Apple would use something better — especially since the same method is used on the iPad Pro and Air models.
In addition to the new data connection, the leak also indicates that Apple will continue this year’s pattern of using only the latest Bionic chips at the Pro iPhone level and better.
The iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Ultra are rumored to get the A17 Bionic chipset, with the suggestion that Apple feels secure in its position as a leader in chip performance, and will focus instead on energy efficiency.
It is hoped that the new chips will be up to 20% more power efficient compared to the current A16 Bionic chip.
Finally, all new iPhones are expected to get the punch-hole Dynamic Island feature, and this may seem like a necessary step if Apple hopes to keep Dynamic Island as an interface concept.
If only the top half of iPhone buyers, in terms of wallet size, could use Dynamic Island, it’s basically an island in itself, and fewer third-party developers will support it.
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 Dynamic Island, but Apple won’t be able to get enough panels with LPTO capability to bring always-on display features to every iPhone 15 model.
Analysis: USB-C is more exciting than it looks
We’ve been expecting Apple to adopt USB-C on the iPhone for some time, especially since the European Union has ruled against the company-owned port.
Of course we love a global standard, but unlocking the iPhone over USB-C will also kickstart the accessory market again, this time in a more robust way.
There are already a lot of installed USB-C accessories on the market because every other major smartphone and tablet maker, even Apple’s iPad Pro tablet, uses USB-C.
When you put Apple USB-C on your iPhone, it won’t reinvent the wheel from an old 30-pin connection to a new mini-port, like switching from the original iPod connector to the Apple Lightning.
This will be to finally allow Apple to join a mature community, with the amazing potential of what USB-C, and especially Thunderbolt, can enable.