Rumored iPhone 15 USB-C calls high-speed data transfers a pro-only feature

iPhone 15 Pro models are in line for a massive upgrade to their wired transfer speeds with the switch to USB-C, according to the famous analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Unfortunately, he doesn’t think the regular 2023 iPhones take advantage of this. He predicts that the 15 and 15 Plus will also swap USB-C ports but, much like the 2022 10th-gen iPad, they’ll be stuck with the same USB 2.0 speeds as Lighting.

Kuo made the prediction in a series of tweets on Wednesday and says the information comes from his “latest investigation”. (The analyst is known to get information from supply chain sources.) He elaborated on predicting that “15 Pro and 15 Pro Max will support at least USB 3.2 or Thunderbolt 3.” If true, that would mean they could transfer data at speeds of up to 40Gbps – a boon for people who actually use the Pro phones to shoot lots of ProRes video and raw photos, where even the Fast Wi-Fi and cloud downloads aren’t much of a substitute.

Kuo has long said the 2023 crop of iPhones will feature USB-C; in May, he speculated that changing the port “could improve iPhone transfer and charging speeds,” but now it looks like he has more details about that and how Apple will use it to segment their devices. Since then, the EU has required new phones to use USB-C if they have a charging port (a law Apple has hinted it will reluctantly comply with), though the requirement doesn’t come into effect only in the fall of 2024.

If Apple improves the transfer speeds of its upcoming pro models but not its regular models, that won’t necessarily be a surprise. This year, the iPhone 14 Pro received a new chip, while the mainstream models were stuck with internal hardware from last year. Apple has been trying to find more and more ways to differentiate its higher-tier phones, and better wired speeds definitely seem like the kind of feature the pros would appreciate. This is especially true given that currently, regular iPhones do not support advanced content creation features such as ProRes video or raw photos.


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