iPhone 15 Pro could feature significantly faster wired data-transfer speeds


Robotics engineer Tom Pillonel modded his iPhone with USB-C and sold it for $86,000 on eBay.
2023 iPhone 15 Pro
Photo: Tom Pillonel

2023 iPhone 15 Pro models could feature faster data-transfer speeds over a wired connection. Rumors indicate Apple will transition to USB Type-C connectors across its entire iPhone lineup next year. But the faster data-transfer speeds could be limited to the Pro models.

Current iPhone models only support USB 2.0 transfer speeds over Lightning.

iPhone 15 Pro could support Thunderbolt 3 for video output

In a series of tweets, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims Apple’s adoption of high-speed wired transfer speed will help the IC design industry grow. Its existing suppliers, like Parade, Genesys Logic and Renesas, should benefit the most from this move.

The iPhone Pro models will benefit the most from Apple’s transition to USB-C in 2023, according to Kuo. They could feature USB 3.2 or Thunderbolt 3 connectivity for faster data-transfer speeds. This should also help improve the iPhone’s video output capabilities. Like the M1 iPad Air and iPad Pro, Apple might enable external display compatibility on the iPhone 15 Pro models as well.

The USB 3.2 standard supports speeds ranging from 5Gbps to 20Gbps, while Thunderbolt 3 can reach up to 40Gbps. It is unclear what standard Apple will support on its iPhones next year. The iPad 10‘s USB-C port is limited to USB 2.0 speeds. In comparison, the M1 iPad Air and iPad Pro lineup feature Thunderbolt 3 connectivity.

Wired data transfer speeds are slow on current iPhones

All existing iPhones support a maximum data-transfer speed of 480Mbps, which is extremely slow. It is faster to AirDrop files wirelessly to your Mac rather than using a Lightning cable to transfer the data. This is also why it takes a long time to create a local backup of your iPhone on your Mac or PC.

Apple is not switching from Lightning to USB-C on its own. The EU recently passed a mandate that will force all smartphone makers to use USB-C for charging and data transfer on their devices. It comes into effect by the end of 2024, but Apple likely will adopt the new connector with the 2023 iPhones.


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