The USB-C port in the two iPhone 15 Pro models offers data transfers 20 times faster than any other iOS handset, including the base iPhone 15.
However, early rumors that some of Apple’s new 2023 iPhones would support Thunderbolt did not prove correct.
iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max support USB 3.2 Gen 2
A few years ago, there weren’t many differences between the base model iPhones and the Pro ones. But Apple has since done more to differentiate its budget and premium versions.
All four of the newest iOS handsets include a USB-C port in place of the old Lightning one. But the port in the two high-end ones is much faster.
The iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max support USB 3.2 Gen 2, which means they can transfer data at up to 10 gigabits per second. For comparison, the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus support USB 2.0, which means a top data transfer speed of just 480 megabits per second. (Note: It takes a thousand megabits to make a gigabit.)
But buyers of the two basic models aren’t being thrown under the bus. The iPhone’s old Lightning port also used USB 2.0, so the two new budget models offer wired data transfers at the same speeds as their predecessors.
Pro users need the speed
The speed of file transfers over the USB-C port primarily matters to those who record a lot of video. The iPhone 15 models can record video at up to 4K at 60 fps. At that rate, an hour of video takes up approximately 25GB.
Apple encourages filmmakers to shoot their projects on iPhone. A much faster data transfer rate lets users get large files off the handset far more quickly — very helpful for anyone recording gigabytes of video. And even a professional photographer’s collection of 48-megapixel images can take a long time to transfer at 480Mbps.
But utilizing USB 3.2 Gen 2 for iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max means 10Gbps is the maximum data transfer rate available on any iPhone. The new Pro models don’t have Thunderbolt, and therefore do not offer 40Gbps trans fer speeds, despite what was rumored.
Want to more about the differences between the two specifications? Read our explainer: “What’s the difference between USB-C and Thunderbolt?”