New leaks suggest that Apple’s iPhone 15 lineup will use USB-C in place of Apple’s Lightning connector, from base models to the rumored iPhone 15 Ultra devices — a key difference between high-end and low-end models.
The USB-C port on iPhones has been a long-rumored change that could be enforced under EU law that goes into effect by 2024.
But the extra upgrade will allow the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Ultra to use the full Thunderbolt 4 port, which has higher bandwidth for faster data transfers and powerful graphics output.
Leak comes from subscription-based newsletter hosted by Twitter leaker Leaked ApplePro (opens in new tab)a source that has a relatively good track record of tips on upcoming phones.
The leaker has rightly suggested that even recording high-resolution video using Apple’s efficient ProRES format creates files that are very large to transfer over aging connections like Lightning. A 15-minute 4K resolution video file takes about 40 minutes to transfer from your iPhone to your laptop.
Apple hasn’t significantly upgraded Lightning since its launch, and now that phones need more bandwidth to handle the massive video files they create, it makes sense for Apple to use something better – especially when using the same method on the iPad Pro and Air role model.
In addition to the new data connections, the leaker also said that Apple will continue this year’s pattern of using the latest Bionic chips only in Pro-class iPhones and better iPhones.
The iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Ultra are rumored to feature the A17 Bionic chipset, suggesting that Apple’s lead in chip performance is safe and will instead focus on power efficiency.
Hopefully the new chip will be 20% more energy efficient than the current A16 Bionic.
Finally, all new iPhones are expected to get the Dynamic Island punch-hole feature, which seems like a necessary step if Apple wants Dynamic Island to survive as an interface concept.
If only the first half of iPhone buyers, in terms of wallet size, had access to Dynamic Island, it would be essentially an island and few third-party developers would support it.
The jury is still out on whether the lower-priced iPhones will get the LPTO feature that gives the iPhone 14 Pro’s always-on display. Other recent rumors have also suggested that every iPhone will feature Dynamic Island, but Apple won’t be able to source enough LPTO-capable panels to bring an always-on display 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 now, especially after the European Union ruled that the company’s proprietary port was invalid.
Sure, we love universal standards, but opening up the iPhone to USB-C will also kickstart the accessories market again, this time in a more robust way.
There are already plenty of proven USB-C accessories on the market, as every other major smartphone and tablet maker, and even Apple’s own iPad Pro tablet, uses USB-C.
When Apple installed USB-C on the iPhone, it didn’t reinvent the wheel, going from the old 30-pin connection to the new microport, like switching from the old iPod connector to the Apple Lightning.
This will be Apple finally allowing its devices to join a mature community, the amazing potential that USB-C, and Thunderbolt in particular, can achieve.