Saturday, September 23, 2023

iPhone 15 is rumored to bring up USB-C high-speed data transfer as a Pro-only feature

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The iPhone 15 Pro models are lining up for a massive upgrade in their wired transfer speeds with the move to USB-C, according to well-known analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Unfortunately, he doesn’t believe there will be any benefit to the mainstream 2023 iPhones. He predicts the 15 and 15 Plus will also swap USB-C ports, but like the 2022 10th-gen iPad, they’ll be stuck at the same USB 2.0 speeds they had with Lighting.

Kuo made the prediction in a series of tweets on Wednesday, saying the information comes from his “latest survey.” (The analyst is known for getting information from supply chain sources.) He specified by predicting that the “15 Pro & 15 Pro Max will support at least USB 3.2 or Thunderbolt 3.” If true, that would mean they can transfer data at speeds of up to 40Gbps – a boon for folks who actually use the Pro phones to shoot a lot of ProRes video and raw photos, where even fast Wi-Fi and cloud uploads may not be a really good substitute.

Kuo has long said the 2023 crop of iPhones will include USB-C; back in May, he speculated that the change in port “could improve the iPhone’s transfer and charging speed,” but now it seems he has more details on that and how Apple will use it to segment its devices. Since then, the EU has mandated that new phones must use USB-C if they have a charging port (a law Apple has hinted it will reluctantly comply with), though the requirement won’t take effect until fall 2024 .

If Apple upgrades transfer speeds for its next pro models, but not the regular ones, it shouldn’t necessarily come as a surprise. This year the iPhone 14 Pro got a new chip, while the main models last year were stuck with the internal hardware. Apple has been trying to find more and more ways to differentiate its more expensive phones, and better wired speeds definitely feel like the type of feature professionals would appreciate. That’s especially true since the regular iPhones don’t currently support advanced content creation features like ProRes video or raw photos.

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