A new leak suggests that the Apple iPhone 15 family, from the base model to the alleged iPhone 15 Ultra device, would use USB-C in place of Apple’s lightning connector – with a crucial difference between the high-end and low-end models.
The USB-C ports coming to the iPhone have been a long-awaited change that could be required by European Union laws that will come into effect in the near future, by 2024.
But the further upgrade would see the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Ultra using a full Thunderbolt 4 port, which has a much higher bandwidth for faster data transfer and intense graphics output.
The leak comes from a subscription-based newsletter hosted by the Twitter leaker ApplePro leaks (opens in new tab)a source with a relatively decent track record of tips on upcoming phones.
The leaker rightly suggests that recording high-res video, even using Apple’s efficient ProRES format, creates files that are prohibitively large to transfer over an old connection like Lightning. A 15 minute video file with 4K resolution would take around 40 minutes to transfer from your iPhone to your laptop.
Apple hasn’t significantly updated Lightning since it was released, and now that phones demand more bandwidth for the huge video files they create, it makes sense that Apple would use something better – especially since the same method is used on the iPad. Pro and Air models.
A wider division
In addition to the new data connection, the leak also says that Apple will continue this year’s pattern of using the newest Bionic chips only in the Pro-level iPhone and better.
The iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Ultra are rumored to receive the A17 Bionic chipset, suggesting that Apple feels secure in its position as a leader in chip performance and will focus on power efficiency.
The new chips are expected to be up to 20% more energy efficient than the current A16 Bionic.
Finally, all new iPhones are expected to get the Dynamic Island perforation feature and this seems like a necessary step if Apple expects Dynamic Island to survive as an interface concept.
If only the top half of iPhone buyers, in terms of wallet size, can use Dynamic Island, then it’s essentially an island unto itself, and fewer third-party developers will support it.
It’s unknown if cheaper iPhones will have the LTPO features that give the iPhone 14 Pro an always-on display. Other recent rumors have also suggested that every iPhone will have a Dynamic Island, but Apple will not be able to provide enough panels with the LTPO feature to bring always-on display capabilities to all iPhone 15 models.
Review: USB-C is a lot more exciting than it looks
We’ve been anticipating Apple’s adoption of USB-C on the iPhone for some time now, especially since the European Union decided against the company’s proprietary port.
Of course we like a universal standard, but opening up the iPhone to USB-C will also push the aftermarket once again, and this time in a much more robust way.
There are already many proven USB-C accessories on the market because every other major smartphone and tablet manufacturer, and even Apple’s iPad Pro tablet, uses USB-C.
When Apple puts USB-C in an iPhone, it won’t be reinventing the wheel from an old 30-pin connection to a tiny new port, like switching from the iPod’s original connector to Apple Lightning.
This will be Apple finally allowing its devices to join a mature community with incredible potential for what USB-C and especially Thunderbolt can enable.