The iPhone 15 Pro models are in line for a massive upgrade to their wired transfer speeds with the switch to USB-C, according to noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Unfortunately, he doesn’t believe that benefit is coming to the regular 2023 iPhones. He predicts that the 15 and 15 Plus will also swap in USB-C ports but, just like the 2022 10th-gen iPad, they’ll be stuck with the same USB 2.0 speeds they had with Lighting.
Kuo made the prediction in a series of tweets on Wednesday and says the information is 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 that’s true, that’d mean they could transfer data at speeds up to 40 Gbps — a boon for people who actually use the Pro phones to shoot a lot of ProRes video and raw photos, where even fast WiFi and cloud uploads aren’t really a good substitute.
Kuo has long said that the 2023 crop of iPhones will include USB-C; in May, he speculated that the change in port “could improve iPhone’s transfer and charging speed,” but now it seems like 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 have to use USB-C if they have a charging port (a law that Apple has hinted it’ll begrudgingly comply with), though the requirement won’t go into effect until fall 2024.
If Apple does upgrade the transfer speeds for its next pro models but not its regular ones, it won’t necessarily be a surprise. This year, the iPhone 14 Pro got a new chip, while the mainline models were stuck with last year’s internal hardware. Apple has been trying to find more and more ways to differentiate its higher-tier of phones, and better wired speeds definitely feel like the type of feature that pros would appreciate. That’s especially true given that, currently, the regular iPhones don’t support advanced content creation features like ProRes video or raw photos.