Apple’s next-generation iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max will feature a USB-C port with support for at least USB 3.2 or Thunderbolt 3, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, which would give the devices a significant speed advantage over existing models.

iPhone 14 Pro Display and Camera
Thunderbolt 3 theoretically offers bandwidth of up to 40 Gbps, while the Lightning connector has USB 2.0 speeds of up to 480 Mbps on all existing iPhones. Even with real-world performance limitations, an iPhone 15 Pro with a Thunderbolt-enabled USB-C port would offer significantly faster data transfer speeds with a Thunderbolt cable, making it much quicker to get large files on and off of the iPhone, such as 48-megapixel ProRAW photos.

Even if the iPhone 15 Pro models only get USB 3.2 support, that would mean theoretical transfer speeds of between 5 Gbps and 20 Gbps depending on the exact specification, which would still be significantly faster than Lightning.

Most iPads with USB-C ports already offer faster transfer speeds. iPad Pro models with the M1 chip and newer support Thunderbolt 3 for bandwidth of up to 40 Gbps, the fifth-generation iPad Air is capable of 10 Gbps, and the fourth-generation iPad Air and latest iPad mini are capable of up to 5 Gbps. The sole exception is the new 10th-generation standard iPad with a USB-C port, which remains limited to USB 2.0 speeds.

Like the 10th-generation iPad, Kuo said the standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus will remain limited to USB 2.0 speeds, despite switching to a USB-C port. AirDrop would remain an option for faster wireless data transfers on these devices.

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