iPhone 15 Pro and the Thunderbolt-capable cable: What you need to know

Aug 25, 2023, 6:18 PM UTC
4 mins read
iPhone 15 Pro and the Thunderbolt-capable cable: What you need to know
(Image credit: Kosutami)

As the tech world buzzes with anticipation, a new leak has ignited the rumor mill: Apple might just release a USB-C data transfer cable for the upcoming iPhone 15 Pro models. What’s got everyone talking? The potential for Thunderbolt or USB4 speeds reaching a mind-boggling 40Gbps. This exciting tidbit comes from a leak posted by Kosutami on the X (formerly Twitter), adding a layer of intrigue to Apple’s connectivity strategy.

The length of this rumored cable, clocking in at 0.8 meters, stands out for being a tad shorter than Apple’s existing Thunderbolt 4 Pro cable, which stretches to 1.8 meters. But what really piques interest is its reported ability to handle robust charging of up to 150W, promising quicker power delivery. This could hint at faster charging options for the iPhone 15 Pro models, reflecting Apple’s drive for convenience and performance.

With the transition to USB-C for all iPhone 15 models, speculation has been rife about the ports that will grace the premium iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max versions. Many have wondered how Apple might use port variations to differentiate these high-end offerings from the more budget-friendly iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus models.

According to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the iPhone 15 Pro models are expected to support at least USB 3.2 or Thunderbolt 3. But the leaked USB4 cable goes a step further by harnessing the Thunderbolt 4 protocol, potentially delivering blazing speeds of 40Gbps. This leap would effectively double the previous USB 3.2 Gen 2 standard, potentially transforming how we transfer data.

Then there’s the claim of 150W charging capability with this rumored cable. It’s important to note that Kosutami clarified this in a later post, correcting the wattage to 150W from the earlier mentioned 120W. While this might outpace the current Thunderbolt 4 Pro cable’s charging capacity of 100W, it doesn’t guarantee that the iPhone 15 Pro models will charge at that speed. Compatibility and optimization will play a role.

Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo had earlier hinted at faster charging speeds for the iPhone 15 models due to the shift to USB-C. Some whispers even suggest that certain iPhone 15 models could support charging speeds up to 35W. As a point of reference, the current iPhone 14 models top out at around 27W, with the Pro versions charging a bit faster.

Amidst all the excitement and speculation, the specifics of the USB-C port capabilities for the upcoming iPhone 15 lineup remain shrouded in mystery. As we bid adieu to the familiar Lightning connection, rumors persist that the cables bundled with iPhone 15 units might only support USB 2.0 data transfer speeds, maxing out at 480Mbps – the same as Lightning cables.

In contrast, the iPhone 15 Pro models appear primed to arrive with more potent weaponry. As hinted by Kuo, these Pro models could boast cables tailored for USB 3.2 or Thunderbolt 3 speeds, solidifying their status as power performers. Further fueling these speculations are images from ChargerLab, indicating the integration of a Thunderbolt/USB 4 retimer chip. This, in turn, hints at Apple’s commitment to enhancing data transfer speeds for the Pro models.

Adding to the intrigue, reports suggest that each iPhone 15 will come packaged with a braided USB-C charging cable. Not only is this cable designed to be more robust, but it’s also 50% longer than the traditional Lightning cable found in current iPhone models. And for an extra touch of personalization, rumor has it that these cables will match the potential new iPhone colors, including shades like black, white, yellow, blue, and orange.

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