Apple is reportedly prepping to include an ultra-fast Thunderbolt 4 port in the iPhone 15 Pro. Since 2012, all iPhones have shipped with a Lightning port that replaced the clunky old 30-pin connector used by previous iPhones. However, for many years, users have been clamoring for Apple to switch to USB-C, though the demands fell on deaf ears for a long time. However, things started changing over the past couple of years after the European Union's proposed legislation to standardize a charging port in mobile devices began picking steam. Earlier this year, EU lawmakers formalized the process and agreed to new regulations that require all mobile gadgets sold in the region to use USB-C ports for wired charging.
Alongside the EU, plans are also afoot in the U.S. to establish a standard charging interface for all mobile devices. Towards that end, Senators Ed Markey, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders wrote a letter to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo in June, asking her department to mandate a common charging standard for all mobile devices sold in the United States. So, thanks mainly to mounting legislative pressure, Apple is expected to finally ditch the Lightning port in favor of USB-C in its iPhone 15 lineup next year. However, if the latest report is anything to go by, the higher-end models in next year's lineup might get even better.
According to a subscription-based newsletter from prolific Apple tipster LeaksApplePro, the iPhone 15 Pro and the rumored iPhone 15 Ultra will come with Thunderbolt 4 ports, while the base iPhone 15 models will have standard USB-C ports. Of course, Apple already uses Thunderbolt in its MacBooks and some iPad models (including the 2022 iPad Pro), so their inclusion in the next-gen iPhone lineup is not entirely unexpected.
Thunderbolt 4 Ports On The iPhone 15 Pro?
Thunderbolt 4 ports use the same interface as USB-C, meaning they are mutually compatible with one another in terms of cables and chargers. So technically, users can plug a Thunderbolt cable into a USB-C port and vice-versa, and they would work just fine. However, Thunderbolt 4 has a much higher bandwidth for faster data transfer speeds. In general, Thunderbolt 4 offers data transfer speeds of up to 40Gbps, which is about twice as fast as the 20Gbps maximum throughput of the fastest USB-C ports.
Apple's impending embrace of USB-C will likely be welcomed almost universally, given how so many people have been hoping for the company to make the switch. It will not only be a victory for the environment as it will eliminate the need for extra cables and chargers but also help users speed up data transfers between iPhones and MacBooks. Overall, the base iPhone 15 models promise to be much more interesting than the base iPhone 14 models, so it remains to be seen how Apple will position its Pro models and the so-called iPhone Ultra next year to convince people to pay more for the higher-end offerings.