Apple assuredly put USB-C in the new iPhone, and now we apperceive why it's bound to 23-year-old USB 2.0 speeds

iPhone 15
(Image credit: Apple)

Update, September 13, 2023: Digging into the capacity of the new Angel handsets, it turns out there is a acumen why the approved iPhone 15's USB-C anchorage runs at 2.0 speeds while the 15 Pro has a faster 3.0-spec interface: It's got an old block of silicon central it. 

That acumen isn't artlessly to accord buyers a acumen to buy the pricier handset, admitting acutely isn't not wanted by Apple. The iPhone 15 Pro sports Apple's new A17 Pro APU, complete with a new on-die USB ambassador block. However, the boilerplate iPhone 15 makes do with the last-gen A16 Bionic chip, which lacks that new USB ambassador and alone has the aboriginal Lightning ambassador onboard. 

Exactly how Angel is implementing USB on the cheaper handset isn't clear. However, the actuality it's bound to USB 2.0 speeds, and that the bequest Lightning interface additionally acme out at the aforementioned 480Mbps, makes faculty in the ambience of the absent USB controller. Actual likely, there's some affectionate of about-face activity on amid the new USB-C adapter and the old Lightning controller, attached the above to the latter's aiguille bandwidth.

Original story, September 12, 2023: For the aboriginal time in its 16 year history, Angel is absolution an iPhone after a proprietary connector. Angel appear in a livestream today that the new iPhone 15 will barrage with USB-C, catastrophe the 11-year administration of its Lightning anchorage (only bisected a decade or so afterwards it apparently should've fabricated this move).

As Android phones, laptops, and all sorts of accessories accept abundantly accepted USB-C over the aftermost few years, Apple's been one of the aftermost actual holdouts. There's conceivably no added acclaimed adulation adventure in tech than the affair amid Angel and ports that crave proprietary cables or cher dongles.

The iPhone 15's about-face to USB-C comes a year afterwards the European Abutment ruled that starting in backward 2024, new adaptable accessories are appropriate to use the all-over USB-C port. Angel could've abhorred the claim by bottomward a concrete anchorage altogether in favor of wireless charging, but it's allegedly not activity quite that adventuresome about this year's buzz upgrade.

It is, however, activity adventuresome abundant to advertise a cast new smartphone that uses an antiquated, absurdly apathetic 23-year-old USB standard.

Apple didn't accept abundant to say about the USB-C change in agreement of specifics during its keynote, but it did affirm that it's absolution adapted earbuds and Airpod Pros with USB-C ports. Later, while discussing the iPhone 15 Pro, Angel explained that a USB ambassador different to the Pro's dent will acquiesce for 10Gbps USB transfers—a big red banderole for what it's alms in the basal buzz model.

And abiding enough, the abounding specs on Apple's website  confirm some bad account about this advancement to USB-C.

Apple's armpit indicates it will be alms a 20W USB-C charger (sold separately, of course)—slower than the accepted 25W charging acclimated in Android phones. But the absolutely bad account actuality is that the USB-C anchorage on the iPhone 15 is still bound to USB 2.0, acceptation it acme out at 480 Mbps alteration speeds. That's ridiculous for an $800 smartphone in the year 2023.

iPhone 15 USB C spec

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple has absolutely been aircraft MacBooks and iPads with USB-C for years now, so it's had affluence of time to accompany the iPhone up to par with the basal charging and alteration capabilities of added USB-C devices. But the iPhone has continued been a holdout, afraid to its more aged Lightning port. That has offered iPhone owners some benefits—if you bought a berth or a lifetime accumulation of cables years ago, you've gotten affluence of use out of them. But Lighting has become progressively outdated.

Since introducing it in 2012, Angel hasn't added the iPhone's Lightning anchorage bandwidth from a paltry 480Mbps alteration acceleration (the best of the old USB 2.0 agreement it relies on). USB-C, beneath the latest afterlight currently in use, has the adeptness to top out at 10 Gbps speeds.

It's fair to say that Lightning has been captivation the iPhone aback on both the abstracts alteration and charging fronts for a continued time now, but Apple's absolutely acid corners actuality by attached the iPhone 15 to the age-old USB 2.0 protocol, and alone including the awfully faster accepted USB 3 accepted on the Pro model. If you appetite USB 3, get accessible to pay up addition $200.

The USB 2-capable iPhone 15 will be accessible on September 22 starting at $799; the USB 3-capable iPhone 15 Pro will be accessible the aforementioned day, starting at $999.

Wes Fenlon
Senior Editor

Wes has been accoutrement amateur and accouterments for added than 10 years, aboriginal at tech sites like The Wirecutter and Tested afore abutting the PC Gamer aggregation in 2014. Wes plays a little bit of everything, but he'll consistently jump at the adventitious to awning appetite and Japanese games.

When he's not obsessively optimizing and re-optimizing a coil of agent belts in Satisfactory (it's absolutely acceptable a problem), he's apparently arena a 20-year-old Final Fantasy or some blurred ASCII roguelike. With a focus on autograph and alteration features, he seeks out claimed belief and all-embracing histories from the corners of PC gaming and its alcove communities. 50% pizza by aggregate (deep dish, to be specific).

With contributions from