back to article Only iPhone 15 Pro models will have higher data transfer speeds on USB-C – analyst

Ming-Chi Kuo, the analyst with the uncanny ability to predict all things Apple, has said that while the iPhone 15 will ditch its Lightning ports for USB-C next year, only the two high-end models, the Pro and Pro Max, will support higher wired transfer speeds. Writing on Twitter today, he said (translated from Chinese): "My …

  1. John Robson Silver badge


    Was always going to be abandoned at some point so the "existing stuff will be obsolete" argument never held much sway with me.

    The "We committed to supporting lightning for a decade" argument is much stronger, particularly since they did that with the 30pin connector as well - and in the timeframe of those two Apple specs I must have had more than a dozen crummy connectors from other manufacturers.

    How many people use wired data transfer to/from a phone nowadays anyway?

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: Lightning

      It's the only way on tradeshow floors.

      Wifi never works once there are customers about

      More importantly, accessories like FLIR cameras etc need a wired (and preferably powered) connection.

      It will be great to see accessories that fit both iPhone and Android

      1. John Robson Silver badge

        Re: Lightning

        Powered I get, but a FLIR is only a camera, how high a data rate does a camera need nowadays? Sounds like most android devices only support USB2 speeds over their USBc port anyway.

        Trade shows - meh - hardly a killer feature to sell a phone on though.

        1. that one in the corner Silver badge

          Re: Lightning

          > Trade shows - meh

          Pretty sure everyone who goes to trade shows, on either side of the booth, are going to agree with that sentiment.

          And without trade shows, how is anyone supposed to find out about the new shiny shiny?

          1. Atomic Duetto

            Re: Lightning


          2. John Robson Silver badge

            Re: Lightning

            Part of the "Meh" was that a trade show isn't likely to be an environment where you need substantial data flow from a phone.

            It's not likely to be transferring six hours of 12k video files each day

        2. NeilPost Silver badge

          Re: Lightning

          USB C Thunderbolt to HDMI (or Displayport).

          Instant Home Videoconferencing, or your choice of Video-content mirrors .. and not £49 a pop like their Lightning/HDMI adapter is.


      2. DS999 Silver badge

        Re: Lightning

        There's no way a FLIR camera needs more than USB 2 speeds given its resolution.

        1. that one in the corner Silver badge

          Re: Lightning

          True - but did anyone say otherwise? It does work best with a wired connection though, for power and data, to provide a neat little package that doesn't fight against, or contribute to, the radio congestion.

    2. FIA Silver badge

      Re: Lightning

      The "We committed to supporting lightning for a decade" argument is much stronger, particularly since they did that with the 30pin connector as well - and in the timeframe of those two Apple specs I must have had more than a dozen crummy connectors from other manufacturers.

      Yeah, for all the flak they get Apple have had 2 connectors in the space of 19 years. It's not that bad really.

      Moving to USB-C is the right thing to do now though.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Coby > Apple

        Now? You mean was, in 2018?

        Apple is the slowest computing company on the planet, how they're worth more than Coby Electronics Corporation (defunct in 2013) is a mystery to me.

        For 2023... Coby > Apple

        1. Chris Gray 1

          Re: Coby > Apple

          Coby - that name rings a bell. Sure enough, the LCD picture frame in my kitchen is a Coby unit. Still works fine, but its clock runs quite fast, so I don't have that enabled in the display (plus, in that mode, it cycles through images too fast and wears out USB sticks).

          The battery in the remote keeps dying, so I replaced the whole setup a few years ago. The replacement died within a few months, so I went back to the reliable Coby.

          On the issue of using cables with a phone: this computer is a deskside and has no radio stuff, so getting pics off my phone requires the cable. I have an old cheapie laptop, but my fingers, trained on real typewriters, detest trackpads and laptop keyboards. And even if I got stuff to my laptop, I'd end up using a thumb drive from there to this machine anyway!

        2. John Robson Silver badge

          Re: Coby > Apple

          "Now? You mean was, in 2018?"


          Why abandon a perfectly decent, working, connector which customers are reasonably expecting to be using for another five years.

          USBc is a complete mess, it tries to do so many things that it's actually quite hard to know what a specific port or cable might be capable of.

          The mess is predominantly a labelling and communication one - but there are so many optional elements to the spec that it's a hot mess (a nice, fast, convenient hot mess but still).

          Is it time to move on - yes. But one thing Apple does well is support their phones for a lot longer than other manufacturers, and that includes having a consistent connector. Change once a decade unless there is a *really* compelling technical reason.

        3. DS999 Silver badge

          Re: Coby > Apple

          Late? Try early.

          Apple designed a better connector than USB and used it for several years until people finally got tired of putting up with terrible mini/micro connectors and USB introduced its own reversible connector.

          The physical form of Lightning was and still is better than USB-C, because there is nothing inside the port to break. The only thing that can break is the end of the cable, which is a lot easier to replace than the port on a device which is necessary if the little 'tongue' inside the USB-C port breaks.

          1. EVP

            Re: Coby > Apple

            Yes. The way Lightning connector plugs in is superior to any USB connector. Another plus is that it stays connected, which is not the case with USB-C. Third, it’s also easy to clean.

            I don’t know if Lightning would be elecrically suitable for higher transmission speeds, though. In any case, I’ll be sad to see it go.

            1. DS999 Silver badge

              Re: Coby > Apple

              I don't see why Lightning should have any disadvantage when it comes to higher speed signaling. It doesn't support USB3 speeds probably because Apple doesn't think enough people care about that to bother updating it, not because there is anything about the port's or connector's design that prevents it.

              Some Android phones only support USB2 speeds out of their USB-C ports so the port type is no guarantee of speed.

              1. John Robson Silver badge

                Re: Coby > Apple

                The iPad Pro supported USB3 speeds over lightning, so the connector is clearly capable of it.

            2. Headley_Grange Silver badge

              Re: Coby > Apple

              And maybe if Apple hadn't patented it, charged third-party devices to use the socket and charged users £25 and up for adapters then it might have become widely used and they could have made a case for it becoming the standard precisely because of its superior physical performance.

              1. DS999 Silver badge

                Re: Coby > Apple

                Supposedly Apple tried to submit the physical port design to the USB standards committee when they began work on USB-C, but other companies involved didn't like that Apple would have several years lead time on them. i.e. Apple would instantly have a full line of 'new standard' phones and tablets, while other companies would be selling 'old standard' stuff for another year or two.

            3. NeilPost Silver badge

              Re: Coby > Apple

              I don’t see any real difference on ‘stayed connected’ between the 2, but I’m always worried about strain on a USB 3 port as inevitably you have to have a MiniDock/Hub - esp if laptop on a stand.

              Cleaning ?? I find more muck gets in a lightning port on bottom of my iPhone - though that’s probably use based - a toothpick and Electric-toothbrush does the trick there.

          2. nojobhopes

            Re: Coby > Apple

            There's one advantage to USB-C no-one is talking about. The end with the power in it is female!

            Lightning is the only modern power cable I know with exposed metal terminals.

            1. John Robson Silver badge

              Re: Coby > Apple

              Any barrel plug

              Any magnetic plug (magsafe, surface connector, any USB style magnetic ended cable)

              It's a low voltage connector, so not really a huge issue.

    3. Headley_Grange Silver badge

      Re: Lightning

      The transfer speed means nothing if it's the underlying software that limits its capabilities. When (USB) synching between idevices and Mac it takes an age to do the photos because it checks every one of my 10'000+ images for changes instead of having a top-level catalog track changes so it only has to sync changed images. Even if I've not changed or added any images to either device, synching photos still takes ages because of this poor behaviour. It wouldn't matter if the transfer speed went up by a factor of ten - it's crap software. I leave photo-synch turned off and only enable it when I've made changes that I need to synch.

    4. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Lightning

      > How many people use wired data transfer to/from a phone nowadays anyway?

      Most people don't, but those who do will appreciate the extra speed.

      The 2015 iPad Pro featured a Lightening USB 3 host, but the only USB compatible accessory was a camera adaptor. Clear market and use case - photographers in the field using cameras that create large uncompressed files. Not most people.

      Non 'Pro' iPads only had a USB 2 host.

      That of course is iPads, importing big files to be viewed and edited. I suspect iPhones are more likely to be exporting big files generated by their cameras.

    5. that one in the corner Silver badge

      How many people use wired data transfer to/from a phone nowadays anyway?

      Well, all the easy and successful data transfers to & from all the phones, tablets and ereaders in this particular household are done using cables.

      Just find it a lot easier to plug into a computer and use the big keyboard, mouse and screen to manage moving files around: the computer has one nice consistent interface and can see the file servers and DVR without having to piddle about with installing more apps that may or may not connect this time.

      Actually, I tell a lie: the calendars get synced by WiFi to NextCloud - and even though each calendar change can hardly be measured in kB the number of notifications that they failed to sync is bleeping annoying.

      Your mileage may vary. Data over cables can go up or down.

  2. DenTheMan

    Transfer speed means nothing

    ..when buyers are forced to save a few hundred $ by buying the lowest capacity model, and with the usual zero future upgrade.

    1. NeilPost Silver badge

      Re: Transfer speed means nothing

      Since moving up 128Gb iPhone the constant memory distress has permanently gone away.

      Recommended, even on an iPhone SE/3

  3. ColonelClaw

    This got me thinking, when was the last time I actually transferred anything at all over a cable to my phone? I charge it one of those magnetic mats most of the time, and transfer everything by wifi. Does the transfer speed of the cable matter a great deal?

    1. 43300 Silver badge

      Wirelesss charging is massively inefficient, and often impractical.

  4. Ace2 Silver badge

    The tone of this article is ridiculous. Yeah, sure, making the highest-end device more capable than the lowest-end device is some sort of evil plot.

    1. Mishak Silver badge


      If it's like recent updates, the non-pro models will use the processor from the previous pro models.

      If the USB is integrated on the SoC, is seems perfectly reasonable to expect that it will be USB 2. Not the case if it uses an external device, of course.

  5. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. BlokeInTejas

    "Cynical move"

    Utter bullshit, author.

    Nothing wrong with a little snark, but you're letting personal stupidities get in the way of reporting. Nothing wrong with a USBC connector, even if the electronics is last year's stuff and only ticks fast enough for USB 2.0.

    Next you'll be demanding that everything that plugs into a UK wall electricity outlet consumes 13 amps all the time....

    1. matjaggard

      Re: "Cynical move"

      Agreed. This is not a cynical move. A good percentage of even high end android phones don't use USB 3, it's completely irrelevant to most users. I only use it to connect my display.

  7. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Not feeling the pain

    To be honest, I have not had much issue with "only" being able to get about 40MB/sec on and off my phone (Blackberry KeyOne). I guess it could get old if you were just absolutely loading it down with like 4K videos and needed to pull those all off every day or 2, but I've even done full backups of my phone's pics, downloads, etc., and it takes a matter of minutes; I don't think the flash memory or the mtp or ptp or whatever server-side software are fast enough to take advantage of USB-C.

  8. This Side Up

    Eeee You!

    So the EU wanted to standardise the connectors, So what have they done?

    NOW: we have two camps: Apple+Lightning and Android+USB

    IN FUTURE: Apple+Lightning, Apple+USB and Android+USB.


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