USB-C cable included with iPhone 15 may be limited to USB 2.0

It’s only three weeks until Apple announces the next generation iPhone, and we’ve been hearing more details about the new phones. Last week, a rumor claimed that some iPhone 15 models will support Thunderbolt for faster data transfer speeds. While this may still be true, a new rumor suggests that the USB-C cable included in the box will be limited to USB 2.0 speeds.

iPhone 15 and USB-C

There’s a consensus among different sources about the iPhone 15 having a USB-C port instead of Lightning. As you probably know, USB-C has a lot of benefits over Apple’s proprietary connector, such as extended compatibility, fast charging support, and faster data transfer.

But exactly how Apple will implement USB-C in the iPhone 15 remains unknown. Earlier this month, a leaker shared images showing the USB-C connectors for the new iPhones. According to specialists, these components feature a Retimer chip like those found in Thunderbolt devices, enabling transfer speeds of up to 40 Gbps.

More recently, we’ve seen leaked images of new braided USB-C cables allegedly made by Apple. These cables are 1.5 meters long and seem to be available in multiple colors, such as blue, pink, and yellow. Researcher Majin Bu has obtained more details about these cables, and they may upset some people looking forward to the iPhone 15.

Data transfer speed

According to Majin Bu, the new traced USB-C cables are, in fact, longer than the ones currently included in the iPhone box. The cables are also thicker, which means they’re more durable too. However, Majin Bu claims that the leaked cables are USB 2.0 despite having a USB-C connector.

In other words, they’re limited to the same data transmission speeds as the Lightning connector. More specifically, USB 2.0 is only capable of transmitting data at a maximum rate of 480 Mbps. If true, the new iPhones won’t enable faster data transmission despite having a new charging connector. But there are some possible scenarios to keep in mind.

USB 2.0 or Thunderbolt

Since ChargerLAB previously spotted a Thunderbolt chip in the iPhone 15’s USB-C connector, Apple may end up limiting Thunderbolt to the more expensive iPhone 15 Pro models. This wouldn’t come as a surprise since only the iPad Pro supports Thunderbolt. Meanwhile, the iPad Air is limited to USB-C 3.1, and the iPad 10 still relies on USB 2.0 despite having a USB-C connector.

A second possibility is that all new iPhone 15 models will support Thunderbolt, but Apple will sell Thunderbolt cables separately. Thunderbolt cables are typically more expensive than regular USB-C cables. For instance, Apple sells a 0.8-meter Thunderbolt 3 cable for $39, while its 1.8-meter Thunderbolt 4 cable costs $129.

A third possibility is that these cables that leaked online were never made for the iPhone but for new versions of the Magic Mouse and Magic Keyboard with a USB-C port. As such, they don’t need to support USB 3.0 speeds or even Thunderbolt. After all, the leaked cables have the same colors as the M1 iMac.

More about iPhone 15

This whole USB-C cable situation is certainly intriguing, but we’ll probably find out all the answers on September 12 or 13, when Apple is rumored to be holding a special press event to announce the iPhone 15.

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