iPhone 15 USB-C port may have some features limited to Apple … – 9to5Mac
In compliance with EU law, Apple is widely expected to add a USB-C port to this year’s iPhone 15 lineup, replacing the proprietary Lightning port.
However, just because the iPhone has the same connector as other products, it does not necessarily mean that all features of the port will be available to every accessory or charger you plug into it …
According to a somewhat-sketchy claim from a user on Weibo, Apple has developed a Lightning-compatible integrated circuit board that will be used in tandem with the USB-C port on the iPhone 15.
This suggests that firmware will limit exactly how the USB-C port interacts with what is plugged into it. This could possibly mean that Apple retains a fully proprietary Made-for-iPhone Lightning ecosystem, even though the physical connector shape has changed.
This seems very unlikely. Not only do they already sell Macs and iPads with no “certified cables only” restrictions, but a requirement like that would only lead to a bad experience as users try to plug in non-certified cables and start asking why they don’t work.
But, Apple has earned the benefit of the doubt here. The USB-C port on the iPad, Apple TV remote, or Thunderbolt ports on Apple’s various Macs are not restricted to Apple-certified accessories only.
If the rumor is accurate at all, what is more likely is that the iPhone’s port will support basic features like normal speed charging with any standard USB-C cable. But some additional features, like high-speed data transfer or high-wattage fast charging, are only available to certified cables and peripherals.
The purpose may even be more benign. The Lightning circuit board could play a role in backwards compatibility, allowing the millions of existing Lightning accessories to still work with the iPhone 15, via the use of an adapter.
The iPhone 15 will be officially announced by Apple in the fall, probably at a media event in September. According to latest rumors, the cheaper iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus will have a standard USB-C port with USB-2 data transfer speeds. The higher-end iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max will support Thunderbolt 3 over USB-C, enabling fast data transfer and 4K display-out capabilities.
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Benjamin develops iOS apps professionally and covers Apple news and rumors for 9to5Mac. Listen to Benjamin, every week, on the Happy Hour podcast. Check out his personal blog. Message Benjamin over email or Twitter.
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