iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max will integrate, for the first time in a mobile phone, a USB type C connection with the USB 3 standard, which offers transfers of up to 10 Gbps. The few professionals who use USB to transfer their work can finally be relieved.
It was all going to be memes and jokes. “Apple, once again revolutionizing the mobile market with innovations such as USB-C in a smartphone” is a phrase that I used in our live show. Well, to everyone’s surprise, it turns out that yes, Apple has indeed revolutionized something with the use of USB-C in its mobile phones. Well, not in all of them, specifically in the iPhone 15 Pro models.
We knew from the numerous leaks that all the new iPhone 15 would have a physical connection via USB-C, leaving aside the Lightning connection, completely proprietary to Apple. What we did not see, not even remotely, is that for the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max they would also add the USB 3 standard.
And this, for a small niche of people, is one of the best news, much more than anything new presented by Apple.
With the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Apple improved a lot the ability to record ProRes quality video, a format that allows multi-channel real-time editing and maintains professional image quality. In other words, ProRes videos weigh much more because they have more information.
If you are a professional who has to transfer files from the iPhone to a computer, you could only do it with a Lightning cable with the old USB 2 standard, 480 Mbit/s. Going through hundreds of photos in RAW and video in ProRes with this speed is maddening for a small community of professionals, but even if it is small, it is what Apple aspires to.
With the arrival of the iPhone 15 Pro there is a USB-C connection with USB 3, which offers transfer speeds up to 10 Gbps. It is a real novelty for those people who really use the iPhone as a professional camera.
This change has only been possible thanks to the integration of a special controller in its SoC, the A17 Proso this exclusivity remains on the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max, although if history repeats itself it will also reach the iPhone 16 of 2024.
Of course, this novelty does not come without the “typical Apple rate.”
The Apple rate: USB 3 compatible cable will be sold separately
iPhone 15 Pro will arrive with a USB-C to USB-C cable in the box, but this cable only supports USB 2 speeds. A new cable is required to achieve the promised 10 Gbps speeds with USB 3.
For now Apple has not released a special cable with USB 3, but will sell the same cable for its Macs with the Thunderbolt 4 standard that is compatible with the USB 4 standard up to 40 Gbps, for a whopping 79 euros.
But don’t worry, you can get an Apple-certified cable compatible with USB 3 for less than 15 euros on Amazon.
It is a cable that is usually used between laptops or between a computer and an external hard drive by professionals. Now, in addition, it can be used as a professional cable for iPhones.
A single cable to rule them all and charge any Apple product… or the competition
Why is Apple finally moving to USB-C? The answer can be very different depending on who you ask.
Apple can say that it is because they have finally found a use for this type of connection, as I explain in this example, but the reality may be more focused on the problems that could cause Apple with the European Union.
At the end of 2022 the European Parliament passed with 602 votes in favor, 13 against and 8 abstentions, a law that requires manufacturers of mobile phones and other electronic devices to use the USB type C standard to charge their batteries by 2025.
Europe’s intention is to reduce the electrotonic waste generated by not having a standard for all your devices. Besides, chargers and cables must be compatible with each otherregardless of the brand.
Standardization always works And while Apple may never tell the public that this change is being led by European law, the reality is that everyone will benefit from having a cable for whatever device they own, Apple or not.
But this change also raises a question that some experts and analysts ask, even at Apple: Will this obligation reduce innovation? Standards continue to improve, as is the case with Thunderbolt 5 which was announced at the same time as the Apple event and which will use the USB Type-C connector and promises up to 120 Gbps of transfer.
The fallacy that standardization goes against competitiveness and innovation will continue in technology circles, especially in larger companies that benefit from closed standards and can only be accessed through licenses, as was the case with Lightning.