For the first time in its 16-year history, Apple will release an iPhone without a proprietary connector. Apple announced yesterday that the new iPhone 15 will come with USB-C, ending the 11-year reign of its Lightning port. As you know, this change is due to requirements imposed by the European Union.
In recent years, Android phones, laptops, and various accessories have adopted USB-C as the standard port, while Apple stuck with its Lightning port. This allowed them to sell millions of dollars worth of official adapters and cables.
The shift of the iPhone 15 to USB-C comes a year after the European Union ruled that, starting from late 2024, new mobile devices must use the ubiquitous USB-C port.
The standard models come with USB 2.0
Apple could have avoided the requirement by completely removing a physical port in favor of wireless charging, but it seems they made a sensible choice by not going for that option.
However, where they have not shown common sense is in the decision to include in their new smartphone an outdated and absurdly slow USB standard that is 23 years old.
While Apple was talking about the iPhone 15 Pro, they explained that an exclusive USB controller in the Pro chip would allow USB transfers at 10 Gbps, which is a big red flag for what they are offering in the basic model of the phone.
And indeed, the complete specifications on the Apple website confirm some bad news about this USB-C update.
Apple’s site indicates that it will offer a 20W USB-C charger (sold separately, of course), slower than the common 25W charging used in Android phones.
But the bad news is that the USB-C port on the iPhone 15 is still limited to USB 2.0, which means its maximum transfer speed is 480 Mbps. That’s ridiculous for a €900 smartphone in 2023.
Let’s be honest, Apple is really cutting corners here by limiting the iPhone 15 to the old USB 2.0 protocol and only including the much faster USB 3 standard in the Pro model. If you want USB 3, be prepared to pay another €200.