Apple is all but certain to unveil its iPhone 15 line in September, with a customary standard model expected to arrive alongside the iPhone 15 Pro and a brand new iPhone variant – the iPhone 15 Ultra (which could stand in for an iPhone 15 Pro Max, this year).
The technological gap between each new device will reportedly be bigger than ever – for instance, the iPhone 15 Ultra could get a periscope lens, while the standard iPhone 15 sticks with a camera setup akin to the iPhone 14 Pro – but rumors also suggest that all three devices will, for the first time, be ditching Apple’s proprietary Lightning port in favor of USB-C.
But what is USB-C, and why does it matter for iPhones? Will it make them faster, slower, cheaper or more expensive? And why might Apple be abandoning its own technology for a more commonplace one? In this article, we answer all of these questions and more.
What is USB-C?
USB-C is the latest universal standard for the wired connection of smart devices. If you buy a smart device in 2023 – be it one of the best Android phones, best laptops or best smart speakers – it’ll likely feature a pill-shaped port to support USB-C charging and data transfer.
A USB-C connector has 24 pins in total, 16 of which are for data transfer, four are for charging and four are ground pins. USB-C cables are reversible, meaning you can insert them into their corresponding ports face-up or face-down, it doesn’t matter.
It’s worth noting that USB-C isn’t a data standard, so you can’t tell how fast a given USB-C cable is without looking at its corresponding number (which indicates speed). There are a number of different types of USB-C cables, including USB 2.0, 3.0 and Thunderbolt 4.
In October 2022, the European Union (EU) finalized a regulation requiring companies to include universal USB-C charging ports on all new technology products sold in EU countries from the end of 2024.
Will the iPhone 15 get USB-C?
Apple remains the only manufacturer to not include USB-C ports as standard on its new technology products, with the company’s Lightning ports still a fixture of the best iPhones. However,…