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The iPhone 15 USB-C upgrade is more of a game-changer than you think. this is the reason

Set up clean power charging on iPhone

June One / Znet

This time last year, I wasn’t excited about the iPhone 14 Pro release. Despite the impressive improvements with the 48MP sensor on its main camera, allowing it to take the largest, most detailed photos yet on an iPhone, and stunning 4K video at 24 or 30fps in cinematic mode with optical zoom quality, I yawned. .

also: Every product we can expect at Apple’s fall event (and what won’t be revealed)

why is that? Although you can create more detailed image files and higher-resolution images with this large sensor, there was no data-transfer speed upgrade for the USB 2.0 Lightning port.

Lightning slow wwwwww

As any content creation professional has attested, transferring photos and videos from your iPhone to your Mac using a Lightning cable is incredibly slow. First, the Photos app has to sync and index file lists and thumbnails, which takes some time. Then you have to do the import procedure.

If you have one hundred 75MB (7500MB) ProRAW photos that you need to transfer from iPhone 14 Pro, it may take over 2 minutes at 480MB per second or approximately 60MB per second (MB/s), assuming transfer optimal rates.

A five-minute 4K ProRes video at 6GB per minute would be about 30GB. At this rate, it would take 8 minutes to transfer that amount of data over a Lightning cable. If you use a photo database or iMovie to store them, indexing can take much longer, because it’s not just a simple copy of a mounted file system, and there will be a protocol overhead.

also: Apple’s iPhone 15 USB-C may be as slow as the Lightning cable

Did you upgrade to iPhone 14 Pro Max From my iPhone 13 Pro Max last year? Yes, because when you are in iPhone upgrade programWith the exception of loan termination payments, you can effectively swap one monthly payment for another. But I have to say it wasn’t quite as much of an improvement as I liked, because, as a food photographer, it didn’t improve my creative content workflow or productivity at all; Data transfer was as slow as ever.

The iPhone USB-C has it all

That was last year. As I write this, the expected launch of the iPhone 15 is only two weeks away. While there are plenty of rumors and spy photos out there about the components due to be upgraded (the camera is suspected to include a new “periscope” design to improve optical zoom, among other things), very little has been “confirmed” in terms of what it might be. We expect it from the phone.

But we know almost for sure that the iPhone 15 will use USB-C. why is that? Because the European Union has decreed that by the end of 2024 all smartphones and tablets must use the same USB-C connector.

iPhone 13 in the Apple Store

Jason Hainer/ZDNet

We don’t yet have full specifications on whether any of the iPhone 15 models have been upgraded to USB 3.2 or USB 4. In terms of Apple’s current lineup, the latest USB-C iPads have a USB 3.2 connection, while the iPad Pro models only have USB 3.2. The current one has Thunderbolt 3/USB-4.

USB 3.2 Gen 2 is fast. The theoretical upper limit is 10Gbps, and USB 3.2 Gen 2×2, which is not supported by today’s smartphones – only laptops – is 20Gbps.

also: Apple may be adding USB-C charging to older iPhones now, too

From vendor comparison, Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra has USB 3.2 Gen 2, which is a standard for current generation Android devices.

And USB 4/Thunderbolt 3, the same one used on the iPad Pro and current Macs? 40Gbps or 5000Mbps per second, more than that 80 times increase More than USB 2.0 transfer rates.

USB 3.2 Gen 2 on the iPhone would be a welcome change, bringing it on par with the fastest Android devices. But if we get USB 4 on any iPhone 15 model, it would be a huge upgrade and would be ahead of Android in terms of device connection speeds.

Other benefits, but also challenges

Data transfer speed wouldn’t be the only advantage of USB-C on iPhones; It will also allow for higher wattage and therefore faster charging speeds.

Third-party Lightning cables are pursuant to Certification MFi program from Apple Up to 18W, which limits USB PD charging rates. USB PD through USB-C cable supports up to 240W for desktop computers and other small devices (such as portable power stations) as a possible replacement for the old school 110V AC cable.

While I wouldn’t expect the iPhone to charge at 240W, we can see it coming in at 35W, according to Recent rumours. That’s faster than the current generation iPad Pro, which charges at 20W.

also: Can the updated iPad Pro revive the dying tablet market?

An iPhone with the same charging connector as the other devices in its home would allow consumers to standardize on a single cable type. But as we know, and as my colleague at ZDNET Adrian Kingsley-Hughes pointed out last year, not all USB-C cables are designed the same or support all transfer speeds and wattage limits.

Apple iPad 10th Generation Apple Dongle 2

The latest iPad has received a USB-C upgrade, on account of this group.

June One/ZNet

We all have USB-C to USB-C cables lying around the house for various devices and accessories, and until now, I’ve used them somewhat interchangeably without considering device safety or potential transfer speed. However, I have also purchased from trusted suppliers such as Anker, Nomad, and Apple’s USB-C And Thunderbolt cables (For charging MacBook Pro and iPad Pro).

also: Want to buy a USB-C charger for iPhone 15? Anker’s Nano series has it all

That package of Amazon Basics USB-C Cables, $15 Introduced in 2020 which I bought for basic charging needs at a discount on Prime Day, which is a good thing, as it has 60W of power and supports USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10Gbps). But a random cable that came with some cheap chinese lighting fixture that i packed in my cable box and that i sometimes reach for? Mostly not.

And just because the cable supports the fast charging rate/wattage doesn’t mean it supports USB 3.2. For example, Anker cables only support faster speeds if you purchase their USB-IF certification USB4/Thunderbolt cable, $35 With a relatively low bend life, so it won’t be your daily charge driver.

Anker’s bestseller $16 Powerline III It can handle a 100W load, which makes it a good charging cable, but you won’t be able to transfer data faster than USB 2.0. So, as a content creator, you’ll need a few high-end cables to strictly transfer data.


Screenshot by Jason Pirlow/ZDNET

USB-IF or MFi?

This will lead to a certain degree of consumer confusion because most cables currently in the sales channel sold by most third parties are not specified as to the wattage and transmission modes they support – it’s already an issue when we think about device connectivity and charging prices in the Android and Wintel laptop ecosystem .

Apple’s OEM cables can be trusted with their own devices, and USB-C and Thunderbolts are safely interchangeable (although there’s a huge price difference between the two, and Thunderbolt would be overkill when used strictly as a charging cable). rest of the industry?

also: Why do some people buy MacBook Pros with broken screens?

in 2021, USB Implementers Forum Created new logos for Certified solutions within the framework of its programme. Until now, there has been no widespread adoption of these logos on the third-party cables packaged with many products. Only on the most expensive cables They are sold at retail, as are Anker’s USB4 40Gbps mentioned above. Many of them are not certified; They simply say “240W” and don’t use the official USB-IF logo.

Certified USB Logo Program for USB Implementers Forum

USB Implementers Forum

Apple hasn’t yet said whether it will adopt these logos for its MFi products or iPhone packaging and hardware, and we also don’t know if there will be an increase in adoption of USB-IF logos by third parties now that the iPhone will support USB- C completely.

More importantly, we also don’t know what happens when the iPhone 15 detects a non-MFi USB-C cable (one that’s missing an Apple authorized authentication chip). Does it completely refuse to work (which may be more than an inconvenience) EU), version A Scary warningOr will it charge and transfer data at slower rates?

So which label on the cable is now more important, is it MFi or USB-IF? Talk back and let me know.

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