We pretty much know that the iPhone 15 launch next month will see Apple’s phone range finally switch from Lightning to USB-C. What is less clear is how exactly Cupertino will implement the non-proprietary standard. Will we, for example, get the full benefit of USB-C’s charging and data transfer speeds?
The answer to this is almost certainly not, but it seems we can look forward to a moderate boost in charging speed. The tech site 9to5Mac, which had previously heard that the iPhone 15 would offer faster charging than the iPhone 14, reported Thursday that it has received further corroborating evidence that this will indeed happen. Charging speeds will be boosted to a maximum of 35W, the site claims, assuming that other limiting factors (the charger, most obviously, since Apple’s own standard iPhone chargers are capped at 20W) don’t present any obstacles.
This isn’t the 140-plus watts of power that Apple’s 16-inch MacBook Pro supports, but it’s nothing to sneeze at. Compared to a maximum of 20W on the iPhone 14 and 27W on the iPhone 14 Pro, 35W charging would represent a sizable improvement (around 30 percent on the Pro models and 75 percent on the standard models). It’s entirely possible, 9to5Mac acknowledges, that the improvement will apply to certain models only, rather than to the entire 15-series. It would be typical of Apple to nudge customers towards the costlier models in the range by ring-fencing upgrades as Pro exclusives.
Check out Macworld’s list of the best USB-C chargers for iPhone.
Before readers get too carried away, it’s worth stressing that another typical Apple move would be to gatekeep the speed improvements by making them accessible only when using official accessories. Sure enough, back in February, we heard that the iPhone 15’s USB-C port will be software-locked to limit both data and charging speeds when not connected to an MFi-certified cable. The EU legislation that very likely prompted Apple to phase out Lightning on the iPhone was intended to limit e-waste and help customers to use the same chargers and cables on multiple devices, but in practice, it may not be that simple.
The iPhone 15 launch event is expected to take place on September 12 or 13. For all the latest news and rumors, check our regularly updated iPhone 15 superguide.