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Apple iPhone 15 launched: All that you need to know about the transition from Lightning port to USB-C

The new iPhone handset, which goes on sale in a few days, is the first since 2012 to feature an alternative charging port

Mathures Paul Published 14.09.23, 05:32 AM
The USB-C port on the iPhone 15

The USB-C port on the iPhone 15 The Telegraph

In the last few months, a lot has been written about how Apple is transitioning from Lightning port charging point on the iPhone and a few other Apple devices to USB-C because of demands of European regulators.

The USB-C port is now available on the iPhone 15 series. The new iPhone handset, which goes on sale in a few days, is the first since 2012 to feature an alternative charging port. Should you be worried? Not at all.


How will it affect charging speeds?

Apple is bringing faster USB 3 speed capability, besides other special features, to the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. USB 3 support means that the iPhone 15 Pro will support faster data communication between a Mac and iPhone. Or, users can offload large Apple ProRAW photos or ProRes video in a faster way.

The caveat. The company won’t include a USB 3 capable cable with the iPhone 15 Pro. That means, out of the box, you’ll get USB 2 speeds if you use the included USB‑C charge cable.
You can now connect things like thumb drives, fast external storage, microphones, and 4K displays directly to iPhone without any adapters or dongles. You’ll also be able to charge Apple Watch or AirPods directly from your iPhone as well. The non-Pro models will remain at 480Mbps USB 2 speeds.

But if you do take advantage of USB 3 speed, there is a lot in store for you. Users can shoot ProRes video directly to an SSD. ProRes video is large in size and shooting directly to an external drive enables ProRes videos to be captured at 60 frames per second for slow motion.

The Pro model can also offload Apple ProRAW photos directly to a Mac via a USB-C cable connection. Studio photographers will also be happy because if they use iPhone 15 Pro, they can use the Capture One photography suite to shoot and instantly transfer 48MP ProRAW photos directly to the Mac.

What about MagSafe and wireless charging?

The iPhone 12 was an important series because it introduced a system to connect accessories to the iPhone. It’s called MagSafe. There is a magnetic ring on the back of the phone that allows accessories to magnetically stick to the back of the device. And you can juice up your iPhone using a MagSafe battery pack or a MagSafe puck.

MagSafe has nothing to do with USB-C. Though wireless charging speed is still low than wired charging, there have been talks about Apple going port-free for a long time. Going portless means there is more protection around water and dust. You can keep buying MagSafe accessories that make it easy to charge phones.

In the past, Apple has ditched the headphone jack and the SIM tray (in the US). One of the flagship features that is coming with iOS 17 is StandBy mode, which is clearly a way to ease people into using a charging dock.

Is Apple against USB-C?

Not at all. Apple had a role to play in the development of the USB-C standard, which was first introduced in 2014. Soon after, Apple’s 12-inch MacBook arrived and it used only USB-C. Over the next few years, most Macs and iPads switched to USB-C.

Lighting to USB-C timeline

  • September 2021: The European Commission proposes to make USB Type-C ports mandatory. The idea was to cut down on e-waste.
  • May 2022: Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reports that Apple may launch iPhone 15 with USB-C port.
  • June 2022: EU agrees to the proposal that had been made by the European Commission earlier.
  • October 2022: European Parliament votes in favour of the USB type-C port. That same month, an Apple executive confirmed that a USB-C powered iPhone was being tried out. Technically, the new iPhones could have launched with Lightning port for another year. But the company sells stocks of its older iPhones for years, so having USB-C on the new iPhone is a no-brainer.

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