iPhone 15 Pro and Ultra: faster USB could be a really big deal

If you're using your iPhone for serious photography or shooting lots of video, you're going to want to go Pro

Alleged leaked image of iPhone 15 Pro USB-C port
(Image credit: Unknownz21 / Twitter)

The picture at the top of this article is hardly the prettiest we've ever run, but if you're a serious iPhone user it could be the most important part of your next phone purchasing decision. The USB-C port that's coming to all the iPhone 15 range is expected to be different in the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Ultra. Outside it's the same old USB-C, but inside it'll support much faster speeds.

How much faster? Up to 90% across multiple file types, according to USBMakers. They've put together a USB speed calculator that you can use to calculate data transfer times for various kinds of files across various generations of USB.

Why faster USB-C matters to iPhone pro users

The USB-C connector for the iPhone 15 Pro and Ultra is reportedly the same one you'll find in the latest iPad Pro, with Thunderbolt 4 data transfer of up to 40Gbps. That's faster than the USB-C in the current iPad Air and iPad mini, which delivers 10Gbps and 5Gbps respectively. It's over four times faster than the theoretical maximum speed of Wi-Fi 6. And it's over eighty times faster than Lightning.

That matters because many of the people who buy Pro and Pro Max iPhones are doing so because they want to use the best possible settings for photography and video, and when you do that the files you create are absolutely massive. 

If you're shooting ProRes video in 4K you're looking at 6GB of data per minute of footage. And chances are, if you're shooting ProRes video in 4K time is very definitely money. I don't mind waiting for a funny video of my dog to upload, but if you're shooting proper video for work you don't want to hang around.

As much as I'd like to have that kind of speed too, I don't need it. And if you're not a creative pro, you probably don't either. But if you use your iPhone for serious creative stuff then that faster transfer time is going to make the most expensive iPhones much more attractive. We'll hopefully find out more at WWDC next week.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com).