iPhone 15 Ultra tipped for overdue performance upgrade

Report: the most powerful iPhone 15s will get faster data transfer than even USB-C can provide

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max in silver on black background
(Image credit: Apple)

We've barely got our hands on the iPhone 14 models but the rumour factory never sleeps, and there are already some solid-sounding rumours about the iPhone 15. And right now the most interesting one is about something that's a genuine issue for the pro users Apple markets its most expensive phones at: data transfer.

Predictions that at least some iPhone 14 models would ditch the Lightning connection proved unfounded, and that means the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are stuck with a relatively slow connector. Lightning was faster than early USB connections but that's no longer the case in a world of USB-C, and with the massive files generated by 48MP photography and hi-res video it's a real bottleneck for pro users.

According to Twitter leaker LeaksApplePro (opens in new tab), that's going to change next year.

Faster data for the iPhone 15 Pro and Ultra

It's worth noting that LeaksApplePro predicted USB-C connections for the iPhone 14, and that didn't happen. But they're adamant that next year we will see Apple finally move from Lightning in all four iPhones, and that the Pro and Ultra models will be further differentiated from the non-Pro models with the introduction of Thunderbolt 4. That's the connector used in the very fastest Macs such as the Mac Studio and the 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pros, with bandwidth of 40Gbps and compatibility with USB-C too.

That's overkill for a normal iPhone, of course. But video and photo pros have different requirements, and right now it takes the best part of 3/4 of an hour to transfer a 15-minute 4K video from an iPhone to a Mac Studio or MacBook Pro because Lightning tops out at 480Mbps. Going from megabit to gigabit transfer might not be a big deal for users like me, but for creatives whose time is money it'd be a feature well worth paying for.

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 thirteen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote another seven books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com (opens in new tab)).