Apple analyst Ming Chi-Kuo predicted on Thursday that Apple’s iPhone 15 Pro models will include super-fast Thunderbolt ports.
Ming Chi-Kuo via Twitter:
2H23 new high-end iPhones’ wired transfer speed will likely improve markedly, benefiting the growth of the high-speed transfer IC design industry. Apple’s existing suppliers (e.g., Parade, Asmedia, Genesys Logic, Renesas, etc.) are expected to be leading beneficiaries.
My latest survey indicates all 2H23 new iPhones will abandon Lightning and change to USB-C, but only two high-end models (15 Pro & 15 Pro Max) will support the wired high-speed transfer, and the two standard ones (15 & 15 15 Plus) still support USB 2.0 same as Lightning.
I predict that 15 Pro & 15 Pro Max will support at least USB 3.2 or Thunderbolt 3. This spec upgrade means the wired transfer and video output user experience will significantly improve.
This spec upgrade and the new trend will drive Apple ecosystem’s demand for high-speed transfer chips and competitors’ imitation (almost all Android phones currently only support USB 2.0), and it’s also conducive to the growth of the high-speed transfer IC design industry.
Joe Rossignol for MacRumors:
Thunderbolt 3 theoretically offers a bandwidth of up to 40 Gbps, while the Lightning connector has USB 2.0 speeds of up to 480 Mbps on all existing iPhones. Even with real-world performance limitations, an iPhone 15 Pro with a Thunderbolt-enabled USB-C port would offer significantly faster data transfer speeds with a Thunderbolt cable, making it much quicker to get large files on and off of the iPhone, such as 48-megapixel ProRAW photos.
Even if the iPhone 15 Pro models only get USB 3.2 support, that would mean theoretical transfer speeds of between 5 Gbps and 20 Gbps depending on the exact specification, which would still be significantly faster than Lightning.
Most iPads with USB-C ports already offer faster transfer speeds. iPad Pro models with the M1 chip and newer support Thunderbolt 3 for bandwidth of up to 40 Gbps, the fifth-generation iPad Air is capable of 10 Gbps, and the fourth-generation iPad Air and latest iPad mini are capable of up to 5 Gbps. The sole exception is the new 10th-generation standard iPad with a USB-C port, which remains limited to USB 2.0 speeds.
More differentiation for iPhone Pro models over other models is fantastic news for Apple’s iPhone ASP!