Apple May Sell Optional iPhone 15 Pro USB-C Thunderbolt Cable

Apple may offer a USB-C data transfer accessory cable for iPhone 15 Pro models that is capable of Thunderbolt or USB4 speeds of up to 40Gbps. That is the latest claim made by Kosutami, who posted details of the cable on Twitter (now X).

TB4 iphone 15 pro cable

Leaked 0.8m Thunderbolt USB-C cable (Image: Majin Bu)

According to the leaker, the length of the cable is 0.8 meters, which is shorter than Apple's existing Thunderbolt 4 Pro cable (1.8m), and it is said to support charging up to 150W. Apple will allegedly sell the cable separately.

Given the expected switch to USB-C across all iPhone 15 models, there has been a lot of conjecture about which port standard Apple will use in its premium iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max devices to potentially differentiate them further from the more affordable iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus models.

According to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the iPhone 15 Pro models will support "at least" USB 3.2 or Thunderbolt 3. However, the leaked USB4 cable is based on the Thunderbolt 4 protocol, allowing it to offer equivalent speeds of 40Gbps, or twice the preceding USB 3.2 Gen 2 standard.

As for the 150W charging claim (not 120W – a correction made by Kosutami in a subsequent tweet) this would make the cable capable of faster power delivery than Apple's existing Thunderbolt 4 Pro cable (100W), however that does not necessarily mean iPhone 15 Pro models will be capable of charging at this speed.

Earlier this year, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said that the ‌iPhone 15‌ models would support faster charging speeds due to the transition to USB-C, while one rumor has claimed that at least some iPhone 15 models may support charging speeds up to 35W. Current iPhone 14 models can charge at a maximum of around 27W, with the Pro models able to charge a bit faster.

Speculation therefore remains rife about the USB-C port capabilities of the iPhone 15 lineup, and nothing is certain beyond the switch from Lightning. Rumors suggest the cables supplied in iPhone 15 boxes are limited to USB 2.0 data transfer speeds at a rate of 480 MBps, which is the same as Lightning.

In contrast, the iPhone 15 Pro models are expected to be supplied with cables capable of USB 3.2 or Thunderbolt 3 transfer speeds, as per Kuo's original claim. Images from ChargerLab suggest that some iPhone 15 models will include a Thunderbolt/USB 4 retimer chip, seemingly confirming the rumor of higher-speed data transfer for the Pro models.

Each iPhone 15 will include a braided USB-C charging cable in the box that is thicker (i.e. more durable) and 50% longer than the Lightning cable that comes with current iPhone models, according to reports. The cables are also rumored to be color-matched to possible new iPhone colors, coming in at least black, white, yellow, blue, and orange.

Apple will announce the new iPhone 15 lineup at an event that is expected to be held on September 12.

Related Roundup: iPhone 15 Pro

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Top Rated Comments

eddjedi Avatar
10 months ago

Thanks EU for this absolutely dumb mess you made.
Standardising ports and cables is not dumb, my phone is the only reason I still need to carry a Lightning cable, everything else already uses USB-C.

However, restricting USB-C to USB 2.0 speeds unless you buy a $130 cable, is the very definition of dumb (and greed.)
Score: 61 Votes (Like | Disagree)
timshundo Avatar
10 months ago

Surely the WHOLE POINT of implementing USB-C is to NOT need proprietry cables any more? Why can't we use a high quality third party USB-C cable to transfer data at resaonable speeds? I imagine the EU, who pushed for USB-C in the first place, will see this as yet more gatekeeping
Thunderbolt ≠ USB. They’re two separate protocols and have different requirements in the cable to function, but just the same connector, USB-C.

Having one cable rule them all was never a real possibility. There are 19 wires required inside that one cable for a full USB4 functionality. You think all manufacturers wanna put that much in there with the proper shielding and metals (and a separate chip for Thunderbolt) for safely transferring 40Gbps with room for zero error?

The solution to your problem to your problem is to buy the best, most recent, top of the line cable for all of your needs, aka one that supports Thunderbolt and USB4. But in that case you’re gonna be spending like ~$100 per cable, rather than the $5 you can find on Amazon.

That’s what’s happening here. Apple is not gonna bundle a Thunderbolt cable with an iPhone. They want to keep the margins they got when they removed the charger.

The other solution is for either Thunderbolt or USB4 to win the battle and reign supreme, which is a lot easier now than back in the day since they’re nearing feature parity now. But even then there’s no guarantee USB5 or USB6 would be on the horizon with even more expensive requirements.

Not to mention Power Delivery is its own specification aside from USB-C and its cables.

When articles like this speculate that the non-pro iPhones will use USB-C with USB 2.0 data transfer speeds, that just means they don’t want or expect people to be sending data through a cable anymore at all. They want as few wires in the cable as possible to save money. I don’t even know why data transfer through from a phone cable is even still a part of anyone’s process anymore. WiFi/airdrop are all good and fast enough at this point.

Anyway, USB-C solving all our port issues is an illusion. You’re always gonna have to pay attention to what kind of cable you’re buying and what most recent standard it supports. Manufacturers be cheap. 40Gbps+ speeds (USB 3.0 and the first USB-C cables started out at 5Gbps, remember) require more and better quality materials.

Sorry to unload this all out on you, I actually really just needed to write this out for myself lol. It’s confusing stuff.
Score: 41 Votes (Like | Disagree)
M1Chip Avatar
10 months ago
Yeahhh!!!.. Can't wait to buy $129 cable....

Attachment Image
Score: 40 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ApplesAreSweet&Sour Avatar
10 months ago

Thanks EU for this absolutely dumb mess you made.
Blaming everyone for the mess except the corporation who actually incited the E.U. to create the new regulations, which is also the corporation that creates the mess and gets to profit greatly from it.

Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
klasma Avatar
10 months ago

Surely the WHOLE POINT of implementing USB-C is to NOT need proprietry cables any more? Why can't we use a high quality third party USB-C cable to transfer data at reasonable speeds?
There’s nothing in the article that implies the cables will be proprietary. But different cables support different wattages and different transfer speeds. You need to pick the right cable to fit the intended application. There isn’t just a single type of USB-C cable.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
pepemake Avatar
10 months ago

Surely the WHOLE POINT of implementing USB-C is to NOT need proprietry cables any more? Why can't we use a high quality third party USB-C cable to transfer data at reasonable speeds? I imagine the EU, who pushed for USB-C in the first place, will see this as yet more gatekeeping
How is this gatekeeping? The cable is literally just a regular TB4 / USB4 40Gbps cable, nothing proprietary.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)