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iPhone 14 Pro to get faster USB speeds over the same Lightning port

Published Apr 20th, 2022 7:31AM EDT
Apple iPhone 13 Display
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

iPhone users have been asking Apple to move the iPhone from Lightning to USB-C for years. But Apple has resisted. And every year, we get the same rumors claiming the next-gen device might be the first to ditch Lightning. The first iPhone 14 USB-C rumors dropped months ago, claiming that Apple was considering replacing Lightning. Like every year, we should know better than to expect such a massive change.

A brand new report from an Apple leaker says the company will not make the switch to USB-C for the iPhone 14, surprising no one. However, the report also delivers some great news for those iPhone users who want faster transfer speeds from the iPhone. The Lightning connector will support USB 3.0 speeds on the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max.

Will the iPhone 14 get USB-C connectivity?

It was LeaksApplePro that said a few months ago that Apple has considered moving bringing USB-C connectivity to the iPhone 14 series. But if it were to happen, only the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max would get it.

The rumor makes sense in the grand scheme of things. Unlike in previous years, the non-Pro and Pro versions of the iPhone 14 will be quite different.

The iPhone 14 Pro models will still be the only ones to feature 120Hz displays and a triple lens camera on the back. On top of that, the Pro versions will get a brand new notch-free display design, and they’ll be the only models to support the faster A16 Bionic chips. Support for USB-C would further help Apple differentiate the iPhone 14 from the iPhone 14 Pro.

Also, rumors say that the iPhone 14 Pro phones will be more expensive than their predecessors. All these differentiating factors would help Apple justify the price bump.

That said, the new report from the same LeaksApplePro indicates that Apple will be sticking with Lightning connectivity on all four iPhone 14 models. Moreover, USB-C might never come to iPhone.

iPhone 13 Pro Lightning Port
iPhone 13 Pro Lightning Port Image source: Christian de Looper for BGR

Lightning’s new USB 3.0 speeds

The reason why Apple won’t bring USB-C support to iPhone 14 is quite simple, the leaker says. Apple makes money off of Lightning royalties. Replacing the port with the USB-C connection it uses in almost every iPad and Mac would hurt that revenue stream.

Moreover, Apple is studying technology that will let it manufacture a portless iPhone in the near future. Therefore, the Lightning port makes more sense than switching to USB-C.

But Apple is interested in improving transfer speeds on iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max without switching to USB-C. That’s according to the leaker, who claims the Pro models will get USB 3.0 speeds this year.

The current USB 2.0 standard isn’t enough on devices that can shoot high-quality ProRes video. That’s the kind of content that benefits from a wired connection, and Apple is reportedly looking to satisfy that need. USB 2.0 supports 480Mbps transfer speeds, while USB 3.0 delivers more than 10 times that speed, at 5Gbps.

Even in the absence of an actual USB-C port, USB 3.0 would be a great upgrade for the iPhone 14 Pro models. The leaker said that he couldn’t confirm with his sources whether the cheaper iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Max will also get USB 3.0 support.

We can’t verify any of this at this time. We’ll just have to wait for Apple’s mid-September iPhone 14 event to see whether this rumored Lightning upgrade is indeed coming to the new iPhones.

More iPhone coverage: For more iPhone news, visit our iPhone 14 guide.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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