The iPhone 15 is widely urged to replace the Lightning port from previous phones with USB-C – not least due to regulatory pressure in Europe – but a new rumor suggests that this port may be limited in terms of what it’s capable of.
According to a source on a Chinese social network Weibo (opens in a new tab) (By MacRumors (opens in a new tab)), the USB-C port on the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro will be equipped with a chip with an authentication chip, so you can check the compatibility of peripheral devices.
In other words, we could get to a situation where only chargers and other Apple-approved accessories actually work with the iPhone 15. This is also how the current iPhone Lightning port connection works – it has an authentication chip in it.
No precedent for the iPad
It’s worth noting that the USB-C port Apple has been fitting into its iPads in recent years has no limits, so you can plug in whatever you want – assuming it’s built to work with these tablets.
Of course, this is all speculation on the back of an unconfirmed rumor, so don’t take it as almost certain. However, it is worth paying attention in September, when the iPhone 15 with USB-C is to debut.
It was also rumored that the USB-C port on the iPhone 15 Pro models would offer faster data transfer speeds than the same port on the cheaper iPhone 15 devices – unless Apple decides to delay the transition to 2024 and the iPhone 16.
Analysis: Taking more control
Given that the iPhone has had an authentication chip for years that checks the peripherals you plug into it, perhaps it wouldn’t be a surprise if Apple decided to use the same strategy by switching its phones to USB-C.
On the one hand, users may be disappointed that they have been pushed to a specific list of accessories: it is possible that these accessories will be more expensive, and useful and innovative peripherals will be missed because they do not have homologation.
On the other hand, Apple’s perspective will be that it will allow the iPhone to be protected from being connected to anything that is of lower quality or even unsafe. When it comes to charging cables, for example, it is important to know that they will work safely.
At this stage, we just don’t know – maybe any peripheral will work, but uncertified ones won’t have access to all the features of the USB-C port. Alternatively, the iPhone may get an iPad-style USB-C port without the authentication chip attached.