Apple could offer Thunderbolt cable for iPhone 15 Pro as separate purchase

Posted:
in iPhone

On the heels of news that Apple could ship a USB 2.0 cable with iPhone 15 Pro, a new rumor suggests Apple may offer a small Thunderbolt cable as a separate purchase option.

iPhone 15 Pro could have a Thunderbolt port
iPhone 15 Pro could have a Thunderbolt port



Apple is only weeks away from announcing the iPhone 15 lineup, and rumors are pouring in about what the USB-C port might mean for the products. It isn't clear exactly what standard Apple will use for the port, but it seems the company has at least considered Thunderbolt for pro iPhones.

According to a leaker known as @KosutamiSan on X, Apple could sell a short 0.8-meter cable rated at USB 4 Gen 2 as an optional accessory for iPhone 15 Pro. This cable differs from Apple's existing Thunderbolt cable options and can produce 150W of output.

Note we've said 150W while the original X post says 120W. Kosutami shared this correction and is the actual rating of the pictured cable.

These specs don't necessarily mean iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max will be capable of charging at 150W or transferring data at Thunderbolt speeds. However, it does mean Apple could call the port Thunderbolt or USB 4 and offer specs much higher than the existing Lightning port.

AppleInsider reached out to Kosutami to ask about this cable. They stressed that the Thunderbolt cable is something they've held on to since about February, so nothing is certain.

Something may have changed since this cable was created for testing, and Apple may have decided against Thunderbolt in iPhone 15 Pro. However, at the time, the cable was being tested as a separate accessory that would be sold as a "high-speed cable."

Data transferring cable for iPhone 15 Pro- which sold separately. Up to 120W Charge, features USB4 Gen2. Length 0.8m.(Different than existing thunderbolt one)
(Already got this since feb)(DVT Sample)#Apple #appleinternal pic.twitter.com/M5genGQ2NK

— Kosutami (@KosutamiSan)



A rumor shared earlier on Thursday suggested iPhone 15 Pro would ship with a USB 2.0 cable meant just for charging. This disappointed some readers, but it has always been the case for iPhones.

Apple wants customers who care about charging or data transfer speeds to pay for a premium cable.

Kosutami isn't usually a future product leaker but has increasingly shared details about unreleased products. They've previously shared images of manufacturing test products called DVTs.

The iPhone 15 Pro is expected to be announced in mid-September during a streamed Apple Event. It is rumored to have titanium sides, USB-C, and a periscope camera.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    chasmchasm Posts: 3,344member
    FWIW, I think this is likely. As mentioned in the article, all the Lightning cords included with iPhones thus far (going waaaay back) charge just fine, but can only do USB 2.0 data speeds.

    Most of those end up in a drawer anyway, at least since MagSafe was introduced to the iPhone line. Qi-style charging has taken over in our household, for certain.

    A short TB cable as an optional purchase (or substitution) wouldn't add much to the price -- Apple's existing one costs $49 (for the 0.8m/2.7 feet version), and comparable ones cost the same or more (except for plugable, which sells one for $36). If you have 4K HDR iPhone video footage you want to move over to the Mac Studio, you'd pay that in a heartbeat compared to growing a beard while you wait for the included USB 2-speed cable to do the job, or grow a moustache while you wait for AirDrop to do it.

    The plebs will be fine with the included USB-Slow cable, while the rest of us pay a bit more to take advantage of the full capabilities of that new port (if these rumours are true, obviously). Anyone who's ever bought a hub has been similarly "ripped off" by Apple.
    jellybellywatto_cobraFileMakerFellerMacPro
  • Reply 2 of 11
    OR, I could just use one of the many Thunderbolt 4 cables I already have.
    jeffharriswilliamlondonMplsPjamnapjellybellywatto_cobraFileMakerFellerMacProcommand_fdewme
  • Reply 3 of 11
    mike1mike1 Posts: 3,301member
    chasm said:
    FWIW, I think this is likely. As mentioned in the article, all the Lightning cords included with iPhones thus far (going waaaay back) charge just fine, but can only do USB 2.0 data speeds.

    Most of those end up in a drawer anyway, at least since MagSafe was introduced to the iPhone line. Qi-style charging has taken over in our household, for certain.

    A short TB cable as an optional purchase (or substitution) wouldn't add much to the price -- Apple's existing one costs $49 (for the 0.8m/2.7 feet version), and comparable ones cost the same or more (except for plugable, which sells one for $36). If you have 4K HDR iPhone video footage you want to move over to the Mac Studio, you'd pay that in a heartbeat compared to growing a beard while you wait for the included USB 2-speed cable to do the job, or grow a moustache while you wait for AirDrop to do it.

    The plebs will be fine with the included USB-Slow cable, while the rest of us pay a bit more to take advantage of the full capabilities of that new port (if these rumours are true, obviously). Anyone who's ever bought a hub has been similarly "ripped off" by Apple.
     In our household, wireless charging is rarely used. We almost always need to use the phone while it's charging and if there's going to be a cable, a direct connection is still faster than a Magsafe puck at the end of a wire. I do use MagSafe when I travel and in the car.

    jamnapjellybellywatto_cobracommand_f
  • Reply 4 of 11
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,542member
    I’ve got a bunch of TB 3 and 4 cables gathered over the years. I’ve got three TB docks and what’s the point unless you can use them at full speed? But a regular cable likely costs Apple around $5-7, while a TB 4 cable might cost them around $15-20. That may not seem like much, but remember that a product sells for around 2.5 to 3.5 times the part cost. So that would be a big difference to the consumer who likely doesn’t need it and would throw it in their pile of other USB C cables and just pull a random cable out to use.

    so, if we’ll need the speed, we’ll just buy it. I mean, if we’ve spent all that money for the higher end phone to do photos and video, another $50, or so, won’t be a bother.
    jamnapjellybellywatto_cobraMacProcommand_f
  • Reply 5 of 11
    netroxnetrox Posts: 1,439member
    You do not need TB for higher power... the usb4 supports up to 240W.

    It makes no senses to offer TB for power. USB-C is literally built for that reason and all Apple devices use USB-C - Macbooks, ipad rpos al tuse USB-C, not TB to recharge at higher watts. 
     
    watto_cobracommand_f
  • Reply 6 of 11
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,956member
    OR, I could just use one of the many Thunderbolt 4 cables I already have.
    exactly -TB 4 is a standard meaning a TB4 cable is an optional accessory the same way a set of BT headphones is.
    watto_cobracommand_f
  • Reply 7 of 11
    Sounds like something Apple would and has done, create a situation that creates opportunity to sell you a overpriced accessory.  
    williamlondon
  • Reply 8 of 11
    melgross said:
    …I’ve got a bunch of TB 3 and 4 cables gathered over the years. I’ve got three TB docks and what’s the point unless you can use them at full speed? But a regular cable likely costs Apple around $5-7, while a TB 4 cable might cost them around $15-20. That may not seem like much, but remember that a product sells for around 2.5 to 3.5 times the part cost. So that would be a big difference to the consumer who likely doesn’t need it and would throw it in their pile of other USB C cables and just pull a random cable out to use.

    so, if we’ll need the speed, we’ll just buy it. I mean, if we’ve spent all that money for the higher end phone to do photos and video, another $50, or so, won’t be a bother.
    I agree.  I have existing TB3 cables.  

    A serious problem is the lack of any labeling of capicity on USB3 cables OR ports ( on hubs an on computers).  

    For now, pulling a “random cable from a pile” is a crap shoot and could make serious difference in performance that’ll have most scratching their heads.  
    I’ve seen some ports on a few hubs that label as 5GBs or 10GBs for USB3  port speed (simple as small font 5 or 10) and that is so important.   I wish there was room for more obvious (larger) labeling AND that cables were also labeled if they are not universal — and apparently they are not (especially in power delivery let alone speed). USB-C is a blessing and a curse-ed big mess.  
    Labeling would solve the mess, because I do like the physical coupling design and if labeled, I can choose to use an available cable to my needs.  Cables should also be labeled for Thunderbolt (TB) capability and power transmission capability. 
    A similar problem is Thunderbolt ports not revealing if they are sharing a Thunderbolt bus or if they have own dedicated chipset.  Eg. On a MBP with 4 TB ports only, if each side (left and right), each with two TB ports) is sharing a TB bus, most people don’t have the knowledge that the maximum devices to connect is six per bus connection (as in six connections per left and right ports).  Usually three per port.  And lack of knowledge that if all three connections are in active use that it divides the throughput—so labels could help, or onscreen notifications.  
    I don’t mind if a data drive and it’s backup are on same bus as I am only using data drive during normal use.  And when backing up, it’s usually when a ‘minor’ speed difference doesn’t matter—both because the backup is incremental and it’s when I am not at the computer. Plus unknown to many is that Thunderbolt does negotiations between attached devices sand lessens CPU involvement. Cool fact eh?
    Soooo, regarding labeling I say Geeeeesh!  At least dear Apple and third parties: label cables and ports—please, pretty please? 
    watto_cobraFileMakerFellercommand_fdewme
  • Reply 9 of 11
    jellybelly said:

    A serious problem is the lack of any labeling of capicity on USB3 cables OR ports ( on hubs an on computers).  

    For now, pulling a “random cable from a pile” is a crap shoot and could make serious difference in performance that’ll have most scratching their heads.  
    Soooo, regarding labeling I say Geeeeesh!  At least dear Apple and third parties: label cables and ports—please, pretty please? 
    Absolutely agree.

    Once upon a time you could look at a cable and know what it was capable of doing. Now you can't and even though it is great that a single port-type can do so many things, we do need labelling on the cables that don't do everything. I use a Sharpie and label the connectors when I buy a new cable but even that wears off so, yes, proper labelling please.
  • Reply 10 of 11
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,423member
    I think that the USB-IF organization has already specified logos that conveyed both power and performance characteristics for certified cables and chargers. You can easily find the USB-IF labeling standards via a web search.

    Is this a matter of cable and charger vendors trying to avoid the additional costs and/or time-to-market issues of obtaining certification, which I assume would include a self-certification option? It seems like adherence to the recommendations is somewhat random. If we're going to hang our future on following these USB standards it seems like adhering to standard-based labeling is a resolvable problem, at least for new products. 
  • Reply 11 of 11
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,542member
    melgross said:
    …I’ve got a bunch of TB 3 and 4 cables gathered over the years. I’ve got three TB docks and what’s the point unless you can use them at full speed? But a regular cable likely costs Apple around $5-7, while a TB 4 cable might cost them around $15-20. That may not seem like much, but remember that a product sells for around 2.5 to 3.5 times the part cost. So that would be a big difference to the consumer who likely doesn’t need it and would throw it in their pile of other USB C cables and just pull a random cable out to use.

    so, if we’ll need the speed, we’ll just buy it. I mean, if we’ve spent all that money for the higher end phone to do photos and video, another $50, or so, won’t be a bother.
    I agree.  I have existing TB3 cables.  

    A serious problem is the lack of any labeling of capicity on USB3 cables OR ports ( on hubs an on computers).  

    For now, pulling a “random cable from a pile” is a crap shoot and could make serious difference in performance that’ll have most scratching their heads.  
    I’ve seen some ports on a few hubs that label as 5GBs or 10GBs for USB3  port speed (simple as small font 5 or 10) and that is so important.   I wish there was room for more obvious (larger) labeling AND that cables were also labeled if they are not universal — and apparently they are not (especially in power delivery let alone speed). USB-C is a blessing and a curse-ed big mess.  
    Labeling would solve the mess, because I do like the physical coupling design and if labeled, I can choose to use an available cable to my needs.  Cables should also be labeled for Thunderbolt (TB) capability and power transmission capability. 
    A similar problem is Thunderbolt ports not revealing if they are sharing a Thunderbolt bus or if they have own dedicated chipset.  Eg. On a MBP with 4 TB ports only, if each side (left and right), each with two TB ports) is sharing a TB bus, most people don’t have the knowledge that the maximum devices to connect is six per bus connection (as in six connections per left and right ports).  Usually three per port.  And lack of knowledge that if all three connections are in active use that it divides the throughput—so labels could help, or onscreen notifications.  
    I don’t mind if a data drive and it’s backup are on same bus as I am only using data drive during normal use.  And when backing up, it’s usually when a ‘minor’ speed difference doesn’t matter—both because the backup is incremental and it’s when I am not at the computer. Plus unknown to many is that Thunderbolt does negotiations between attached devices sand lessens CPU involvement. Cool fact eh?
    Soooo, regarding labeling I say Geeeeesh!  At least dear Apple and third parties: label cables and ports—please, pretty please? 
    I agree. tB cables do have the Thunderbolt graphic on the connectors though, but don’t always say 3 or 4. I write that on them. At least all of mine do. But USB has been a real pain over the years going back to the beginning. Then, confusion was deliberate as manufactures who had USB 1.1 ports didn’t want people to know that. So when the new naming between USB 1.1 and USB 2 came out, the names were designed so that people couldn’t tell, without already knowing, whether Hi Speed cables (or ports) were faster or slower than Fast cables. I ended up labeling all of my USB cables, otherwise I had no idea what they were. Then we got charging cables. Some don’t pass any data, others are only USB 1.1 while others are USB 2 speed.

    honestly, I’ve never seen the point to all of this.
    edited August 2023 tmay
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