Reports surrounding the release of Apple’s iPhone 15 have unveiled significant upgrades, but one aspect remained a mystery until now. Leaks earlier indicated that the iPhone 15 range would transition to USB-C, promising faster charging and data speeds. However, recent revelations from ChargerLab suggest a surprising development: leaked component images showcase a new integrated circuit (IC), indicating that not just the Pro models, but at least three iPhone 15 models will incorporate Thunderbolt/USB4’s high-speed data transmission feature at 40Gbps. This unexpected discovery has captivated the tech community, given the substantial impact it can have on the iPhone experience.
Historically, Apple reserved Thunderbolt speeds for its Pro devices, such as iPads. This enhancement showcases Apple’s commitment to enhancing the everyday user experience. Until now, iPhones have been limited to USB 2.0 speeds, which offer 480 megabits per second. In contrast, Thunderbolt 4’s 40Gbps performance equals an astounding 40,000 megabits per second. This exponential upgrade has the potential to transform workflows, delivering significantly faster data transfers, backups, and charging times, an area where iPhones have lagged behind Android competitors.
The key player behind this shift is the retimer chip discovered by ChargerLab. This chip, designed to enhance signal transmission stability, is crucial for high-capacity data ports and minimizing jitter. With Thunderbolt 4-level speeds, the presence of this chip becomes essential.
Beyond catering to technical enthusiasts, Thunderbolt’s inclusion offers tangible benefits for everyday users. The newfound speed can revolutionize tasks, making data transfers and backups nearly 100 times faster. Moreover, the ability to deliver increased power could translate to swifter charging times, a notable improvement given iPhones’ historical lag in this area.
The revelation of this small retimer chip could emerge as a highlight of the iPhone 15 range. While other leaked upgrades like slimmer bezels, titanium chassis, advanced processors, and camera enhancements are welcome, the acceleration in charging and backup speeds resonates more with the general audience. Given the anticipated price increases for iPhone 15 models, the Thunderbolt integration might serve as a compelling reason for Apple enthusiasts to invest more.
Update on August 19:
Despite a flurry of upgrades expected for the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max models, a recent leak by reliable source Unknownz21 reveals an unexpected similarity: both models will continue to employ the Sony IMX-803 image sensor for their main cameras, a sensor also found in the 14 Pro. This news is somewhat surprising, as the standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus models are set to feature upgraded 48-megapixel primary cameras this year, narrowing the performance gap with the Pro variants.
Anticipation for the new iPhone 15 Pros had focused on a shift to Sony’s new IMX-903 sensor, known for its focus tracking capabilities, high frame rate 4K video capture, and larger 1.4µm pixels. These larger pixels offer improved light capture and reduced photo noise compared to the IMX-803’s 1.22µm pixels. Despite the continuation of the IMX-803, it’s worth noting that advancements in image processing, driven by the next-generation 3nm A17 chipset in these iPhones, could still offer notable improvements in computational photography.
In summary, while the iPhone 15 Pro primary camera performance may not see a drastic leap, the inclusion of advanced processing features provides potential for nuanced enhancements. As the iPhone 15 launch approaches, users and enthusiasts await further details to gauge the overall impact of these updates on their smartphone experience.
Image Credits: CHARGERLAB