Apple iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max support resolutions up to 48 megapixels with the main rear camera for the first time. Up to 75 MB per image is stored in ProRAW format. It would be just as important to have a fast physical streaming option to the computer if you can’t use cloud services or WLAN. However, Apple still uses its old proprietary Lightning connector for iPhone Pros, which cost up to $2,200, and this achieves a maximum speed of USB 2.0.
No change with 480 Mbps on the go
USB 2.0 reaches a maximum raw throughput speed of 480 Mbps; the net figure is a little lower. This means it can take a long time to compare many photos to a Mac or PC using a Lightning to USB-C cable. However, professional users in particular, who cannot always rely on wireless transmission, also need wired transmission. There were already Lightning devices that provided faster throughput rates: the first iPad Pro from 2015 came with USB 3.0 and up to 5 Gbps raw. It’s not clear why Apple hasn’t implemented this with the iPhone yet.
Apple has been using its proprietary Lightning connector since the fall of 2012, so almost exactly ten years have passed. Initially, this had many advantages compared to the previously used iPod dock connector: it required much less space (both plug and socket), was reversible, and was very stable. However, over the years there has been increasing pressure to finally switch to USB-C. Politicians have been calling for uniform charging standards for smartphones for years and are already implementing the first rules. Apple’s response so far: The bundle always includes a Lightning to USB-C cable, which is now the only accessory supplied with iPhones.
USB-C would only have advantages
There has long been a precedent in the lineup for the move to USB-C at Apple: the move from Lightning has been almost fully implemented on the iPad. Only the classic iPad still has Lightning, but that could change next month. The new connection opened up many new possibilities for the tablet to connect accessories directly and without an adapter. With the iPhone, however, Apple is sticking stubbornly to Lightning, which has long since outlived its advantages for users; despite the great ecosystem that Apple apparently wants to preserve, it is now completely out of date.
In a best-case scenario, Apple could also include Thunderbolt 3 support for the iPhone with USB-C and send up to 40Gbps over the cable. Only Cupertino knows if this will happen: plans have been and have been for other products for several years, but are postponed to the next one every year. However, the company could go even more radically and skip the physical connection on the iPhone altogether; then all data would have to be transmitted wirelessly and devices would always have to charge via MagSafe. Apple has already implemented this with the headphone jack.
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