The iPhone 15 has been widely tipped to swap the Lightning port of previous handsets for USB-C – not least due to regulatory pressure in Europe – but a new rumor suggests this port could eventually be limited in terms of what he can.
This is reported by a source on the Chinese social media site Weibo (opens in new tab) (via MacRumors (opens in new tab)), the USB-C port on the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro devices will be equipped with an integrated circuit with an authentication chip, so that peripherals can be checked for their compatibility.
In other words, we could get into a situation where only Apple-approved chargers and other accessories actually work with the iPhone 15. That’s how the current iPhone Lightning port connection works: it has an authentication chip inside.
No iPad precedent
It’s worth noting that the USB-C port Apple’s been putting on its iPads for the past few years has no restrictions whatsoever, so you’re free to plug in whatever you want – assuming it’s built to work with this tablets.
Of course, this is all speculation based on an unconfirmed rumor, so don’t take this for granted just yet. It’s something to look forward to in September, though, when the iPhone 15 with USB-C is expected to make its debut.
It’s also been said that the USB-C port on the iPhone 15 Pro models will 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 there’s been an authenticator chip in the iPhone for years to verify the peripherals you connect to it, it might come as no surprise if Apple decided to follow the same strategy when it switches its phones to USB-C.
On the one hand, users may be disappointed at being pushed to a specific list of accessories: these accessories may become more expensive, while useful and innovative peripherals are left out because they lack approval.
On the other hand, Apple’s perspective will be that this will allow the iPhone to protect itself from connecting to something of lower quality or even dangerous. When it comes to charging cables, for example, it is important to know that they work safely.
At this stage, we just don’t know – any peripheral might work, but non-certified devices won’t be able to access all the features of the USB-C port. Alternatively, the iPhone could get an iPad-style USB-C port without an authenticator chip attached.