iPhone 15 USB-C cables could offer super-fast charging — but there's a catch

Lightning cable and USB-C cable
(Image credit: Future)

The last few days have seen a bunch of rumors related to the iPhone 15’s USB-C cable hit the web. It’s been claimed that each phone will be bundled with a color-coordinated braided USB-C cable. Now leaker Majin Bu has tweeted out more details about what we can expect these cables to do.

Bu claims the cables will be 1.6 meters (5 feet, 2 inches) long,include 16 pins and are thicker and more resistant than classic iPhone cables are known to be. They also believe that these cables won’t be tied into a “Made for iPhone” certification program, which is fantastic news, as is the 20V and 3A power rating — which means they can handle up to 60W charging speeds.

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The bad news? These cables are apparently only rated for USB 2.0 charging speeds, which is 480 Mbps. Word is that the iPhone 15 USB-C port will also be limited to USB 2.0 data transfer speeds, which is the same as Lightning offers. So you can understand why Apple may have limited the data transfer speed, since anything more may be useless on iPhone 15. 

Though it also means the cables are at a disadvantage if you use them with any other device — such as a MacBook or maybe even an iPhone 15 Pro

Interestingly, Bu refers to these cables as the “iPhone 15 USB C cable”, with no reference to the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max models anywhere in his tweet. So it’s a little unclear whether the iPhone 15 Pros will have the same cable, or something a little more advanced for the rumored USB 3.2 and Thunderbolt connectivity

Given the constant rumors of an iPhone 15 Pro price increase, we’d hope Apple puts that extra money to good use. But it could be that the company is content with giving customers the bare essentials, and charging extra for a better cable. You don’t get a $1 trillion-plus valuation by being generous, after all.

But if Bu is correct about the voltage and amperage, it means these cables can handle up to 60W charging speeds. Word is that the iPhone 15 may get 35W speeds this year, but it also means this could be your go-to cable for faster charging on other devices — like laptops. 

The lack of Made for iPhone certification also has me wondering about the accuracy of these particular rumors. Restrictions on charging and transfer speeds would ruin the best thing about USB-C, but if Apple isn't certifying the cables included with the iPhone 15, it suggests that our fears may have been unfounded — which I'm all for. We won't know for sure until the iPhone 15 launch event, though.

We’ll likely find out more about these cables in the coming weeks, especially as the current rumors claim the Apple September event is set to happen on September 12 — just three weeks away at time of writing. In the meantime, you can keep up to date with all the latest news and rumors in our iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max hubs.

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Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.