Apple’s upcoming iPhone 15 series has long been rumoured to sport USB-C ports instead of Lightning as a result of new rules in the EU. We’ve even seen pictures of the alleged ports separate from the iPhones themselves. Now, some think the pictures indicate the iPhone 15 will support Thunderbolt 4.
The speculation comes from ChargerLAB (via MacRumors). ChargerLAB shared several images of USB-C printer circuit boards (PCBs) for the upcoming iPhones and highlighted what it believes to be a ‘retimer’ integrated circuit (IC) on the PCB.
Retimer chips are used to reconstruct signals and reduce signal jitter. ChargerLAB says it commonly finds these retimer chips in disassembled Thunderbolt 4 and USB-4 devices.
If the IC ChargerLAB spotted is indeed a retimer chip, it could indicate the USB-C port on Apple’s upcoming devices will support high data transfer speeds.
However, there are also ongoing rumours about how the iPhone USB-C port may have limited charging and data transfer capabilities when used with accessories that aren’t part of Apple’s ‘Made for iPhone’ (MFi) certification program. The EU has warned Apple not to limit USB-C functionality, so perhaps the alleged retimer chip is evidence Apple won’t go the MFi route.