The new iPhone 15 finally joins Android by adopting USB-C

The iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max
(Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple has launched its latest iPhone models during its September 2023 “Wanderlust” event.
  • The company unveiled the new iPhone 15 series with Plus and Pro models.
  • All iPhone 15 models use USB-C, a major change after using the Lighting connector for years.
  • The iPhone 15 Pro has faster data transfer speeds thanks to the USB 3 standard.

The day has finally come. After many years of forcing consumers on the proprietary Lighting connector, Apple has finally moved over to USB-C with the new iPhone 15 models. The phones were launched on Tuesday at Apple's Wanderlust event, where the company made a big deal about the switch to USB-C, which has been present on Android phones for nearly a decade.

With the switch to USB-C, the standard iPhone 15 model will only support the USB 2 standard, while the iPhone 15 Pro supports USB 3 with boosted data transfer speeds that are "20x faster than USB 2." This is enabled by Apple's new A17 Pro chip, which brings more performance to the phone. As for charging, Apple says the phones can charge up to 50% in 30 minutes using a 20W or higher adapter.

Apple gave a few examples of how USB-C will enable creators to move files like ProRes video between devices much faster or connect to external storage, mics, and 4K displays from the iPhone — things many Android users are already used to doing on their devices.

This also brings the iPhone 15 more in line with Apple's other products, like the MacBook and iPad, which have been using USB-C for several years. The last time Apple switched ports was in 2012 when it moved from the 30-pin connector to the Lightning cable with the iPhone 5.

The iPhone 15 Pro connecting to a MacBook using a USB-C cable

The iPhone 15 Pro connecting to a MacBook using a USB-C cable. (Image credit: Apple)

While not mentioned at the launch event, the move was not completely random like the previous switch from the 30-pin connector. An EU mandate requires that all mobile phones, tablets, e-readers, digital cameras, and other small electronic devices must adopt a common charging standard by 2024.

The point is to help consumers reduce the number of chargers they purchase while making it easy to buy a new device without worrying about what charging cable it uses. The EU also hopes to "reduce e-waste and to empower consumers to make more sustainable choices."

Of course, as Android Central's Jerry Hildenbrand points out, not all USB-C is the same, and Apple could pull a fast one on us, particularly when it comes to its accessories.

The iPhone 15 with a USB-C cable next to a MacBook and iPad

(Image credit: Apple)

In addition to the iPhone 15, Apple also updated the AirPods Pro 2 with a USB-C charging case. The company is also selling wired EarPods with a USB-C cord.

Aside from the new charging cable, the iPhone 15 models have slightly updated designs, while the Pro models are now made with titanium. One major change compared to the iPhone 14 is that every model has the Dynamic Island, finally moving completely away from the standard notch that has been present on iPhones since the iPhone X. The iPhones also have improved cameras, including a new periscope lens on the Pro models with 5x optical zoom.

You can learn more about the iPhone 15 and everything Apple announced at its Wanderlust event over at iMore.

Derrek Lee
Managing Editor

Derrek is the managing editor of Android Central, helping to guide the site's editorial content and direction to reach and resonate with readers, old and new, who are just as passionate about tech as we are. He's been obsessed with mobile technology since he was 12, when he discovered the Nokia N90, and his love of flip phones and new form factors continues to this day. As a fitness enthusiast, he has always been curious about the intersection of tech and fitness. When he's not working, he's probably working out.

  • cribble2k
    And I still don't want to buy it!
  • Climb14er
    Good move on Apple’s part. Won’t be buying the 15 ProMax as my 13 Pro Max has been running and performing to near perfection. After many years on Android since the beginning, and having run to iOS when Google released the Pixel 6 Pro with a very weak modem, and was absolutely no help with support, I was surprised at how well iOS runs. If Verizon Business makes me an offer I can’t refuse, I will transition to 15. If not, the 13 will continue to do its job well.
  • mustang7757
    I like the fact it has USB c but that alone not enough
  • fivish#
    I have two android phones and the older one Sony Experia L3 has USB C and the newer Nokia C21+ has USB Micro. Its not an android thing.
  • fuzzylumpkin
    fivish# said:
    I have two android phones and the older one Sony Experia L3 has USB C and the newer Nokia C21+ has USB Micro. Its not an android thing.
    Not sure why they released a phone with microUSB in 2022, but I do know the only reason anyone bought it is that it's dirt cheap

    MicroUSB is bad, and I'll be glad when it's dead. Which it already should be..