Will Apple ever upgrade the iPhone’s Lightning port to USB 3.0 speeds?

Apple’s Pro-branded iPhone 14 models due in Fall 2022 may feature a faster Lightning port with supports for USB 3.0 speeds, up from USB 2.0.

A photograph focused on a male hand holding both ends of Apple's Lightning to USB-C cable in the foreground, with an iPhone laid on a table blurred out in the background.
  • Apple is expected to retain the Lighting port, with the iPhone 14 Pro models however possibly updating transfer rates on the 10-year-old connector to USB 3.0 speeds of 640 megabytes per second (MBps), or ten times faster than USB 2.0.
  • from a technical standpoint, the Lightning port on current iPhones could be faster but Apple has capped it at USB 2.0 speeds of up to 480 megabits per second (Mbps) for compatibility reasons.
  • A faster Lightning port would appeal to video creators who waste hours transferring ProRes footage from their phone to a computer via slow USB 2.0.

iPhone 14 Pro may get a faster USB 3.0 Lightning port

iDropNews learned from unnamed sources that Apple is upgrading the Lightning port on iPhone 14 Pro models from USB 2.0 to USB 3.0 speeds, theoretically bringing up to ten times faster transfer speeds over the same wire as before.

The Lightning connector normally operates at USB 2.0 speeds, but it’s not technically limited to that, and Apple engineers are working on 3.0 speeds for the iPhone 14 Pro connector.

And this:

As far as I know, Apple plans to implement this feature on the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max.

The article wouldn’t confirm whether or not a faster Lightning port would also appear on the non-Pro iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Max models. At any rate, if this information proves correct then this will mark the first protocol update since Lightning’s release.

How trustworthy is this rumor?

You should treat approach this rumor with caution. The article credits this information to unnamed sources and no other publication or source has stepped forward yet to back up those claims. As for the idea of a portless iPhone, it was floated many times before. In 2020, Barclays analysts predicted that Apple would eventually release a completely wireless iPhone model without Lightning—and quite possibly without USB-C or any other form of wired charging for that matter.

When will Apple ditch Lightning?

Launched in 2012 on the iPhone 5 as an upgrade to the 30-pin dock connector, the Lightning port is still chugging along a decade later. And Apple doesn’t appear interested in making a jump from Lightning to USB-C on iPhones like with the iPad Pro. If that’s because all of Apple’s energies in the smartphone department are focused on creating a true fullscreen, portless iPhone, then that makes sense.

The article actually goes on to touch on the subject of a portless iPhone, which the author says could be coming with the iPhone 16 Pro in 2024 provided Apple solves the issue of connecting MagSafe iPhones to Windows computers.