iPhone 15 Pros could offer Thunderbolt support for advanced video work

Thunderbolt 3 support would enable videographers to output live 4K video on an external monitor in real-time while recording their footage.

Closeup of a male hand holding an iPhone, recording skateboard stunts
The best camera is the one that’s with you | Image: Jan Kopřiva/Unsplash
  • The upcoming iPhone 15 Pros may support Thunderbolt 3 via a USB-C port.
  • This should primarily cater to video enthusiasts and professionals.
  • You’ll be able to output live video to a monitor while recording.

iPhone 15 Pros may support Thunderbolt 3 for video work

This info comes from the tipster behind the @analyst941 Twitter account. If they’re correct, the next iPhone will make it a cinch to connect to high-performance Thunderbolt 3 accessories, like external storage devices, cameras, etc.

“A new cinematography feature that will allow live 4K Thunderbolt outputs to monitors while recording,” @analyst941 reported.

“Essentially, you’ll have the phone with all the camera controls, connected to a monitor displaying live 4K camera footage without any controls, in 16:9.”

Earlier rumors have said that the base (non-Pro) iPhone 15 models will have their USB-C port limited to USB 2.0 transfer speeds. This is the first time we heard about Thunderbolt support coming to the iPhone Pro line.

Hollywood in your pocket, baby!

Apple has positioned the iPhone Pros as “Hollywood in your pocket” thanks to features like multiple advanced cameras, ProRes video capture, etc. In that sense, adding Thunderbolt support is like the next logical step for Pro-branded iPhones.

The only problem is that some Thunderbolt accessories can request higher power from the host device that the next iPhone might not be able to provide. @analyst941 has correctly predicted the Dynamic Island feature—but nothing else so far—so you should be skeptical about this report.

Our take: A plausible rumor

This could soon be a reality on the next iPhone | Image: Apple

Apple is adopting USB-C across all four iPhone 15 models this year. Still, the tipster says the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max models will also support Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 ports are physically identical).

USb-C/Thunderbolt ports are the norm on the Mac. Regarding tablets, Apple currently offers Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports only on the fifth-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro and the third-generation 11-inch iPad Pro. The previous iPad Pro models have a USB-C port, but it doesn’t allow for Thunderbolt devices.

As we reported earlier, @analyst941 also thinks the rumored 14.1-inch iPad Pro will be able to output video to a pair of 6K displays at once via daisy chaining. In other words, that device should support the Thunderbolt protocol.