Opinion: iPhone 15 USB 2.0 speed is okay, because you probably haven't used USB data transfer in years

The iPhone 15 series arrived with much fanfare thanks to the all-new USB-C. But even before the phones hit the shelves, critics have been on Apple’s heels for offering USB 2.0 data transfer speed on an $800 phone.

Apple finally made the long-awaited switch from Lightning to USB-C port. And while all four phones have the same port, the Pro models are equipped with superior functionalities to justify their hefty price tags.

iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max support USB 3 for data transfer speeds up to 10 gigabits per second, up to 20x faster than before.

It’s nothing unusual for Apple to differentiate the vanilla iPhone from the Pro models using certain features. But the idea of having slower USB 2.0 data transfer speed on the base models doesn’t sit well with some people.


Is it just me or are the Iphone 15 non pro models just placeholders to make the pro models look better? USB-C was probably the biggest change with the normal iPhone 15 models. Old processor, camera, 60hz and then only USB-2.0 cuz of the old processor.

It’s hard to argue against these sentiments. After all, it’s as if the base models exist solely to push people toward the Pro models for several hundred dollars more.

Not only do they come with the decades-old USB 2.0 data transfer speed. But you also miss out on a plethora of features that are only available on the Pro models.

Is the A16 chipset to blame?

It could be argued that the newer and more superior A17 Pro chipset is the reason. And for sure, you probably wouldn’t be wrong to claim this.

In fact, it’s possible this is the reason the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus only get USB 2.0 data transfer speed whereas the Pro models have USB 3.0 with speeds that are 10x faster.

The base models are powered by the older A16 chipset. And apparently, it’s incapable of handling the same speeds as the A17 Pro. This limits the two phones to the slower tech, but critics are taking none of that.

You probably haven’t used USB data transfer in years

Sure, looking at the price tags, there’s no reason the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus shouldn’t support USB 3.0 speeds. Heck, even the cheaper Pixel 7 and 7a have faster data transfer speeds than these two.

But it’s quite possible not many people will be bothered by this. I’d even wager that iPhone 15 buyers won’t ever tell the difference.

And fortunately for Apple, this is their target audience. This is likely the same audience that probably hasn’t used a USB cable to transfer data between their phone and other devices in years.

Yours truly, for instance, hasn’t touched a USB cable with the intention to transfer data between devices for over five years.

The last time I seriously needed this was back when I was into custom ROMs. I no longer mod, probably because my favorite platform, Android, has pretty much matured.

Better wireless, streaming & cloud storage services

Also, gone are the days when you’d transfer photos, music and video files between the phone and PC every now and then. Sometimes even huge folders of downloaded movies and series would make the cut.

Should Apple Music borrow Spotify Connect feature for continuity

Today, there is Netflix, YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music and plenty of other streaming platforms. You can watch on-demand movies and listen to music over the internet instead of having them stored on your phone.

Where needed, wireless technologies such as Bluetooth and even AirDrop have become so much better at this. So much so that they’ve even rendered USB transfer on most phones pretty much useless.

Furthermore, the emergence of cloud storage means you can always access your files from any device that can connect to the internet without having to necessarily use a USB cable to send files from one device to another.

This explains why you haven’t touched a USB cable for the past few years unless you want to charge your phone. It also explains why the iPhone 15 will still sell even with USB 2.0 speed.


That said, Apple fanboys do have a point arguing that the slow USB 2.0 speed on the iPhone 15 is a non-factor for them. Especially if they don’t need USB data transfer.

Still, it doesn’t negate the fact that not having it on an $800+ phone is a ripoff. This is especially true since cheaper smartphones have faster USB 3.0 speeds. Apple could’ve done much better here, but they didn’t.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments and poll below.

Do you still use a USB cable for data transfer on your phone?

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Hillary Keverenge

Review Editor. Besides phones, I also enjoy the farm, music, football, and, of course, food.