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In the past weeks, we’ve seen images of rumored USB-C components for the iPhone 15 series. Now a new report claimed that a certain detail in those photos shows Thunderbolt support, which should allow the devices to have faster transfer speeds.

Charger-dedicated website Chargerlab revealed the finding today, saying the photos show a Retimer chip, which can reconstruct signals and decrease the signal jitter. It reports:

In addition to the revelation of the iPhone 15’s port design, a mysterious IC is faintly visible behind the USB-C female socket. Upon magnification, it becomes apparent that this IC is a Retimer chip… The Retimer chip primarily serves to reconstruct signals and reduce signal jitter. This chip, commonly found in ChargerLAB’s disassembled Thunderbolt/USB4 high-speed devices, improves signal transmission stability for high-bandwidth data ports, enabling longer transmission distances.

Based on the images earlier shared by leakers online, the website deduced that the presence of the chip in the various USB-C components might mean that Apple is planning to bring Thunderbolt support to different iPhone 15 models.

It is important to note, however, that it is still uncertain what models of the iPhone 15 line will receive the iPhone 15 support. The photos leaked online show the components for the iPhone 15 Pro Max, iPhone 15 Plus, and iPhone 15. So, if this is to be followed, the said models would probably get the feature. Yet, based on the present device offerings of Apple (where the iPad Pro only has Thunderbolt support in the iPad lineup), there is a chance it could only be offered to Pro devices. If that is the case, it might also affect the chance of the Thunderbolt coming to older iPhone models, which Apple will reportedly redesign for the sake of a USB-C port. 


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