Did Apple’s iPhone 15 Pro Sacrifice Speed for Affordability?

7 October, 2023 - 10:02 am (61 days ago)
1 min read

The Apple iPhone 15 Pro, one of the latest additions to the tech titan’s illustrious line of smartphones, has garnered attention not just for its stunning design and advanced features but also for some controversial tech decisions and challenges. Delving deeper into these aspects unveils a story of compromise, innovation, and potential future strategies.

Image Source: apple.com

USB-C & Thunderbolt 3: What Happened?

The pre-launch buzz surrounding the iPhone 15 Pro was heavily centered on its speculated USB-C support, particularly its compatibility with Thunderbolt 3. This transition was highly anticipated, considering the unparalleled 40Gbps throughput Thunderbolt 3 offers. But to the dismay of many, Apple decided to cap the bandwidth at a mere 10Gbps.

The powerful A17 Pro chip, which breathes life into the device, houses the same USB 3 controller as its computing counterpart, the M1 chip. This suggests the iPhone 15 Pro had the capacity to embrace Thunderbolt 3. So, what kept Apple from unleashing this beast?

Cost vs. Benefit Dilemma

Increasing the bandwidth might appear superfluous for a smartphone, but specific scenarios might benefit from this added speed. Yet, this tech upgrade would come at a price – potentially raising the iPhone’s cost. Apple’s decision to maintain the iPhone 15 Pro’s price at $999 is commendable, especially given its myriad of other enhancements. The larger iPhone 15 Pro Max variant, priced slightly higher, justifies its cost with double storage and a unique tetraprism camera.

External Factors: The Thunderbolt Predicament

Beyond the cost factors, there’s the matter of external partnerships. Thunderbolt 3’s origin traces back to Intel, and Apple’s use might entail a royalty payout for each device. Given this, Apple’s exclusion of full Thunderbolt 3 support can be viewed in a new light. However, with the foundational hardware support evident in the current models, we may witness this integration in the forthcoming iPhone 16 Pro series.

Thermal Challenges & Remedies

While the iPhone 15 Pro’s design has been applauded, especially its robust titanium finish, the device wasn’t without its initial setbacks. Early adopters reported overheating issues. Using thermal imaging, the pre-update iPhone 15 Pro registered a scorching 107.1°F, significantly higher than its Android competitors. But with the release of the iOS 17.0.3 update, temperatures have become more reasonable, hovering just below 94°F. While some testers claim negligible differences post-update, the broader consensus highlights a marked improvement.

Navigating the Tech Terrain

Apple’s journey with the iPhone 15 Pro showcases a balancing act between user expectations, technological feasibility, and external constraints. While some choices might seem perplexing on the surface, understanding the underlying rationale provides clarity. With further software updates in the pipeline, Apple continues its quest to refine and enhance the iPhone experience for its users.

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