Apple Finally Embraces the Future: iPhones Go USB-C, Unlocking External Storage freedom

apple iphone go usb c

For years, iPhone users have been stuck with the Lightning connector, a proprietary charging and data transfer standard that Apple introduced in 2012. While it was initially lauded for its sleek design and durability, its closed nature has become increasingly inconvenient and frustrating in recent years.

Apple has finally succumbed to the inevitable, announcing that its iPhones will be ditching the proprietary Lightning port in favor of the ubiquitous USB-C standard. This long-awaited move will bring a wave of benefits to iPhone users, most notably the ability to easily connect external storage devices.

With the switch to USB-C, iPhone users will finally be able to enjoy the convenience and flexibility of a universal standard. USB-C is already widely used by other smartphones, laptops, and peripherals, making it easy to find compatible cables and chargers.

That’s all about to change. In a major shift, Apple has announced that it will be switching to the USB-C standard for iPhones starting with the 2024 models. This is a significant move that will benefit users in several ways.

The Benefits of USB-C

USB-C is a widely adopted standard that offers several advantages over Lightning:

  • Universal: It is used by a wide range of devices, including smartphones, laptops, tablets, and even some cameras. This means you can use the same cable to charge and transfer data between all your devices, regardless of brand.
  • Faster charging: USB-C supports faster charging speeds than Lightning, so you can get your iPhone back to full power quickly.
  • Faster data transfer: USB-C also supports faster data transfer speeds, so you can transfer large files to and from your iPhone more quickly.
  • More durable:┬áThe USB-C connector is more durable than the Lightning connector, so it is less likely to break or wear out.

Unlocking External Storage Freedom

One of the most exciting implications of the switch to USB-C is the potential for external storage support on iPhones. With a USB-C port, it would be theoretically possible to connect an external hard drive or flash drive to an iPhone and use it to store additional files. This would be a huge boon for users who need more storage space, such as photographers, videographers, and music lovers.

iPhone connected to external storage drive

However, it is important to note that Apple has not officially confirmed whether or not it will allow external storage on iPhones with USB-C. While the technical feasibility is there, Apple may choose to keep this functionality locked down for its own reasons.

Other Potential Benefits

In addition to the benefits mentioned above, the switch to USB-C could also lead to other improvements for iPhone users, such as:

  • Support for more accessories: More accessory makers will be able to create products that work with iPhones, as they will no longer need to worry about obtaining a special license from Apple to use the Lightning connector.
  • Reduced e-waste:┬áThe widespread adoption of USB-C could help to reduce e-waste, as users will no longer need to discard old cables and devices that are not compatible with the new standard.

How to Use an External Storage Device with Your iPhone

Tired of relying on cloud storage for your photos, videos, and other files? The good news is that every iPhone running iOS 17 and later, from the iPhone XR onwards, can use external storage devices.

Whether you prefer manual backups to iCloud, need access to DSLR photos on your iPhone, or simply want to transfer files, using an external storage device is a great option.

In today’s world, where we capture and store more data than ever before, iPhone storage space can be a precious commodity. Fortunately, iPhones now support external storage devices, allowing you to expand your storage capacity and free up space on your device.

Benefits of Using an External Storage Device with iPhone

Here are some of the benefits of using an external storage device with your iPhone:

  • Increased storage space: This allows you to store more photos, videos, music, files, and other data on your iPhone.
  • Backup your files: You can use an external storage device to back up your important files and data, ensuring you have a copy in case your iPhone is lost or damaged.
  • Record ProRes video: iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max users can record ProRes videos in high resolution (4K) and frame rate (120fps) using an external storage device.
  • Transfer files easily: You can easily transfer files between your iPhone and other devices, such as computers and cameras.

Choosing an External Storage Device

Most USB flash drives, portable SSDs, external hard drives, and memory card readers will work with your iPhone. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when choosing an external storage device:

  • Compatibility: Make sure the external storage device is compatible with your iPhone’s Lightning or USB-C port.
  • Power: If the external storage device requires an external power source, it may not work with your iPhone.
  • Formatting: The external storage device must be formatted as APFS, APFS (encrypted), macOS Extended (HFS Plus), exFAT (FAT64), FAT32, or FAT.
  • Write Speed: For recording 4K ProRes videos, choose an external drive with a write speed of at least 220MB/s.

Using an External Storage Device

Once you have chosen and connected your external storage device to your iPhone, follow these steps to use it:

  1. Open the Files app: This app allows you to manage files on your iPhone and external storage devices.
  2. Connect your external storage device: If your iPhone doesn’t detect the device automatically, tap the “Browse” tab and look for it under “Locations”.
  3. Browse files: You can access files on your external storage device by tapping its name in the left-hand menu.
  4. Copy or move files: To copy or move files, press and hold on the file or folder you want to transfer, and then choose “Copy” or “Move”.
  5. Save photos and videos: To save photos and videos directly to your iPhone’s Photos app, open the file, tap its name, and choose “Save to Photos”.

Additional Tips:

  • You can create new folders and rename files on your external storage device using the Files app.
  • You can format your external storage device using the Files app if it’s not formatted in a compatible format.
  • Make sure to back up your important data regularly, whether it’s stored on your iPhone or an external storage device.


The switch to USB-C is a welcome change for iPhone users. It will make iPhones more convenient and versatile, and it could pave the way for exciting new features like external storage support. While there are still some unknowns, such as whether Apple will allow external storage on iPhones with USB-C, the overall outlook is positive. This is a significant step forward for Apple and its users, and it is sure to have a major impact on the mobile landscape in the years to come.

When will iPhones switch to USB-C?

Apple has not officially announced the date when iPhones will switch to USB-C. However, rumors suggest that the change could happen as early as 2024 with the release of the iPhone

Which iPhones will get USB-C?

It is likely that all new iPhones released after the switch to USB-C will have the new port. However, it is unknown whether Apple will update any older iPhones to include USB-C.

Will I be able to use any USB-C device with my iPhone?

Most USB-C devices will work with your iPhone, but there may be some exceptions. For example, some external storage devices may require additional software or drivers to work properly with iOS.

How much external storage can I use with my iPhone?

The amount of external storage you can use with your iPhone depends on the specific device you choose. However, most external storage devices will offer significantly more storage than what is currently available on iPhones.

Can I use external storage to backup my iPhone?

Yes, you can use external storage to backup your iPhone. This is a great way to ensure that you have a copy of your important data in case your iPhone is lost or damaged.

Can I record ProRes video with external storage?

Yes, iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max users will be able to record ProRes video in high resolution and frame rate using an external storage device.

What are some of the benefits of using external storage with my iPhone?

There are many benefits to using external storage with your iPhone, including:
Increased storage space
Backup your files
Record ProRes video
Transfer files easily
By using external storage, you can expand the capabilities of your iPhone and make it a more versatile device.