All lightning cables that I have used with my iPhone up until now have transferred data at a maximum of 480 Mbps. This is indicative of USB 2.0 connector speeds.

However, after researching this topic I'm quite confused. How do I transfer data between my Mac and my iPhone at USB 3.0 speeds? Do I need to lighting to USB C cable? Are there any lightning cables that transfer data at USB 3.0 speeds? Does my iPhone even support USB 3.0 speeds? I'm really confused and I can't find specifications for this anywhere.

What's even stranger is that my iPad Pro 11 can transfer data at USB 3.0 speeds via the USB port—and that's the only time I've ever seen such speed between a macOS and an iOS device.

I would like to know to achieve USB 3.0 speeds while transferring data to my iPhone. To do this, I would like to know, which iPhones support data transfer at USB 3.0 speeds in the first place, and which cable I need to use to transfer data at USB 3.0 speeds.

  • One question per question is the best tactic here. Down votes often sink a question that has one good clear question and a bunch of side questions.
    – bmike
    Commented May 27, 2020 at 23:53

1 Answer 1


The only iDevivce that support USB 3.0 speeds over the lightning connector is the iPad Pro released in 2015. Current iPad Pro Tablets with the USB-C connector support USB 3.

All other devices only support 2.0.

Do I need to lighting to USB C cable?

USB-C is just the physical port type. To get USB 3 speeds, you need at least a USB 3.0 port (blue connector in the Type A connector). As for the the specific port specification, Apple takes its classic “remain vague” tactic. All it says is it’s connectivity is “USB-C” not which USB spec it conforms to (i.e. USB 3.1 Gen 1).

  • "Apple takes its classic “remain vague” tactic"—this is very true, and I was surprised to not find any discussion about it online either
    – Oion Akif
    Commented May 28, 2020 at 0:11

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