Apple adds Thread to new iPhones

  • September 13, 2023
  • William Payne

Two of Apple’s latest iPhones, the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, will support Thread, a communications protocol designed to support the Matter smart home connectivity standard.

Thread is a low power mesh networking protocol that can be used to connect devices within home networks. It uses the same radio frequency technology as Zigbee, but provides IP connectivity similar to Wi-Fi.

The Thread protocol makes it easier and faster for devices running Matter to connect to the home network, and it also extends the range of home networks and makes them more reliable.

Only the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max will supprt Thread. The iPhone 15 will not support the protocol.

Apple made the announcement of Thread support among a slew of other news about the new phones. This includes support for USB-C charging, which has been called for by the European Commission and is something that Apple had initially opposed. Dropping the company’s own lightning port and adopting USB-C brings the new phones into compliance with EU rules set to come into force in 2024.

The company has not detailed applications for Thread support in its new phones. It could provide improved appliance support for devices, enabling faster configuration and control of smart home devices from the phone. It could also act as a Thread Border Router, providing bridging support between Thread support IoT home devices and Wi-Fi devices such as laptops and smart televisions.