The upcoming USB 3.1 specification, an update to USB 3.0 that provides a throughput of up to 10 Gbit/s, also includes a new "Type C" connector, which is reversible much like Apple's Lightning cable.

Announced in December [PDF], the reversible design was said to be smaller in size, similar to existing Micro USB plugs. While no cables are available yet, the USB Implementers Forum (via CNET) has released renderings showing what the cable might look like.

usbtypec1
The reversible design, which looks a lot like a Lightning cable, aims to replace USB and Micro USB with one cable that can be used from either direction. The USB prong is 8.3 x 2.5mm, which is much smaller than standard USB ports but larger than Micro USB.

usbtypec2
At the current point in time, the cable's design has yet to be finalized, which means a final product could look somewhat different. The specification is expected to be finished in July of 2014.

Top Rated Comments

ActionableMango Avatar
96 months ago
Competition is good

As much as people rail on Apple for using a non-standard port and cable, it took Apple to show everyone what we've been missing all along. And soon we will all benefit with better USB cables.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
John.B Avatar
96 months ago
Why on God's Green Earth did it take this long (and still hasn't been released in the wild)?



Edit: Note that this is opposite of the Lightning connector, where the male connector sits inside the socket. That design will mean a lot of sockets inside expensive electronics will what breaks, instead of the connector on a cheap cable. These USB guys really couldn't be more daft...
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
heimo Avatar
96 months ago
I dont like new standards because all my current stuff will no longer be compatible with the new equipment

We need more standards to standardize the existing standards. Has anyone standardized the process of standardizing standards? I love new standards.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
lincolntran Avatar
96 months ago
As much as people rail on Apple for using a non-standard port and cable, it took Apple to show everyone what we've been missing all along. And soon we will all benefit with better USB cables.

Apple is the catalyst of change (or guenie pig) in the tech industry. Most companies don't have the gut to make drastic changes unless Apple does it first. This is not all the times, but most of the time.

This is why I'm not a fan of those short sighted exec sitting in their corner office blocking tech progression.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Alphabetize Avatar
96 months ago
It would be nice if Apple adopted this type of cable in place of a proprietary one.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ActionableMango Avatar
96 months ago
Ok, I'm confused... yes, the Lightning connector is reversible, but well, the only things that really use it are iDevices, and the speeds (so far as I've read) are more comparable with USB 2.0, not even Gbps...

The lightning connector is just the physical interface. The reason why you are seeing USB 2.0 speed when syncing is because the devices have USB 2.0 chipsets in them.

This is just like a USB connector which can carry USB 1.1, 2.0, or 3.0. It's not the connector, it's the chipset in the device.

So aside from the fact it's reversible, what's so great about the lightning connector?

It's the little things. This will sound ridiculous to anyone who doesn't use it, but to anyone who does use it, they will know what I'm saying. It's really a genuine pleasure to use. The reversible aspect is a large part of it, but there's more:

1) There's also a nice snap to it as it goes in that gives you confidence it's in all the way and secure. USB connectors just sort of slide in and have the same amount of friction whether its barely in or all the way.

2) It's easy to plug in. USB, even if you have it the right way up, doesn't naturally align. How many times have I tried to plug it in, assumed it was upside down, flipped it over and tried to plug it in again, assumed it was upside down THIS TIME, and flipped it over AGAIN, and finally it goes in.

3) It's smaller than it's predecessor. Micro USB got BIGGER going to USB 3, AND more finicky to insert. Seriously???


4) Lightning is solid. Micro USB has a reputation for being fragile and cellphone repair shops say it is the most commonly broken part they fix.

5) All my Apple devices use the same connector. My USB devices, which are "standard", use USB 2.0, Micro USB, Micro USB 3.0, and Mini USB. Four different cables for USB, and soon to be five when this one comes out.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Pro Display XDR Yella

Apple Working on External Display With Built-In A13 Chip

Friday July 23, 2021 9:37 am PDT by
Apple is developing an external display that includes an A13 chip with Neural Engine, according to a new rumor from 9to5Mac. The A13 chip with Neural Engine would presumably serve as an eGPU, though details are light at this time. Having a CPU/GPU built into the external display could help Macs deliver high-resolution graphics without using all the resources of the computer's internal chip....
airpods 3 gizmochina Feature

AirPods 3 Rumored to Launch Alongside iPhone 13 at Expected September Event

Friday July 23, 2021 12:54 am PDT by
The third-generation AirPods will likely launch at the same event revealing Apple's upcoming iPhone 13 lineup, according to a report from DigiTimes, which makes the claim citing sources familiar with the matter. The report as a whole echoes previous reporting that production of the third-generation AirPods will kickstart in August, meaning a launch shortly after can be easily expected. DigiTi...
discount m1 macbook yellow

Deals: Shop Record Low Prices Across Apple's Full MacBook Pro and MacBook Air Lineup (Up to $499 Off)

Friday July 23, 2021 8:23 am PDT by
Apple's MacBook Pro and MacBook Air lineup is seeing all-time low discounts across the board today, including the 2019 16-inch MacBook Pro, 2020 13-inch MacBook Air, and 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. 13-Inch M1...
iPad mini pro feature

Next iPad Mini Won't Feature Mini-LED Display, Claims Display Analyst

Friday July 23, 2021 8:07 am PDT by
Yesterday, DigiTimes claimed that the upcoming iPad mini will feature a mini-LED display, but now, display analyst Ross Young is going at odds with that report, claiming that while the updated iPad mini continues to be on track for a release this year, it won't feature a mini-LED display. Young says he "confirmed" with Radiant Opto-Electronics, who DigiTimes claims would provide Apple with...
idos 2 app ios

Apple to Pull 'iDOS 2' DOS Emulator From App Store

Thursday July 22, 2021 3:22 pm PDT by
iDOS 2, an app designed to allow users to play classic DOS games, will soon be pulled from the App Store, the app's creator said today. According to iDOS developer Chaoji Li, he tried to submit an iDOS update with bug fixes to the App Store, but was told that the update was rejected because it violated the 2.5.2 App Store guideline that says apps cannot install or launch executable code.Durin...
m1 macbook air

Kuo: Mini-LED MacBook Air Coming in Mid-2022

Thursday July 22, 2021 7:48 pm PDT by
Apple will release a new version of the MacBook Air around the middle of 2022, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in note to investors seen by MacRumors. The upcoming MacBook Air will feature a 13.3-inch mini-LED display, which would make it the second Mac to gain mini-LED technology after the 2021 MacBook Pro, which is rumored to include a mini-LED display and is expected to launch later ...
iphone12cameras

iPhone Helps to Identify Rare Form of Cancer

Friday July 23, 2021 4:00 am PDT by
A photo taken on an iPhone has helped to identify a rare form of cancer, according to news reports. A mother of three from Gainesville, Florida took a photo of her three-month-old son using her iPhone and its True Tone flash, which highlighted an abnormality in his right eye. The boy's mother, a labor and delivery nurse, recalled learning about retinoblastoma during her training....
iphone 13 blue with text

iPhone 13 May Support 25W Fast Charge Power Adapter

Friday July 23, 2021 2:52 am PDT by
The iPhone 13 may support faster-charging speeds with a 25W power adapter, compared to the current limitation of the iPhone 12, which only supports fast charging at up to 20W, according to a rumor originating from China. The iPhone 12 supports fast charging with a 20W or higher power adapter; however, even if users use a more powerful wall adapter, the iPhone itself only supports up to 20W....
iPad mini pro feature

Next-Generation iPad Mini Will Reportedly Feature a Mini-LED Display

Thursday July 22, 2021 9:03 am PDT by
Apple is widely rumored to be planning a new iPad mini with a significant redesign, including a larger 8.5-inch to 9-inch display with slimmer bezels, a Touch ID power button instead of a home button, a USB-C port instead of a Lightning connector, and more. According to a paywalled preview of a DigiTimes report today, the sixth-generation iPad mini will also feature a mini-LED display:BLU...
magsafe battery pack iphone 12 mini

Top Stories: Hands-On With MagSafe Battery Pack, iPhone 13 Always-On Display?

Saturday July 24, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
Apple's new MagSafe Battery Pack is now available, and we went hands-on this week for some early impressions of the new accessory to get more battery life out of Apple's iPhone 12 lineup. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. This week also saw a number of rumors about the upcoming redesigned MacBook Pro models, the iPhone 13 lineup, the next-generation iPad mini, a new...