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
133 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
133 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
133 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
133 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
133 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
133 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)

Popular Stories

Apple Vision Pro 2 Feature 2

Apple Reportedly Suspends Work on Vision Pro 2

Tuesday June 18, 2024 8:17 am PDT by
Apple has suspended work on the second-generation Vision Pro headset to singularly focus on a cheaper model, The Information reports. Apple was widely believed to have plans to divide its Vision product line into two models, with one "Pro" model and one lower-cost standard model. The company is said to have been deprioritizing the next Vision Pro headset over the past year, gradually...
Apple WWDC24 Apple Intelligence hero 240610

Apple Explains iPhone 15 Pro Requirement for Apple Intelligence

Wednesday June 19, 2024 4:48 am PDT by
With iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS Sequoia, Apple is introducing a new personalized AI experience called Apple Intelligence that uses on-device, generative large-language models to enhance the user experience across iPhone, iPad, and Mac. These new AI features require Apple's latest iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max models to work, while only Macs and iPads with M1 or later chips will...
2022 back to school apple feature

Apple's 2024 Back to School Sale Launching This Week

Monday June 17, 2024 12:27 pm PDT by
Apple will launch its annual Back to School promotion for university students in the United States and Canada this week, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Apple's back to school sales provide students with a free Apple gift card when purchasing a Mac or an iPad, and this year's promotion could help Apple push the new M2 iPad Air and M4 iPad Pro models. Last year, Apple offered U.S....
apple watch series 9 display

Kuo: Apple Watch Series 10 to Get Larger Screen and Thinner Design

Monday June 17, 2024 1:20 am PDT by
This year's Apple Watch Series 10 will be thinner and come in larger screen sizes than previous models, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In his latest industry note -10-and-98075c44ce92">shared on Medium, Kuo said the screen size options on the next-generation Apple Watch will increase from 41mm to 45mm, and from 45mm to 49mm, while being encased in a thinner design. For reference,...
M4 Real Feature Red

M4 MacBook Pro Models Expected to Launch in Late 2024

Tuesday June 18, 2024 10:50 am PDT by
MacBook Pro models with an M4 chip are expected to launch in the fourth quarter of 2024, according to display analyst Ross Young. In a tweet for subscribers, Young said that panel shipments for new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models are set to begin in the third quarter of 2024, which suggests a launch toward the end of the year. Apple started its M4 chip refresh in May with the launch...
Apple Pay Later feature 1

Apple Discontinuing Apple Pay Later

Monday June 17, 2024 11:44 am PDT by
Apple is discontinuing Apple Pay Later, the buy now, pay later feature that it just launched last October. Apple Pay Later is being discontinued as of today, but people who have existing Apple Pay Later loans will be able to continue to pay them off and manage them through the Wallet app. Apple announced plans to end the feature in a statement provided to 9to5Mac, which also notes that...
watchOS 11 Thumb 2 1

watchOS 11 Supports Automatic Nap Detection

Monday June 17, 2024 4:05 pm PDT by
watchOS 11 appears to include a new feature that allows an Apple Watch to automatically detect and record when you're taking a nap. As shared on Reddit, an Apple Watch owner took a nap and was able to see the sleep data recorded in the Health app, despite not putting the device in Sleep Mode. Right now, the Apple Watch only tracks and records sleep when it is in Sleep Mode, and there is no...
iPod Nano vs iPod Pro Ad Feature 1

Apple Developing Thinner MacBook Pro, Apple Watch, and iPhone

Monday June 17, 2024 2:22 am PDT by
Apple intends to slim down the MacBook Pro, Apple Watch, and iPhone, with the new ultra-thin M4 iPad Pro a sign of the company's new design trajectory, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. When the M4 iPad Pro was unveiled last month, Apple touted it as the company's thinnest product ever, and even compared it to the 2012 iPod nano to emphasize its slim dimensions. Writing in the latest ...