Upcoming Reversible USB Cable Depicted in New Renderings

Discussion in 'Mac Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Apr 2, 2014.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    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.

    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.

    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.

    Article Link: Upcoming Reversible USB Cable Depicted in New Renderings
  2. macrumors member

    Jan 16, 2008
    Cool that there's something universal coming. The Lightening connector seems way better though.
  3. macrumors member

    Aug 15, 2013
    In the midst of it
    If I had a dollar for every time I... But really, Its about time.
  4. macrumors 6502


    May 7, 2009
    I hate how long it will take for this to become the norm. Sometimes I wish I didn't read tech sites :/
  5. macrumors 603


    Jan 20, 2010
    Oh great, another connector standard. Give me an SCSI cable.
  6. macrumors 68020


    May 19, 2011
    Leicestershire, UK
    A far smaller, Lightening size USB port will mean great things for products. Particularly laptops - doing away with ethernet ports (already done) and slimming down USB ports will mean crazy thin laptops.
  7. macrumors 601


    Sep 21, 2010
    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.
  8. macrumors 68000


    Apr 24, 2013
    New Orleans
    I dont like new standards because all my current stuff will no longer be compatible with the new equipment; but I will admit, the current USB is pretty big for this day and age.
  9. macrumors regular

    Jan 15, 2013
    How and why is the lightning connector better?
  10. macrumors 6502a

    Feb 7, 2011
    It's about time. It's only been like 15 years lol.
  11. macrumors 6502a


    Jan 18, 2010
    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.
  12. macrumors 6502a


    Oct 5, 2006
    Tokyo, Japan
    To everyone not using Apple products: welcome to 2012.
  13. macrumors 6502a

    Jan 28, 2005
    Ugh. So now Apple either has to switch from Lightning to the Type C connector, or make cables that are Type C on one end and Lightning on the other. The latter will be quite confusing, if Lightning and Type C look as similar as those renderings suggest.
  14. macrumors 65816


    Oct 1, 2003
    My sight may not be what it used to be, but I think the USB connectors both are more rectangular compared to the lightning connector. but when they start getting small, it could still be easy to confuse.

    What would be great is if Apple could make the ports multi purpose for lightning and USB. I would love 4 combo ports...
  15. macrumors 6502

    Oct 6, 2013
    It would be nice if Apple adopted this type of cable in place of a proprietary one.
  16. macrumors 603


    Aug 2, 2002
    Cork, Ireland.
    Great. So instead of just flipping a USB plug over so it fits, now I'll have to buy & carry adaptors because all my existing devices have traditional USB ports?

    Hmmm. By the time this is standard, there'll be a new "universal standard" in the pipeline to replace it. Or we'll have gone all-wireless.

  17. macrumors regular


    Mar 13, 2011
    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...

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

    And, yes, Apple got there first, but this kind of seems like one of those inevitable things, not something the USB folks are doing to "copy" Apple.


    Nah, if the renderings are accurate, it won't be. Like other USB cables, this will have an end with a hole in it. The lightning connector is flat with connector plates on the outside of it. Putting your finger on the end of both should allow anyone to tell the difference.
  18. macrumors 6502a


    Sep 23, 2003
    About time!!! I have always hated how it seems that I can never plug a usb cable in on the first try.
    But if Apple already has lightning why not lower the licensing fee so that it could become standard?
  19. macrumors 68020


    Nov 16, 2006
    Yes, these cant come soon enough.
  20. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 19, 2010
    Maybe if those in charge of the usb spec would get their act together, Apple wouldn't have to create proprietary connectors. I'll enjoy my lightning connector for 2-3+ years before you get usb 3.1 that is larger than micro usb.
  21. macrumors regular


    Mar 4, 2008
    The cable might be reversible but the port doesn't appear to be. Who cares if we can use either end to plug in if it's still upside down on the first attempt? Hopefully the final spec addresses this
  22. macrumors 68040


    Feb 12, 2010
    What Pc manufacturer would replace their Type A USB 3.1 port for Type C? Why not just make type A reversible?
  23. macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2013
    I never quite figured out how to plug my iPad Air in in the dark.

    You'd think the reversible cable would have made it easier...

  24. macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2008
    Holocene Epoch
    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...
  25. macrumors 604

    Sep 23, 2003
    Probably won't happen. The lightning connector passes audio (digital) and video, if Apple didn't care about that they already could have gone with micro USB.

    In apple's case they don't just care about cables, there are also many accessories like docks and boom boxes. I assume the lightning design was motivated more by the accessory market and that if it was only for cables it would have been different.

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