Lightning envy: Next-gen USB enters production with reversible design

A concept of what a Lightning-to-USB Type-C cable would look like.

A concept of what a Lightning-to-USB Type-C cable could look like.

We’ve known for awhile that the next version of USB will copy Apple’s Lightning connector with a reversible design. Now the next-gen connector is ready for production, which means you’ll start seeing it in new desktops, laptops, tablets, phones and accessories.

Today the USB 3.0 Promoter Group announced that work on the new design, called USB Type-C, is done and ready to be implemented.

“Interest in the USB Type-C connector has not only been global, but cross-industry as well,” said Brad Saunders, USB 3.0 Promoter Group Chairman. “Representatives from the PC, mobile, automotive and IoT industries have been knocking down our door anticipating this new standard. This specification is the culmination of an extensive, cooperative effort among industry leaders to standardize the next generation USB connector as a long-lasting, robust solution.”

The new connector is not only reversible, but much smaller than the current USB design. It’s about the size of the traditional micro-USB connector, which makes it “robust enough for laptops and tablets” yet “slim enough for mobile phones.”

Apple debuted its proprietary Lightning connector alongside the iPhone 5. Lightning was the first connector of its kind that could be used on both sides. Now the rest of the industry is catching up.

  • José Daniel Cuervo

    I think that the mayor question here is if these new usb have the same vulnerability as previous versions….

  • Dan Grassi

    The image is not even close!

  • jjredfish

    Wow. Sad. A direct rip-off, as usual.

    Apple is the consumer electronics designer for the world.

    • Justmejustinc

      Hey buddy, look at the new iPhone. Bigger, wow, going back on its own design standards. Apple sure does design for the world right?

      • denis200812

        and your point being? size matters, but is there anything new with making thing bigger or smaller?
        look at the lighting cables and tell me: did anybody else have the same design before?

      • Justmejustinc

        You can say that about almost anything.
        Anyways, is reversible charging a direct rip off? Is that how low apple fans are getting these days?

      • jjredfish

        Yes, they absolutely do design for the world, “buddy”.

        Apple made the original “big screen” phone with the first iPhone. Then they supersized that, sans phone functionality, to make the iPad.

        Apple is not “going back”, they are going forward, with the standards they created – and everyone else continues to copy.

      • Justmejustinc

        Yeah, nobody is referring to apple in 2007. Talkin bout now. I’m glad that you focus on what your charger looks like even though its plugged into your phone half the time. But hey, you must have the darn thing with you a lot seeing as shamesungs wall hugger commercial is correct, eh?

      • PMB01

        And yet it’s a complete farce. My 5S gets through a day much easier than all my friends with Androids (which isn’t that many); they frequently have to charge throughout the day while I have no issues getting moderate usage for a full day. Keep spouting that BS if you enjoy living in that fantasy world so much!

      • jjredfish

        OK, so you are going to pick and choose your time period…

        So, “Talkin bout now”, who are you referring to that is using the big screen phone “now”? (Yes, the one Apple invented in 2007).

      • Justmejustinc

        We are currently in this time period.

      • jjredfish

        Yes we are.

        And…

        ????

    • Grunt_at_the_Point

      I think you should read the article again jj. The article said “CONCEPT”of what the new cable would look like. It did not say it would be the real thing.

      I can remember when a lot of Apple folks said the lightning cable was a rip off. I y’all change your tune.

      • Justmejustinc

        Yes, because captions on photos show up in my RSS feeds instead of headlines. Duh, right?

      • Justmejustinc

        Also, no arguing that the person I replied too was comparing the looks of these chargers Even though it is a concept.

    • Jamal

      Who really cares, its good for consumers. I don’t see any problem

  • William Donelson

    USB-3 causes TERRIBLE interference with many, many 2.4 GHz devices. Even INTEL says so in their OWN documents: USB3 — Intel’s OWN report here — http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/io/universal-serial-bus/usb3-frequency-interference-paper.html

  • William Donelson

    Goodbye WiFi and wireless devices if you try to use USB3 — Intel’s OWN report here — http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/io/universal-serial-bus/usb3-frequency-interference-paper.html

  • William Donelson

    Goodbye WiFi and wireless devices if you try to use USB3 — Intel’s OWN report here — http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/io/universal-serial-bus/usb3-frequency-interference-paper.html

  • Justmejustinc

    HEADLINE: CULT OF MAC POST MISLEADING IMAGES KNOWLINGLY AS A RESULT OF HAVING NOTHING GOOD TO REPORT ABOUT TODAY. nice job guys. Keep letting the rest of the industry use you as a punchline. What a sad site.

    • denis200812

      and what r u doing here then? i d i

      • Justmejustinc

        Just trying to bring some common sense into your mediocre, conforming lifestyle.

      • Michael Davias

        Hanging out on an Apple-specific website to snipe makes it apparent you are a paid Samsung troll. Revisionist history 101 is all you seem to offer. Apple was the first PC manufacturers to move to USB for buss connectivity, while Windoze languished with the old serial connections. They were the first to note that it is a PITA to plug in a standard USB connector – and when they fixed it and the initial response of the pundits was “give me a standard micro USB”, err… one of the many “standards”.

    • PMB01

      You are a sad, strangle little man; and you have my pity.

      • Justmejustinc

        Well, I am 14. Soooo kinda true.

      • Justmejustinc

        But I’m glad you feel bad for 14 year old!

  • William Donelson

    Sorry, Cult is not letting me post Intel’s OWN report on 2.4 GHz interference from USB-3. I have personally had lots of trouble with this. Google: usb 3 intel interference

  • http://www.eazycomputers.com/ PhoneTechJay

    Personally I think a mag-safe style USB connection would be WAY better!!

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath is a staff writer at Cult of Mac and co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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