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.

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath has been a staff writer at Cult of Mac for three years. He is also a 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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