The iPhone 6’s Lightning cable could be reversible on the USB side too

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With the next-gen USB 3.1 standard now heading into production, the USB connectors of the future will be a lot more like Lightning. Featuring small, reversible connectors, the new USB Type-C cable will be particularly well suited to syncing and charging smartphones and tablets… again, just like Lightning.

But new images said to come from within Foxconn show that Apple isn’t done innovating with Lightning just yet, and that we won’t have to wait until USB Type-C to become ubiquitous to have fully-reversible USB Lightning cables. The shots are purportedly of a fully-reversible USB connector for Apple’s next Lightning cable. In other words, instead of having to plug the Lightning cable into your computer in one specific orientation, you could do it either way.

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The effect is achieved through a modified male USB Type-A connector that is different from what is found on existing Lightning Connectors. In existing Lightning Cables, the pins of this male end are attached to a buffer section of the metal casing that takes up roughly 50% of the USB Type-A connector, guaranteeing it can only be plugged in one way. In this new cable, the buffer section has been stripped away, ‘floating’ the pins in the middle of the connector and allowing it to be plugged into a computer in either direction.

Nowherelse.fr, who discovered these shots, says that it’s possible this connector isn’t actually being made for Apple, but instead for a third-party maker of Lightning cables. Time will tell, but it’s certainly an interesting development.

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About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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