There’s a lot to dislike about Apple’s unilateral move to introduce a new non-standard connector with last year’s debut of the Lightning cable: it creates a new expense for users, generates unneeded waste, and uses technological measures to enforce Apple’s licensing policies. But for all the crap we have to put up with, it does have one small benefit: its reversible dual-sided construction makes connecting it a breeze. Luckily for those of us who prefer to use actual standards, there’s a new flavor of USB connector in the works that will be able to pull the same trick.
The so-called Type-C connector is going to be roughly the size of the micro USB you’re used to on your phone already, but with a number of enhancements. Those include support for things like scalable charging, as well as the Lighting-like ability to be inserted any which way you choose.
That flexibility will extend to cable orientation as well – the idea is that Type-C connectors will become prevalent on computers, so the cables we use will be the same on both ends – no more “small USB” phone end and “large USB” PC end, but the same on each side.
Look for the Type-C standard to be finalized by the middle of next year, and start showing up in devices a little further down the road.