Could the iPhone 6 introduce a new Lightning cable with reversible USB?

Just a little earlier this week we were thinking about USB cables, and specifically, ones that could be inserted into a device regardless of their orientation: double-sided connectors, just like Apple introduced with its Lightning cable a couple years back. That new USB interface will ultimately arrive as part of the USB 3.1 Type-C spec, but with the details only just now going official, it’s still going to be a while before we see anything like that on our phones. Now a new leak suggests that Apple could beat the rest of the industry to the punch, and may release a new Lightning cable for the iPhone 6 that would give it its own reversible USB connector.

Rather than going with an all-new layout, like we see with that Type-C connector, Apple appears to be trying to create a reversible USB plug that fits into existing Standard-A ports – there’s even a recently published Apple patent that describes just such a reversible connector.

The thing is, in order to get a system like this working with existing USB ports, the plug’s going to have to have a flexible contact in the middle – and Apple’s patent appears to describe a connector much along that line. One of the big selling points of Lightning was how it could help minimize wear (by nature of reducing the struggle to get a plug to fit), whereas this new system seems to almost be inviting increased wear – at least, on the connector end. Will the convenience factor cancel that out? Heck, are these even real pictures to begin with? Our answers may be just weeks away, with an Apple iPhone 6 event expected for early September.


Source: Dianxinshouji (Google Translate), USPTO
Via: iClarified

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Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bits Read more about Stephen Schenck!