Back in December, the the USB 3.0 Promoter Group announced that a next-generation of USB connectors was under development. The new standard, dubbed “USB Type-C,” introduces a new design, a smaller overall footprint, and usability enhancements such as a symmetrical, reversible connector that doesn’t require users to worry about orientation when plugging in (much like with Apple’s Lightning connector.) It will also allow manufacturers to create thinner and sleeker product designs and scale for future USB performance standards with a transfer speed up to 10Gbps. Today we get our first look at what the cable and connectors will actually look like with a rendering courtesy of Foxconn (via TheVerge).

The new cables are built on USB 3.1 and won’t be backwards compatible, so a number of “new-to-existing cables and adapters” will also arrive for compatibility with existing USB products. On top of a new reversible design that lets you plug in the connector without worrying about orientation, the much smaller footprint (closer to Apple’s Lightning cable size) will allow OEMs to create slimmer products. It’s not just Android and non-Apple devices that will benefit, however. Another image below shows what the connector would look like on the side of a laptop, something that’s a likelihood for MacBooks when Apple finally adopts the new standard. It would also make Apple’s cable for iOS devices reversible on both sides, with the Lightning on one end and the new USB Type-C on the other.

The finalized spec is expected to be released sometime in July, which means we could see new products announced using USB Type-C before the end of the year.


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11 Responses to “Render gives first look at next-gen reversible USB Type-C cable coming in July”

  1. Clear as mud. I don’t understand why tech sites are always complaining about not having enough stories to fill the space, but then when something interesting comes along you post a two paragraph nonsense “article” with tiny impossible to make out pictures. You not only don’t describe much of anything about the product, you don’t even make it clear what the thing looks like.


    • That picture is not tiny if you click on it., Learn how to use your technology and maybe you won’t have so much complaining to do. And those pictures are from Foxconn, and are renderings, so that’s as good as it gets right now. Go find something better to complain about.


  2. Closely resembles Micro USB, and that is not a good thing. Micro USB was basically designed to fail without them knowing. The connection is way too small and has too small of parts to be able to hold up to years of use. Why do you think Apple went with creating the Lightning connector instead of using Micro USB as the new connector? Its even smaller and thinner than Micro, sure it can fail, but not as easily as Micro USB. As a repair Tech for a cell phone repair store i see way too many Micro USB repairs. They always fail, again sure Apples ports do but rarely because of just use, usually some type of water damage makes Apples stop working correctly.
    If they make this connector small like the Micro USB i hope that the pins are adjustable and are some how spring loaded so that they can move without being damaged, better yet make something that is identical to a lightning connector that has the pins on the top and bottom of the port, not the middle.
    Oh and while you’re at it make it so there is only one type of port (ie: in cell phones they all use a different design for the housing and some have more pins on the board than others, Samsung S3 has 8 pins? i believe, Motorola uses some with 4 pins sometimes) Use the same housing and number of pins so they are all universal and easy to fix. Oh and better yet, don’t make it soldered to anything, make it a connection that is screwed down or pressure connected or on a ribbon cable/flex, then repair will be cheap and easy.
    Thats how you make a new standard that is great! (feel free to add if you think there needs to be more)


    • Stetson says:

      Good points all around. These seem to be the sorts of flaws that you get when you design by committee. The double-layered construction style (pins on the inside) is probably a lot cheaper to produce for OEMs. A single layer connector like lightning with pins on the outside will be more durable over time but probably more expensive to build.


    • uniszuurmond says:

      My lightning connector started giving problems 6 months after I got my iPhone, and I really take great care of my things. The connection is not only way too loose fitting, but also tends to gather dust. So I have to connect deep enough at just the right angle to get a charge.


      • Stetson says:

        I had a similar issue with an out-of-warranty iPhone 5 that eventually stopped charging completely. Took it into an Apple store and they cleaned all of the dust/lint out of the lightning connector and it worked fine.

        Not perfect, but the actual pins and connectors were all still just fine.


  3. Stetson says:

    Wonder how long until Apple is only using these USB ports on their thin laptops and just using an adapter for going to legacy USB ports?


  4. This is where Apple should have been stepping in and offering Lightning for a small royalty (to make it attractive), if not for free.

    As far as I know, the licensing is too expensive to allow wide adoption and it actually reminds me of another failed standard Sony tried to push back in the early 2000s (memorystick anyone???).

    Now, Apple’s leadership may have dreams about their products and its platforms, but they should also be looking at Sony’s (failure) examples.


  5. Tallest Skil says:


    Enjoy, USB-fans.


  6. Interesting. Remember, from 2015 whole EU requires all phone chargers to be the same. I guess OEMs ego’s were too big and everyone will get this crap. But Apple’s ego is not any smaller, so will they comply?