USB Type-C Connector Poised to Rival Apple’s Lightning
Back in 2012, Apple retired their proprietary 30-pin connector and phased in a smaller, slimmer connector called Lightning. The connector made its debut with the iPhone 5 and is now standard on all Apple devices including iPhones, iPads, and iPods.
Beyond its shape, the Lightning connector is unique for being reversible – which means there is no “wrong way” to connect a charging cable. This gave Apple users an advantage over MicroUSB, the dominant connector used on Android-powered devices, which uses a directional connector.
MicroUSB connectors are “keyed” so that the cable only fits one way and were originally designed to ensure that users could not insert the cable the “wrong way.” However, keyed connectors have become the bane of smartphone owners trying to plug their phone in while in a dark or low-light environment.
Now, the USB Implementer’s Forum has responded with a reversible connector of their own. It’s called USB Type-C, and it will be available soon on all kinds of gadgets such as smartphones and tablets.
USB Type-C will include the high-speed capabilities of USB 3.1 for fast data transfers and quick charging. It has a small, reversible connector that can be plugged in either way, just like Lightning.
You can expect to see USB Type-C connectors on the next version of the Retina MacBook and the Chromebook Pixel laptops, but it may be a while before the technology trickles down to computer motherboards and other industries.