When Apple released the iPhone 5 it did away with the legacy 30 pin connector that the company had been using since the original iPod and replaced it with the Lightning connector. This new proprietary connector had the potential to carry more current, transfer data faster and most importantly for the end user, was directionally agnostic.
Last week, however, the new USB Type-C connector standard was finalised bringing the world closer to having a new version of the ubiquitous connector of all peripherals that would also be reversible by design.
But what will we do until the USB Type-C cable becomes widely available in computers, smartphones and tablets, well if rumour – and patent applications – are to be believed then Apple is working on releasing changing the other end of its Lightning cables to be reversible as well and that thy will ship with the iPhone 6 later this year.
The patent application which was filed in January this year details a reversible USB Type-A male connector which is compatible with the current USB port that most of us will be familiar with the only major difference being that the connector is attached to the middle of the cable rather than to the bottom and has been thinned out drastically.
As with many of its products Apple is no the first company to have made a reversible USB Type-A connector. UltraTek already has a patent for a “User-Friendly USB Connector” which was granted to it in 2010 and has been manufactured under the brand name Flipper, with distribution through TrippLite which sells its wares on Amazon.
While it’s certainly not a revolution in the connector space that many Apple fan boys will no doubt try and convince you of, it may be that reversible USB Type-A connectors are the best stop-gap while we wait for the prophesied Type-C connector.[Source – ArsTechnica, Images – dianxinshouji.com.cn]