The near ubiquitous use of USB 2.0 (Micro-B) connectors across all smartphones (barring Apple’s offerings) has been fantastic for consumers. It means there has been no need to use different chargers when switching mobile phones, something we remember all too well from the past. However, one constant pain is making sure you put the cable the right way around when charging the phone, or connecting it to a computer.
Well it looks like these worries will be coming to an end in the not-too-distant future. The USB 3.0 Promoter Group recently announced that they have finalised the specification for the USB Type-C cable and connector. This connector will be similar in size to the current USB 2.0 Micro-B connectors, but will also be reversible (think of the Apple Lightning cable in terms of what to expect).
Whilst the USB Type-C connector has been tailored to fit mobile devices, it should also be robust enough for laptops and tablets. It will also support SuperSpeed USB 10 Gbps (USB 3.1) and USB Power Delivery up to 100W. It will have a power delivery capacity of 3A for standard cables and 5A for connectors.
Unfortunately this new standard will not be backwards compatible with existing USB plugs and receptacles, but there will be adapters available to make sure these new cables work with existing products.
Overall, it is good news that the USB group has updated this specification. The USB 3.0 Micro-B connector (seen in the Samsung Galaxy Note 3) was never going to receive wide adoption given its size and expense. Expect products to start appearing with USB Type-C connectors in a year’s time.