When Apple first announced that the Lightning cable for new generations of iOS devices would have a reversible connector, the tech world was excited. Personally, I was a bit disappointed. Sure, a cable that can be plugged into the iPad either way is nice, but I have a harder time with the USB end. My ports are on the back of my computer and I’m always trying to cram them in the wrong way.
This week, rumors are swirling that Apple is making a new cable that has a reversible USB and Lightning connector.
On Friday, Mac Rumors discovered that Chinese websiteDianxinshouji.com leaked images of a purported reversible USB Lightning cable (via Nowhereelse.fr). Shortly after the leak, Patently Apple noted that, although Apple applied for a patent on a reversible USB cable back in January of 2014, it is “highly unlikely to be introduced in the upcoming iPhone 6,” but instead might be underway for a 2017 launch.
The next day, popular image leaker Sonny Dickson tweeted his picture of the purported reversible USB connector alongside Apple’s current Lightning cable with the standard USB port.
All evidence points to the eventual addition of a reversible USB side. The question is, when? Dickson’s picture shows what appears to be a completed cable, ready for distribution. It is possible that it will make it into iPad and iPhone boxes later this year.
Cult of Mac describes how the new plug works:
In existing Lightning Cables, the pins of this male end are attached to a buffer section of the metal casing that takes up roughly 50% of the USB Type-A connector, guaranteeing it can only be plugged in one way. In this new cable, the buffer section has been stripped away, ‘floating’ the pins in the middle of the connector and allowing it to be plugged into a computer in either direction.”
If Apple does have the new cable ready in time for the expected fall launch of the next generation of iPad and iPhone, I hope they also offer it as a separate purchase for those who won’t be upgrading this year.