Recently we saw photos of what appeared to be a new reversible USB connector that could be coming with the new iPhone 6 next month, and a new video allows us to see the USB plug in action.
The video comes from Sonny Dickson, who has treated us in the past with several leaks of the iPhone 6 and has been quite reliable with past iPhone models as well. This new video, however, apparently shows off the new reversible USB Lightning cable in action.
Frankly, it’s a bit sketchy, as the video is only 11 seconds long and the user in the video (who we’re assuming is Dickson himself) doesn’t even show off the new reversible design, but rather just quickly and sloppily unplugs the connector, flips it over, and plugs it back in. And even that sequence doesn’t really show us a whole lot.
What’s perhaps even more sketchy is that as soon as he pulls the plug out, he immediately flips the connector on its side so that you can’t see the USB contacts. The only proof that we really have that this is a true reversible cable he’s using in the video is the USB logo on the connector, which doesn’t appear once he flips it over and plugs it in, meaning that it just might be real after all.
Of course, we’re not saying that the whole idea of a reversible USB iPhone 6 Lightning cable is complete malarkey, but this video doesn’t seem to be incredibly legit from what we’re seeing.
Photos of the reversible USB connector were revealed a couple of days ago, and it shows a new design that allows this new connector to be used with the current USB standard, meaning that the design of USB ports themselves don’t need to change in order for this new reversible connector work.
However, we are curious as to how the swapping of the pins work when you flip the connector over, seeing as to how the ground and positive pins on the female port would need to swap places. It’s possible that the pins on the male connector are wired in such a way that the top and bottom of the pins are opposite, or it could be a new chip inside of the connector that tells the plug which pins need to be ground and positive.
We’re also curious if this new design will affect the robustness of the connector in any way. iPhone users are no doubt familiar with worn out Lightning cables, so if Apple actually made this new reversible cable any tougher, we’re sure users will be grateful.
While this development has recently gained popularity over the last few days, discussions of a reversible USB connector go as far back as last year when it was revealed that the USB 3.0 Promoter Group detailed a new “Type-C” USB connection that would be reversible, although the design would call for a smaller connector overall and would oust the familiar “duck bill” design that USB is known for.
While the USB Group might still have plans for such a design, Apple may be getting a head start with this new USB design. However, whether or not we’ll see it introduced with the iPhone 6 is up in the air. We certainly wouldn’t be surprised, but it’s also possible that Apple could still be working on the design and might be waiting to release it until the iPhone 6s in 2015.
Either way, it’s good to know that the current USB ports can support reversible connections with just a bit of a design change in the connector, and we look forward to the day when we no longer have a 50/50 chance of plugging it in wrong.