Amid speculation about the likely features and specs of Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) upcoming iPhone 6, a new tidbit has been added to the growing rumor-mill, claiming that the device could sport a new Lightning cable with a reversible USB connector.
The rumor, which first surfaced after a set of photos said to be of the new Lightning cable hit the Internet on Friday, gained credibility Saturday when Sonny Dickson, a well-connected Apple tipster, shared a photo of the accessory on Twitter. The Cupertino technology giant is expected to ship the new cables along with new iOS devices, including the iPhone 6, MacRumors reported.
Reversible USB port on the new Lightning cables! pic.twitter.com/bhVKjK3xKl
— Sonny Dickson (@SonnyDickson) August 17, 2014
The existing model of the Lightning cable with a symmetrical design can be plugged into an iPhone or iPad in any direction. Now, it seems that the other end of the cable is also going to be treated in a similar way. The leaked photos suggest that the thinned-out middle part of the USB plug has contacts on both sides.
While it is not confirmed if the iPhone 6 will come with a reversible USB connector, an Apple patent suggests that the company is indeed working on such a design. Apple filed a patent with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office last month in which it described “reversible or dual orientation USB plug connectors” for its future products.
Here is an extract from the patent filing:
Embodiments can provide reversible or dual orientation USB plug connectors for mating with standard USB receptacle connectors, e.g., a standard Type A USB receptacle connector. Accordingly, the present invention may be compatible with any current or future electronic device that includes a standard USB receptacle connector. USB plug connectors according to the present invention can have a 180 degree symmetrical, double orientation design, which enables the plug connector to be inserted into a corresponding receptacle connector in either of two intuitive orientations. Some embodiments of the present invention may be used with or require a non-standard USB receptacle connector. Thus, embodiments of the present invention may reduce the potential for USB connector damage and user frustration during the incorrect insertion of a USB plug connector into a corresponding USB receptacle connector of an electronic device.
In June, Apple introduced Lightning Cable Made for iPhone, or MFi, specifications for headphones, allowing third-party manufacturers to create products that connect directly to iOS devices through the Lightning port, MacRumors reported, adding that new products could take advantage of the newly-designed Lightning cables.