Following last week’s leaked photos of a new Lightning cable with a reversible USB connector, which was subsequently shown off on video, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday published a second Apple patent filing related to reversible USB plugs.
The patent application all but confirms that Apple is truly interested in a Lightning cable with a reversible USB connector, perhaps as an alternative “Type-A” solution to the new USB 3.1 Type C cables that are also reversible.
The patent filing details that the reversible USB connector would be compatible with any current and future device with a standard USB receptacle, with a “compliant member to spread stress and increase contact normal force.”
While it is possible that the reversible Lightning cables that have leaked this month are designed by third-party companies, this patent filing reveals Apple’s interest in creating a USB plug that is “180-degrees symmetrical” with a “double orientation design.”
Apple goes on to explain that current USB connectors are designed in a way that prevents it from being plugged into a port the wrong way, adding that users may become frustrated by this or potentially damage the cable or plug itself.
Essentially, it sounds like Apple could be interested in a fully reversible Lightning cable. The 8-pin side of the cable that connects to an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch can already be used in any orientation, so it would make sense for the USB side to be equally as convenient.
Apple filed for this patent application in February 2014 and credits Warren Z. Jones, Eric T. SooHoo, Albert J. Golko and Stephen Brian Lynch as its inventors. The filing is published under United States Patent Application No. 20140235095.[via AppleInsider]