Few days back leaked photos of the new Lightning cable revealed that it may come with a reversible USB connector.
Sonny Dickson, the Australian-based blogger, who leaked parts of the iPhone 5s and iPad Air before it was launched last year, has posted a photo of the new Lightning cable with the reversible USB connector.
The first generation Lightning connector which was shipped along with the iPhone 5 in 2012 is reversible, so there’s no wrong way to plug in the cable, which is probably the biggest benefit from a consumer point of view.
However, it did not fix the problem with the USB connector, it wasn’t reversible so the cable had to be oriented in the proper direction prior to inserting it in the USB port. It looks like Apple is planning to fix that as well by launching a Lightning cable with a reversible USB connector. In case of current Lightning cable, the USB connector is attached at the bottom of the metal housing, but based on the photo, it looks like in the new Lightning cable, the USB connector will be attached to the center.
It remains to be seen if the new new USB connector is based on the USB Type-C Connector specifications, which was recently finalized. It would mean that the new Lightning cable would support USB 3.0 or USB 3.1. The current Lightning cable supports USB 2.0. While the switch from USB 2.0 to USB 3.0 is supposed to see a tenfold increase in the transfer speed theoretically, in real-world use, Macworld has found that USB 3.0 is three times faster than USB 2.0 with a spinning hard drive, and three to five times faster with SSD.
The reversible USB connector will most likely not work with existing USB ports, so the USB-IF has proposed passive cables which will allow you to connect the new connector to older devices for backwards compatibility.
Apple is likely to start shipping the new Lightning cable with iPhone 6, which is expected to be unveiled at the special event on September 9th, followed by the launch on September 19th. In addition to the reversible USB connector and support for USB 3.0, the new Lightning cable could also add support for high-definition audio playback on Made for iPhone accessories, which was reported earlier in the year.