Rumors are flying fast on the upcoming iPhone 6. Among other things, the new phone may come equipped with larger screen sizes, faster processors, a better camera, and a nearly scratch-proof screen made of sapphire.
Forget all that. The latest iPhone 6 rumor could reduce daily frustration and annoyance for tens of millions of iPhone buyers. Apple might be preparing a new Lighting cable — the cord that charges the latest few generations of iPhones — that has a reversible USB port on the charger end.
In other words, the newest iPhone's charger could plug into a USB outlet right-side up or upside-down. Talking to a number of non-internet friends this weekend (normal people, in other words), the possibility of a USB cable that plugs in every time was more exciting to them than any other rumored iPhone addition, except for a larger screen.
The rumor started at the end of last week with photos from a Chinese website that showed dozens of Lightning cables featuring a new dual-sided USB connector. The cables were said to have been sourced from Apple supplier Foxconn.
An Apple patent application for a reversible USB connector was released last month by the US Patent and Trademark office, lending credence to the rumor.
Finally, Sonny Dickson, an Apple rumormonger who has proven to have accurate sources occasionally in the past, tweeted a picture of what he says is a reversible USB port on new Lightning cables.
One bonus of the new cable is that it appears to be backwards compatible with existing iPhone 5, 5c, and 5s models, plus recent vintage iPad tablets. When Apple last revamped its charging cable, longtime Apple phone and tablet users had to buy new accessories and cables for their devices. Because the new cable appears to have a new USB connector but is otherwise identical, the only difference will be the orientation of the plug when it's connected to a charger.
The iPhone 6 is expected to be announced on September 9th, with launch of the new device — and the iOS 8 operating system — following the week after.
What are you most looking forward to with the release of the iPhone 6? Let us know in the comments below.
Jordan Golson is an Apple Columnist for TechRepublic. He also writes about technology and automobiles for WIRED and MacRumors. He has worked for Apple Retail twice and has been writing about technology since 2007.