Apple

Latest iPhone 6 rumor: Reversible USB plug on new Lightning cables

Alongside reports of larger and scratch-proof screens, the newest iPhone 6 rumor claims Apple will ship a reversible USB plug on new Lightning cables.

Apple USB
 Image: Sonny Dickson

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.

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About

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.

6 comments
Gisabun
Gisabun

More rumors. Plus those with the original lightning cables get the shaft.  That's 2 cable change in successive iPhone releases [if this rumor is actually true]. Will there be another change in the iPhone 6S/7.

glennat
glennat

Calling it a reversible USB cable implies that it is just a regular USB cable, rather than a special Apple thing. This really IS exciting, as it means that when (not if) you lose it, you can go anywhere to replace it.  But, since it is still called a 'lightening' cable, I imagine that this is not the case, in which case, yeah, ok it's nice that it will be a tiny bit easier to use, but really -- a big deal?  Don't think so..... 


adornoe
adornoe

What? No wireless charging for the iPhone 6?  


A reversible USB charger is so, unimaginative.  What next?  A screen that can be viewed standing on one's head?  A touch-screen where one  can use either the left or right hand?

paul
paul

I really, really like the size of my iPhone 5. It fits easily into my left pants pocket. My iPad and laptop take care of my bigger screen needs which aren't all that often and becoming less each year.

A reversible USB plug would be nice but not a big deal to me. Just a yawn for innovation.

Danny.Miller
Danny.Miller

I don't care if it's the same phone as the iPhone 5S as long as the screen is bigger. As for the cable, it would be a plus but not the deal maker in choosing this phone.

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