Back in December, we learned that the USB 3.0 Promoter Group was developing a new, orientation-independent type of USB connector. Earlier today, the guys at The Verge posted what I believe are the first pictures of the new connector design. You'll have to go there to see 'em, though, since they don't seem to come from an official press kit.
The images are "artist renderings" from Foxconn, and they're marked as "subject to change." Going by them, it looks like the USB 3.1 Type C connector shares a definite resemblance with Apple's Lightning connector. Both are about the size of a Micro-USB connector—perhaps a little larger—and both are completely symmetrical, allowing for orientation-independent insertion. The female connector even has rounded, beveled edges to make insertion easier.
Unlike the Lightning connector, however, the male Type C connector doesn't have contacts on its outer surface. Rather, it seems to have a recess meant to mate with a tab in the female connector, much like how the Micro-USB connector works today. Oh, and the male Type C connector doesn't share its Lightning cousin's slightly rounded edges.
Either way, I look forward to the day when we no longer have to suffer the evils of Type A USB connectors, which always refuse to go in the first time. Here's hoping the Type C connectors see wide adoption as soon as possible.
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