Following an announcement in December 2013 and renders which popped up in April, the USB 3.0 Promoter Group announced today that they had finalized the next-gen USB Type-C connector, and that it is now ready for production.
Thanks to a new standard USB plug, gadget users everywhere are going to be saved from the fate pictured at right.
Kidding aside, as you can see in the image below, the new plug is much smaller than the standard USB-A plug found on thumb drives and USB cables everywhere. It’s designed to replace all existing USB plugs with a single reversible plug which is about the same size as the existing micro-USB plug while at the same time offering a significant boost in speed:
The new plug is ready for production, and more details can be found at www.usb.org. Today’s press release also notes that the specification has now been “ transferred to the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) for ongoing management and the establishment of a compliance and certification program.”
So this new plug is intended to unify all the disparate standards into a single standard used on all devices? I don’t see that happening – not unless the existing standard plugs are withdrawn.
My doubts come from the many devices I have used over the past few years. Most mobile devices use a USB cable of some kind, but they don’t all use the same one. Even in late 2014, I’m still seeing new gadgets with the old, old mini-USB plug – the one which many (but not all) device makers discarded in 2009.
Frankly, I expect the existing standard cables to hang around for another 3 or 4 years, if not longer. And I’m sure we all know why: