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Cellphones Hardware Technology

Reversible Type-C USB Connector Ready For Production 191

orasio writes: One of the most frustrating first-world problems ever (trying to connect an upside-down Micro-USB connector) could disappear soon. The Type-C connector for USB has been declared ready for production by the USB Promoter Group (PDF). "With the Type-C spec finalized, it now comes down to the USB-IF to actually implement the sockets, plugs, cables, adapters, and devices. The problem is that there are billions of existing USB devices and cables that will need adapters and new cables to work with new Type-C devices. It’s a lot like when Apple released the Lightning connector, but on an even grander scale. Further exacerbating the issue is the fact that China, the EU, and the GSMA have all agreed that new mobile devices use Micro-USB for charging — though it might be as simple as including a Micro-USB-to-Type-C adapter with every new smartphone."
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Reversible Type-C USB Connector Ready For Production

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  • by Cockatrice_hunter ( 1777856 ) on Tuesday August 12, 2014 @07:19PM (#47659069) Homepage

    Is there a reason why USB cables can't be shaped like 3.5 mm speaker cables just with more 'stripes'? Then they could be plugged in any direction and they'd be rotate-able.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 12, 2014 @08:26PM (#47659447)

    Look at your fuel gauge in the car. There is a little arrow on it that tells you which side your gas tank is on.

  • by hirschma ( 187820 ) on Tuesday August 12, 2014 @09:12PM (#47659641)

    The USB 3.0 Micro B connector is horrendous design: []

    Seriously, worst connector ever. Did they really think that abomination would be used on cellphones?

  • Re: What for? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by inflex ( 123318 ) on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @07:34AM (#47661765) Homepage Journal

    Pretty much every data connector has its pins exposed to the air and subsequently ingress of dust and liquid when not mated. Having a big metal enclosures/ground planes/shields around the connector is about electrical noise control and sometimes to a limited degree about preventing mechanical damage.

    The old apple connector was awful, prone to breakages and pin-lifting due to "real humans" using the devices, it also was a significant pain to replace in the iPod Touch due to its wide body and numerous pins ( at least the phones had a replacable flex lead containing the dock connector ), it was also exceptionally good at picking up crap (lint, paper, body gunk, drinks ... everything that you'd think people wouldn't in their right mind have near it ). I like that it's been changed around to the lightning connector, yes the pins are exposed on it, but it would seem that for a portable device that's floating around in a lot of random environments, the lightning cable is the one that gets the least exposure ( compared to the device ) as it just sits at home waiting till the user returns to charge up their device again. The most common problem we've been encountering is just the socket on the phones filling up with lint over time causing the connection to fail due to the inability to fully insert the plug - thankfully easy to fix of course.

    The MicroUSB connector on phones usually are mashed due to people deciding "No, it really MUST fit this way". The SONY Xperia with the Micro-A was a wonderful disaster in that respect ( yes, I know the key is offset to prevent incorrect insertion, but it's useless against determined humans ), or due to looser tolerances the tongue gets partially sheared away when the phone is dropped on the connector while plugged in.

    Who knows how people manage to break things in strange ways, but they do, "we" might not, but "they" certainly do.

"This is lemma 1.1. We start a new chapter so the numbers all go back to one." -- Prof. Seager, C&O 351