By John Gruber
Atoms: We are not selling shoes this time…
Leo Kelion, reporting for BBC News on the announcement of an upcoming smaller, reversible USB plug:
USB cable developers have announced that a forthcoming version of the connector’s plug is to be reversible. It means users of the Universal Serial Bus cables will no longer have to worry which way round the part is facing when plugging it into a device.
The specification is due to be completed by mid-2014, and the first product on the market by 2016. It will neuter one of the advantages Apple’s proprietary lightning cable currently has over the USB system.
As far as I’ve been able to determine, the USB Promoter Group hasn’t released any photos or illustrations of this proposed new adapter, so who knows if it’s even designed yet. In the meantime, if the above timetable holds, iOS device users will have been using Lightning adapters for four years by the time this hits the market.
The Lightning adapter epitomizes what makes Apple Apple. To the company’s fans, it provides elegance and convenience — it’s just so much nicer than micro-USB. To the company’s detractors, it exists to sell $29 proprietary adapters and to further enable Apple’s fetish for device thinness. Neither side is wrong.
Apple doesn’t give a shit what everyone else is doing. To some, that’s what makes Apple great. To others, it’s what’s wrong with Apple. One side thinks, Why in the world should we have to wait until 2016 to have a smaller, reversible plug? The other side thinks, Why in the world would you want a proprietary, non-standard, expensive plug?