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Moshi’s Week in Tech: The Rise of USB-C

This week, the future is all about USB-C and speculation on the new iPhone 7 ditching the classic headphone jack reached fever pitch. Here is Moshi’s Week in Tech for December 4, 2015.

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First off, what is USB-C?

USB-C, or more technically USB Type-C, is a new industry wide standard that seeks to replace all type ofs USB, combining the small size of Micro USB with the speed and power delivery of USB Type-A. If you need a quick primer, check out our 5 Things to Know About the USB-C Interface blog post from back in March.

USB-C is launching with compliance for USB 3.1, meaning data transfer will be double that of USB 3.0 from 5Gbps to 10Gbps, which translates to 1,250 megabytes of data transferred per second. Along with this USB 3.1 compliance, there is a major advancement in power transfer, with 3.1 supporter 5 amps (5000mA) and up to 100W of power. For a more in depth breakdown of USB-C, we recommend you check out Forbes’ USB Type-C guide.

With USB-C, you can sync your devices and charge them with greater speed and efficiency than ever before. There is also the added benefit of reversibility, so like Apple’s Lightning connector, there is no more fumbling around to make sure a USB cable is connecting properly; a struggle that has been all too real in the past.

What can USB-C do for me?

In the simplest terms, USB-C will one day mean mean fewer cables and thinner, more efficient devices. Although currently you will need adapters to continue to connect some of your older devices to USB-C, the rise of USB-C means that all devices should, eventually, fully integrate with this new standard (or at least that is what Apple is betting on, more on that later).

If you’re looking for said adapters and cables, never fear – we’ve got you covered. We have launched our USB-C to USB Adapter and USB-C to USB cable and will be announcing a whole slew of USB-C adapters shortly that will keep your devices connected and highly functional with a touch of style.

What devices have USB-C ports?

The first product adopting USB-C to make it to market this year was Apple’s new MacBook, while Google has also integrated USB-C into its Chromebook Pixel 2. Other devices with integration of USB-C are quickly popping up all over the market with no signs of slowing, so the results are effectively in: USB-C is the wave of the future.

So much so, that the future of USB-C being in an iPhone near you might be in less than a year…

iPhone 7 concept.   Photo credit: Marek Weidlich

iPhone 7 concept.
Photo credit: Marek Weidlich

What is that I hear? No more headphone jack on the iPhone?!?

This week, speculation on the new design of iPhone 7 heated up dramatically, with reliable sources reporting to Japanese Apple blog Macotakara that Apple will remove the classic headphone jack to decrease the thickness of the iPhone’s design by a millimeter. Although this report doesn’t explicitly make mention of USB-C, Mashable and Forbes both astutely noted that Apple could be replacing the headphone jack with a USB-C port.

Although it is all still rumor, the speculation seems to carry some weight since Apple has made the move to USB-C on the new MacBook. Also, the 3.5 mm space for the headphone jack serves only one purpose, whereas a USB-C port could serve multiple. The jury is still out though on whether or not the Lightning connector might be nixed as well.

Some might be angry with Apple’s possible design change hastening the obsolescence of the headphone jack, effectively rendering most headphones useless with the new iPhone. However, it should not come as a surprise that Apple would make a bold move to the future. Everyone was up in arms when the company moved to the Lightning port from the 30 pin, but the adoption happened without too many issues. Wow that Apple owns Beats, they probably have some pretty nifty new headphones in the works that fully capitalize on the USB-C technology…we will just have to wait and see!

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