Reversible USB Could Be iPhone 6’s Biggest Little New Feature

When the iPhone 6 arrives, likely in September at Apple’s upcoming special event, a lot of people will be looking for a larger screen as the core feature to get excited about. But one change that could actually have more of an impact in terms of daily use could be a new, rumored reversible USB-to-Lightning cable that has been leaked a couple of times this week.

The leaks, which aren’t yet verified, show off a Lightning cable which has a USB connector that can be plugged in any way, with no requirements that one end or another be facing ‘up.’ Images of what look like a prototype version of this device showed up via earlier this week, and later an image purporting to show the same thing was posted by frequent parts leaker Sonny Dickson (via MacRumors).

Reversible USB is part of the new USB 3.1 standard that’s now ready to enter production, but it isn’t clear if these leaked images represent a shift for Lightning from USB 2 to USB 3. It also isn’t clear that these are authentic Apple cables, or that we’ll see them make their way into iPhone 6 boxes when that device eventually ships. But it is a tantalizing possibility, and one that would finally fix one of the most annoying remaining things about hardwired input/output and charging cables for Apple’s world-leading smartphone.