It’s not hard to see that USB-C is quickly becoming the new go-to for mobile and computing devices across all platforms. The charging and transfer capabilities of the newest generation of the universal serial bus is just better, period. Yet, like most “new” things, many have been quick to hold tight to their legacy tech and shun the thought of having to make the switch.
From a consumer stand-point, I get it. We don’t like change. We like what we like and sometimes good enough is, well, just good enough. While many trends in technology (and any consumer market for that matter) are driven by demand and the needs/wants of the buyer, sometimes manufacturers are in control of where the next off-ramp leads.
Apart from Samsung, if any OEM can boast this type of power in the world of technology it’s Apple. The software/hardware giant demands a cult-like following with consumers and regardless of the good or the bad, millions line up to get their hands on the newest iOS and MacOS devices despite the initial or long term cost. Apple had a hand in pioneering or at least mainstreaming much of the tech we all use on a daily basis.
Video streaming, Smartphones, tablets, App stores and more would probably not look the way they do today if it weren’t for Steve Jobs’ company going all in on devices and software. Even the gestures I’m using on my Chromebook right now are, in their heart, Apple-ish.
Now, with all that being said, I will interject here that I absolutely do not like Apple products nor their software. I’m not a hater, they just don’t do it for me. Sorry, not sorry. But, I will give credit where credit is due and the fact of the matter is that Apple does more for molding the technology market than just about any other company out there.
Google, being the forward thinkers that they are, has made preemptive strikes to standardize USB-C to the dismay of some and the joy of others. The latest push came in the form of a command from the search giant that Chrome OS device will, from here out, come with USB-C standard.
No surprise to see this move from our friends in Mountain View. As I sit here, my last generation Nexus 6P is grabbing a quick charge via USB-C. The developer-focused Nexus line evolved into the first-ever Google Pixel Phone geared towards the flagship phone market. Sure enough it is equipped with USB-C just like its predecessors, the Nexus 6P and 5X.
Now, as Google flexes its muscles in the consumer market, the call for a cross-platform standard is becoming a reality and Apple may have just accelerated the process. According to a recent report from the Wall Street Journal, Apple is rumored to ditch its proprietary Lightning connector on the upcoming 2017 iPhone. Details are sparse and at this point rumors at best. As the Verge’s James Vincent writes:
It’s also possible that the WSJ report means that USB-C will be incorporated not into the phone itself, but into its power adapters. That would mean replacing the USB-A plug on the end of the iPhone power cable with USB-C, like Apple has done with the adapters that ship with new MacBooks. This would make sense, allowing users who buy the new iPhone to charge it from their new MacBook using the cable that comes in the box. Apple’s new Ultra Accessory Connector (UAC) also makes it unlikely that the company will be dropping its Lightning port from the next iPhone.
James Vincent, The Verge
Why Does It Matter?
So, while the jury is still out as to what port the next iPhone will carry, it’s clear that Apple is heading a consumer call and mainstreaming USB-C in some shape, form or fashion. Like it or not, if Apple is getting behind the technology, the industry will follow. If you have yet to prepare for the USB-C revolution, the future is now and resistance is futile. No need to panic though. These changes take time and almost always afford time for transition and assimilation. Adapters, dongles and cables may cost a little extra for a while but eventually the new will become the norm and we can all start focusing on the “next big thing.”
The WSJ article goes on to speak of more “new” features coming to the iPhone but they really have little application to the world of Chrome OS and we’ll leave those discussions to those of you who care. 🙂