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Rumor says Apple invented USB Type-C

by Jacob Kleinman | March 13, 2015March 13, 2015 1:00 pm EST


A week ago, reversible USB Type-C wasn’t crossing headlines as frequently as it is now. Now it feels like it’s everywhere, with Apple and Google both introducing cutting-edge laptops that support the new standard. So where did USB-C come from? Well, technically from the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), but a new rumor suggests Apple may have had a big hand in development.

According to trusted Apple analyst John Gruber, the Type-C standard could come directly from the MacBook-maker. In a podcast earlier this week, he suggests Apple may have actually invented the technology.

Here’s the full quotation:

I have heard, can’t say who, but let’s call them “informed little birdies”, that USB-C is an Apple invention and that they gave it to the standard bodies. And that the politics of such is that they can’t really say that. They’re not going to come out in public and say that. It is an Apple invention and they do want it to become a standard.

It’s an interesting theory, though it doesn’t exactly fit into Apple’s history. The company generally tends to guard its own technology (think MagSafe and Lightning), so why would it share this one if it had the option? After all, it gives the firm less control over its devices, and one less way to distinguish itself from the competition.

We may not totally understand Apple’s strategy for a few more years as it phases out MagSafe (and maybe Lightning) completely for USB-C. For now, it’s exciting to see the entire industry rush to embrace the new technology at once, no matter who may have “invented” it.

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Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...