The Apple Lightning was a step up from the previous wide connector, since it’s both compact and it can be used with either side up. The European Parliament is pressuring Apple to comply with the microUSB standard and they have till 2017 to do that, so the Cupertino giant is already patenting what they need for that.


They’ve invented a reversible USB connector, that’s detailed in the image above. It’s very likely that the very strict EU won’t agree with this approach and they’ll want the standard USB version. European iDevices will have to use USB ports one way or the other in about 3 yeas from now. Apple would gladly supply accessories for their devices, but apparently that’s not enough for the EU anymore.

It’s interesting to note that the patent doesn’t even mention microUSB, so in the end if it doesn’t get approved, Apple can still use the full USB reversible port on its MacBooks and iMacs. USB-C will most likely be the standard to comply to in 2017 or even earlier, if technology advances the right way. Let’s see if Apple can get away with this…