The next generation of the USB Type-C connector will be more compact than the current version and will have the advantage of fitting into the drive both ways (up and down), according to a press release from the USB 3.0 Promoter Group. The organization -- which includes Intel, Microsoft, Texas Instruments and other major companies supporting the format -- informs that an adapter will be necessary for the use of current USB devices with future PCs, smartphones or tablets with support for the new format.
Like Apple's Lightning connector, first introduced in 2012 on the iPhone 5, the next-gen USB connectors will be reversible, meaning that they can be inserted with either side up. They will also be much smaller (equivalent in size to a current micro-USB) and smoother than the USB connectors of the current generation.
The new connector could be produced and distributed starting in mid-2014, making all current USB devices obsolete, or close to it. The USB 3.0 Promoter Group, however, promises that adapters will be developed and sold to ensure that users can continue to connect "old" electronic devices with newer USB 3.0 systems.