Apple’s Lightning connector has been appreciated by many, because it’s efficient and it can be used in reverse without problems. Today Apple patents a new type of USB connector that’s reversible and answers the European Parliament’s demands.
As you know, the EU forced Apple to comply with the microUSB Standard Port for European iDevices by 2017. They’re preparing for that transition with this brand new reversible USB connector patented recently and shown in these sketches. First, the EU would have to approve their technology, before they can get to use it. The patent states that even though it doesn’t mention the microUSB standard, it may apply to that version of connector.
Previously Apple was ready to offer adapters from Lightning to USB to please the authorities in Europe, but now they may offer their own flavour of microUSB, probably USB-C, that will be the standard by 2017. It will be interesting to see if they get the approval for this technology, particularly since they avoid calling it “microUSB” in the documents.