USB Type C is a bag of hurt


Steve Jobs called the Blu-ray disc a bag of hurt not because it was a pain to use but rather, because of the licensing effort it needed. Blu-ray did take the audio video experience to a whole new level but the adoption was slow. History, it seems, has repeated itself and the latest tech to turn into a bag of hurt is USB Type-C. It features a reversible connector, like Apple’s Lighting cable.

USB ports are present on pretty much every electronic gadget you use; the easily recognisable USB Type-A is what you’ll find on your laptop, while the Micro-USB connector that is placed on almost every smartphone ever made. Prior to Micro-USB, you may have also come across Type-B ports, which are found on most printers. There is also the USB 3.0 micro-B port, which featured on some phones such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and the Galaxy S5. This didn’t see widespread adoption, though storage makers have adopted this for high-speed data transfer from external hard drives.

Type-C is a reversible connector that can be used for data, charging, reverse charging, or even audio and video transmission, while still being small enough to fit on a smartphone, and yet the same port is capable of transferring high current to a laptop. The Type-C connector has rolled out to production devices slowly, but it seems as if they still aren’t ready to go mainstream for a variety of reasons.


Still 2.0 in a 3.0 Generation
One of the main reasons why this new technology feels outdated is because although the connector is completely new, most USB Type-C phones are still using the USB 2.0 standard.

The speed limit for USB 2.0 is 480Mbps for data transfer, while the new USB 3.0 is much faster, at 5Gbps. That’s why most of the external drives you’ll find these days are using USB 3.0, and deliver a much higher speed than you get from phones using USB Type-C.

That isn’t the only problem — due to the older USB standard, the output current on the port is also limited. So, a phone with a USB 2.0 Type C connector, despite being connected to a USB 3.0 port on a computer, will still charge slowly.