You should wait before buying your next tech-related product. Why you might ask? The reason is not because of the constant iteration of products, but because of an upcoming cable standard. As lame as that may sound, it should be an important aspect of your future buying decisions because I am talking about USB-C—the next major version of USB.
What is USB-C?
USB is everywhere. It’s used to charge and connect most of our devices. So, what is USB-C? As I mentioned, it is the next version of USB and is technically USB 3.1. Learning from proprietary solutions such as Apple’s Lightning connector, USB-C is reversible. No more jamming your cable in the wrong way, and then wasting time flipping it over. There are a ton of other benefits to USB-C, such as being able to transmit enough power to charge phones and laptops. Imagine only needing to carry one cable around, or it not being the end of the world if you leave your laptop charger behind. Other benefits of this new USB standard? How about connecting displays via DisplayPort, HDMI, and VGA. Oh, and it’s backwards compatible with USB 3.0 and 2.0 albeit needing an adapter. Overall, USB-C is quite… awesome.
It’s Already Here
You might be thinking that USB-C is light years away, but it’s quickly receiving traction. The Apple MacBook (not to be confused with MacBook Air or Pro), Chromebook Pixel, and Nokia N1 all sport a USB-C port. Other manufacturers will follow suit, including anyone that creates storage devices, phones, tablets, computers, monitors, etc. This is a standard that not only reaps user benefits, but is yet another positive on spec sheets and is an early opportunity for product marketing.
Now, I’m not telling you to resist upgrading your 2-year old phone with a broken screen, but if most of your devices are perfectly fine then you should probably hold off for a bit. Google already released a video confirming to be actively working towards supporting USB-C in future Chromebook and Android devices. Other big players are behind USB-C, so without a doubt you will soon start seeing supported phones, laptops, and drives.