The world of the USB standard is already a decidedly murky one, and you’ll absolutely be forgiven for being confused by it.
Things will likely get more complicated next year, with USB4 via USB-C expected to arrive towards the end of 2020 according to the USB Promoter Group. The good news however is very good indeed – it’s going to be super fast.
While USB4 is still in a “0.7” release state according to a report by Anandtech, we do at least now know some more details. Those details include confirmation of backwards compatibility with USB 3.2, USB 2, and Thunderbolt 3, but the real story is speed.
Current USB 3.2 specifications top out at 20 gigabits, with few devices or cables managing it. USB4 will be different, however, with speeds of anything up to 40 gigabits being possible according to the report.
It’s expected that an official USB4 specification will be available this summer, with the potential for new logos and branding on the table thanks to the Promoter Group’s belief that the new standard is so different to previous ones.
Once the standard is set it will then be down to device and accessory makers to start to include it in their designs. Apple is a company which was quick to add USB-C to its Macs, with the iPad Pro following. Given Apple’s newfound love for updating its various Mac lines regularly it’s possible we’ll see USB4 on a Mac next year, but we wouldn’t expect the iPhone to follow suit.
Apple instead seems determined to stick with Lightning, at least for now.
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