USB C Cables / Connectors

The subject may already be familiar to many other people, that there now exists ‘a type of USB connector / plug / jack, with which they do not need to worry, in which direction it’s facing, when they plug it in to a compatible port’. The type of connector I’m referring to is a USB-C connector, which brings with it, USB-C cables, that connect from a Type-A to a Type-C jack.

One fact which I should point out is that even though we live in a relatively modern time, in which we might think that companies can do anything, If it’s also a requirement that they’re supposed to mass-produce equipment cheaply, they can no longer just do anything. The tolerances for a Type-C USB jack are quite small, and manufacturing machines themselves have limits to their precision.

One experience I seem to have made not once but twice, is that when I purchased USB-C cables that were visibly meant for Apple products, they did not seem to snap in to my ‘Google Pixel C’ tablet snugly, the latter of which could also be seen as a kind of Samsung-like, Android product, in direct competition with Apple. I needed to repurchase each time, and then for made-for-Samsung jacks, before those would seem to have a satisfactory fit into my Pixel C.

If we’re forearmed with this observation, we can make sure either to buy USB-C cables made for Apple, or, cables made for Samsung, since there are many suppliers of cables.

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I suppose that a more-nefarious question which some people might have could be: “Did Apple deliberately change their USB-C ports, to make those incompatible with the Android-related ports?’ But my guess at an answer to that question would be ‘No.’

What can happen is that small differences with the ways manufacturing robots are aligned, can lead to ports, into which some cables just seem to fit better than other cables do. And then, what the manufacturers of cables will fear most, is that their cable receives a customer complaint, because it does not fit properly into his or her product. Regardless of whether the cable met official specifications or not, its manufacturer might likely want to change the dimensions ever so slightly, just to improve customer satisfaction.

So what can happen is that ‘forks’ can come into existence with standards. Mind you, the whole purpose of standards is, to avoid any forking between product-families. And yet a long-term outcome could be, that made-for-Apple cables will just not fit properly, into made-for-Android devices, and vice-versa.

Dirk

 

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