Mobile Phone USB cables
Mobile phone USB cables are available with a wide variety of connectors at both ends. On one end can be found USB 2, 3 and 3.1 plugs which are compatible with charging devices, including adapters, computers and laptops . At the other end are plugs compatible with mobile phones and include 30 pin dock connectors, Lightening connectors, mini USB connectors and USB type C connectors.
USB 1, 2, 3 and 3.1 connectors
Universal Serial Bus (USB) standard connectivity was introduced in 1996. USB 2 connectors were introduced in 2000 and are currently most common on existing laptops and computers. USB 3 and 3.1 are now becoming common on new laptops and computers and introduce vastly improved transmission speeds and power handling capabilities.
USB 2, 3 and 3.1 connector compatibility
USB 3 and 3.1 plugs connectors are backwards compatible with USB 2 ports. However, when plugged into a USB 2 type port they revert back to the data transfer and power handling capabilities of the older standard.
Proprietary 30 pin dock connectors for iPhone
Apple launched its original iPhone, iPhone 1, with a proprietary 30-pin dock connector. This connector remained in use on all iPhones up to and including iPhone 4 and 4S. USB to 30 pin dock cables are still available.
iPhone Lightening connectors
With the launch of the iPhone 5 , Apple introduced a Lightening connector which has many advantages over a 30 pin dock connector and is symmetrical so can be inserted either way. All iPhones since iPhone 5 use Lightening connectors and there is consequently a vast choice of Lightening to USB cables available.
Micro USB connectors
A micro USB interface is a miniaturisation of the standard USB plug developed specifically for smartphones and similar devices. It was introduced in 2007, superseding the mini USB port, and is an incredibly common connector type.
USB type C connectors
USB type C connectors are the newest USB connecter standard and are beginning to appear in more mobile phones and devices. They are symmetrical and so can be plugged in either way and when paired with a USB 3 or 3.1 connector bring enhanced power delivery and data transfer rates.