One of the big selling points of Apple’s Lightning cable—introduced with the iPhone 5 in 2012—is that it is, among other things, reversible. In other words, there’s no such thing as putting in your Lightning cable upside down.
But things weren’t always like this, as a never-seen-before prototype Lightning cable makes clear. Shared by AppleDemoYT, a Twitter account that’s notable for showing prototype Apple products, it includes an image of an early prototype including an icon that seems to indicate whether or not the user was using the Lightning cable the right way round.
A Reversible Cable
Being a prototype, it’s impossible to know whether Apple ever seriously considered launching the Lightning cable like this. Even if it hadn’t been reversible, the Lightning cable would still have had the advantage of being a whole lot smaller than the 30-pin connector that it replaced.
However, it wouldn’t have benefitted from the distinctly Apple ease-of-use that allows you to insert it either way up, and still have it work.
In this way, Lightning borrowed one of the neat features of the MagSafe adapter Apple was already using in its MacBooks at the time—now rumored to be making a comeback with the upcoming MacBooks in 2021.
Lightning May Be on the Way Out
Now that Lightning is approaching a decade old, it’s no longer the fresh, new technology that it once was. In fact, it seems like it may be superseded before too long by new charging technologies.
Still, stories like this offer a reminder of just how neat it was when it first arrived—and how Apple seemingly went the extra mile to ensure users got the great user experience they did.
Image Credit: Randychiu/Wikipedia CC