The next generation USB connector is set to be significantly smaller from current USB connectors and will also be reversible, following in the footsteps of Apple’s proprietary Lightning connector. The new connector will be known as Type-C, and while there aren’t any reference images of the new connector just yet, the final design and specification may be finalized as early as mid-2014.
The introduction of Type-C USB connectors, which is said to be around the same size as a microUSB connector, is a much-sought after one, as more smaller and thinner devices using existing microUSB connectors are introduced to the market. Apple ditched its old proprietary connector in favour for the thinner Lighting connectors for this exact reason. In addition, making the next generation USB connector reversible will also negate the issues that arise when a USB device is plugged in upside-down.
And, just like Lightning, the introduction of a new connector means that Type-C USB connectors will no longer be backwards compatible, unlike previous USB iterations. However, this will still be seen as a necessary evil, and to counter the countless numbers of USB ports and chargers that will be rendered obsolete when Type-C debuts, the USB 3.0 Promoter Group will also be required to provide guidelines on developing Type-C adaptors to fit them into current USB ports, and vice versa.
(Source: The Verge)