Back in March, John Gruber mentioned on his podcast The Talk Show that he heard the USB-C port Apple announced they were using for their new MacBooks was an invention of Apple that was given to the standard bodies for USB. Gruber also said that the politics were such that Apple couldn’t publicly say they invented it. But those politics now appear to have been casually glossed over.
Fast-forward to last week’s unprecedented live Talk Show with Apple VP Phil Schiller, where he confirmed that Apple invented USB-C, after Gruber asked him about his new MacBook and how many ports it had (emphasis mine):
… mine has one USB-C port, as you well know, with that leading question. But again, be careful what you ask for. Because what the design team first envisioned when we started working on MacBook was to say, “If all we do is incremental, slight change—where’s the excitement, and where’s the value of Apple pushing things forward? We need to take bold risks. If people don’t like it, well they can keep buying the MacBook Air, they can keep buying the MacBook Pro—but why don’t we design a product that’s around this wireless world, that has, really, no physical connection that you need. You can get by without ever needing that. Wouldn’t that be a better world?” And in doing that, we realized “Yeah, but we do need to charge it, so let’s go create this one port that can charge, and be USB, and be your video out, and that way, if you need to connect, you can—you’re not giving that up—but this is really designed…” And if you do that, how far can you push it? How thin can it get, how light can it get, how aggressive a design can it be?
While Apple isn’t formally announcing that USB-C is theirs, this all but confirms Gruber was right.
My thanks to Serenity Caldwell of iMore for transcribing the interview.
You can watch the full interview below (the quoted part begins at around the 56:30 minute mark).