A whole lot, actually. That little USB-C connector means using just one cord across a range of different devices. And who wouldn’t love that?

What else is there to love about USB-C?

We’ve put together a list of a few things that are sure to make you a fan. 

1. Cross Platform Charging

Not that long ago (perhaps earlier this morning), you needed a lightning connector for your iPhone, a micro USB for your Bluetooth speaker and an AC adapter for your computer. And with all that incompatibility often comes the hassle of carrying a bag full of adapters, cords and charging bricks. USB-C technology is different. It doesn’t just work across various brand platforms—like phones from Apple or Samsung—it works across whole technology platforms. Phones. Laptops. Tablets. With USB-C, one universal, shareable cord charges them all.

2. A New (and Better) Connector

If you’ve used a USB-C connector, you may have noticed that you can plug it in seamlessly. No flipping it around to find the top or bottom. The connector’s small size also means better mobility, lighter laptops, smaller tools and more space for other cool tech features.

3. Audio, Video & Super-fast Data Transfer

USB-C supports audio and video transfers up to 10GB per second. How fast is that? Well, you can download a high-definition, full-length movie in about 30 seconds.  With older USB technology, you could only transfer images and file data. If you wanted audio or video, you’d need a meatier HDMI or VGA cable. 

4. Rapid Charging & Power Delivery

Because we use all of this technology—phones, laptops, speakers, tablets, smartwatches, fitness trackers and more – so often, the need to plug in and charge quickly is a very big deal. That’s what makes the Power Delivery protocol used in the USB-C platform really exciting.

So, how fast is USB Type C Really Catching On?

Adopting new tech is a bit like adjusting the direction of a very big ship. Although USB-C is enjoying widespread support throughout the industry, it takes a while for any ship to turn—and for manufacturers and consumers to fully embrace any change. Until then, you’re sure to find both USB-A and USB-C co-existing in the market. But the change is happening.  

  • Devices that feature at least one USB-C port are forecasted to reach nearly five billion devices by 2021, up from about 300 million in 2016—that’s an annual compound-growth rate of more than 70% in just five years. (IHS Market, 2018)
  • USB-C technology launched in 2014, and since then has received ten times more interest and investment in patents than USB Type A.
  • All signs indicate that by 2021, 75% of smartphones and 100% of laptops worldwide will include USB-C Connectivity. (StarTech, 2018) 

What About The Older USB? 

At the rate new technologies, like USB-C and wireless Qi are growing, it looks like the older USB-A could be completely overtaken as early as 2021. While USB-A is still electrically compatible with the new USB technology, because of the updated port design, adapters are required if you want to connect a traditional USB flash drive or other device to a USB-C port.

POWERING FORWARD: How will USB-C  change the way we work? 

USB-C isn’t just about changing the way we plug in—it’s about changing the way we power whole spaces. Now, in areas where you previously needed AC power to charge laptops, you may only need USB-C charging ports. And that’s a game changer.

If you’re a designer working on collaborative spaces today, power should be at the center of your thinking. Asking some simple questions up front can help you understand if USB-C, USB-A, or traditional outlets are best for the space.

  1. What do users need to do in the space?
  2. Do they require more than that 100 Watts of power to charge their devices?
  3. Is there more value for your users in the convenience of USB-C access, or the familiarity of traditional AC outlets?

It could depend on personal preferences, as well as the flexibility needed within the space. So for a while, it may be a good idea to offer users multiple ways to plug in with blended power solutions that combine AC outlets, USB-A ports, USB-C ports and even wireless Qi charging.

USB-C offers a terrific opportunity for improved collaboration and easy connectivity through universal access. Its super-fast data delivery increases the speed of those connections for improved productivity too. And once the marketplace fully adopts USB-C, our bags won’t be overflowing with that old familiar mix of bulky adapters necessary to tackle whatever technology we might face. Instead, the USB-C interface will allow us to simply charge our devices, display shared content and transfer data, quickly and easily—all with a single cord.


Byrne is adding to our offering of USB-C charging solutions, and making it easier than ever to bring power right to where you need it, even in highly collaborative & ever-changing ancillary spaces, like these. For USB-C solutions to keep your space connected, click here.