Apple’s Lightning Port Assigns Pins On The Fly

On a consumer level, reversible cables like Apple’s new Lightning cable provide a solution to a particular problem we’ve all experienced. Figuring out which way a plug goes into a port can be annoying. The new Lightning cable from Apple works no matter which way you plug the cable into the new iPhone 5. The concept is simple, but how exactly does the Lightning cable work?

Apple Insider sat down with Peter Bradstock from Double Helix Cables and talked about the technology in the new Lightning Connector:

Take top pin 2 for example,” he wrote in an e-mail to AppleInsider. “It is contiguous, electrically, with bottom pin 2. So, as the plug is inserted into the iPhone, if you have the cable in one way, pin 2 would go into the left side of the jack, flip it the other way and the same pair of pins is going to match up with the other side of the jack (as the electrical contacts in the iPhone’s jacks are along the bottom).

That’s pretty amazing. Apple’s great at these kinds of things. Remember when they introduced the Mighty Mouse and the batteries would both go in the same way, instead of having the batteries go into the mouse in opposite directions? It’s the little things that make a product. For the Mighty Mouse it was the batteries that showed attention to detail from engineers, and with the iPhone 5, it’s the Lightning cable.

Joshua is the Content Marketing Manager at BuySellAds. He’s also the founder of And since all that doesn’t quite give him enough content to wrangle, he’s also a technology journalist in his spare time, with bylines at PCWorld, Macworld… Full Bio