In Taipei, Sony’s mobile unit has been having a discussion about support for the up and coming USB Type-C standard in its future smartphones and tablets. While the company is certainly considering the technology, it doesn’t have any plans to switch over to the standard right away.
According to Takeshi Nitta, a program manager at Sony Mobile’s Tokyo project office, the industry needs more time to migrate over to the new connector type, presumable before it’s a feature worth including in future mobile products. Sony doesn’t seem to see much point in being a first adopter.
Speaking specifically about its mobile products and the Xperia Z3+ flagship, Nitta suggested that despite the smaller form factor of USB Type-C’s reversible socket, it would not contribute to Sony’s near term goal of producing thinner and lighter smartphones. Instead, the company is more concerned about reducing the thickness of camera modules and display components in order to achieve its target.
Type-C USB is being talked up not only for its potentially faster USB 3.1 data speeds and reversible plug connector, but also for its improved power delivery and support for a wide range of different video output types, including DisplayPort and HDMI. You can read more about the ins-and-outs of the standard here.
USB Type-C devices support power currents of 1.5A or 3A at 5 volts, which is substantially higher than hundreds of milliamps offered by older connections. This means that mobile devices could charge faster from your laptop or share its screen to your TV via HDMI, providing that they both support Type C connections, which is perhaps Sony’s point after all.
The new USB standard has already appeared in a small selection of laptops and the Nokia N1 smartphone. Google has declared that it is “very committed” to pushing the standard in future Chromebook and Android phones. Sony is likely to make use of USB Type-C at some point the in future, but these comments seem to rule out adoption of the new connector type in the company’s near term product launches.
Is it a big deal that Sony doesn’t want to be on the cutting edge of USB technology, or is the company right to focus on other components and wait for broader adoption?