Type A standard USB is rectangular and is mostly found on host devices like Desktops, Laptops, R-Pi etc., Besides standard Type A connector there are two other smaller size variants namely Micro A and Mini A. These are found on Mobile devices, digital cameras etc., they support USB version from 1.1 to 3.0.
Most of the USB cables have Type A connector at one end and Type B at the other end. Type B is found only on peripheral devices like printers, external hard drives etc., these are square shaped. Its variants are Mini B and Micro B, where Mini- B resembles Type A with its rectangular, flat shape. Both the variants come with 5 pin type and Micro B comes also with 10 pin type. Whenever there is a Micro USB specification in any product, it refers to Micro B type. These are supported in every USB version.
Type C is the current standard. It has a symmetrical design which means it can be plugged into a device by either of the ways i.e. upside or downside up. It supports all the previous USB standards such as USB 2.0, USB 3.0, and USB 3.1. It offers a speed of 10Gbps. It offers bi- directional power supply i.e. you can charge the smartphone not only from your laptop but vice- versa. It is also used in headphones, with smartwatches for charging.
Lighting connector is often used with the Apple’s devices. It comes with a Type A connector on one side and the lightning connector on the other. It is completely reversible as well like Type C.
USB 1.0 was launched in January 1996. Its maximum speed was 1.5Mbps. USB 2.0 was launched in 2001 and the speed was 480Mbps. USB 3.0 was launched in 2010 with many more improvements like fastest data transfer, high power output with speed of 5Gbps. An update of 3.0 i.e. USB 3.1 was released in 2013 which had two variants namely Gen 1 and Gen 2. Gen 2 allowed a speed of 10Gbps. Year 2017 saw the next version of USB i.e. 3.2 with SuperSpeed of 20Gbps. In 2019, USB 4.0 came out with Thunderbolt 3 and SuperSpeed+ with a speed of 40Gbps.
It is more evident and certain that ahead, every electronic device will support Type- C.