Amazon has toughened its terms and has officially prohibited the sale on its site of USB Type-C cables that aren't up to spec.
Google software engineer and cable crusader Benson Leung noticed the change to Amazon's list of prohibited products. There's a new line in the text and it forbids any USB Type-C products, including adapters, that don't meet the standards set by the USB Implementers Forum Inc.
"What does this mean? It means that cable manufacturers who sell poorly made or intentionally deceptive #USB #TypeC cables and adapters are banned from Amazon, officially," says Leung. "Really great news, but we all have to continue to be vigilant and call out any bad products we find on Amazon and other stores (both online and brick and mortar) as we find them."
The banning of USB adapters and cable that don't quite measure is a win for Leung and his crusade against bad USB Type-C cable. Leung works on the Chrome OS team and thus has a vested interest in protecting Chromebooks, specifically the USB Type-C kitted Pixel, from shoddy and non-compliant cables.
Leung has taken his crusade to Amazon, where he has been on the lookout for bad USB Type-C cables. He has been reviewing USB Type-C cables and adapters, offering praise for those that are in compliant and highlighting the flaws of those that come up short on the compliance side of things.
The USB Type-C spec started rolling out in consumer mobile devices and notebook computers last year, with the latest Nexus handsets and the second generation Chromebook Pixel among some of the more high profile devices to support it.
USB Type-C describes a new format for USB cable ends, which are about the same size of the Micro B USB cable connectors that are the current standard for mobile devices. The new spec allows power to transfer both ways, so even a peripheral device could send a charge back to a laptop or tablet.
With connectors the same on both ends of the cable, USB Type-C cables are also reversible. And on top of not worrying which end is plugged in where on supporting hardware, the USB Type-C connectors are symmetrical and can be plugged upside down.
While the USB Type-C connection doesn't necessarily support USB 3.1, a spec for data transfer speeds, it can accommodate the standard. And it appears most hardware manufacturers who adopt it will support USB 3.1