Micro USB. It's great, isn't it? The only cable in the world that operates in the fourth dimension. Try it one way, nope. Turn it over. Nope. Turn it back again... success! It connects.
Introducing the USB C connector. Intending to replace both USB and the USB Micro connections, it works either way up, like Apple's Lightning connector, as well as being reversible end to end. The good news is that both the device and the computer will have the same connector. The bad news is that it won't be compatible with any of the devices you currently own.
In a press release, USB 3.0 Promoter Group chairman Brad Saunders says that Type-C will "meet evolving design trends in terms of size and usability" while allowing for future scalability in charging and data transfer. Type-C "will enable an entirely new super-thin class of devices from phones to tablets, to 2-in-1s, to laptops to desktops," says Alex Peleg of Intel. "This new industry standards-based thin connector delivering data, power, and video is the only connector one will need across all devices."
Features like this being readily available on a non-proprietary connection is a major boon to the mobile market. As devices have larger power requirements and internal storage, a small and fast cable will greatly benefit. Without this new connection, we would have more phones with the USB Micro-B connection like the Galaxy Note3.
Starting in 2017, the European Commission want all phones sold in the EU to share the same standard for their connections. Android, Windows and BlackBerry phones are already sharing the same connector, so the onus is on Apple to comply with the request. This may cause yet more anger in the Apple community as they have only just switched from the 30 pin connector to the Lightning connector, and with this being an open standard, it may open non-Apple devices to be able to use Apple peripherals.
Apple agreed to the original commission idea for all devices to comply with one standard, but so far haven't agreed to the current one.
It will be interesting to see how this comes to pass, but having one standard for connectors is going to reduce waste (you won't have to throw away the old cable when you get a new phone) and improve flexibility.