Today, Apple has published a developer preview on a connector, called the Ultra Accessory Connector, intended to ease connectivity and adapter problems associated with “Made for iPhone”-certified headphones.
The Ultra Accessory Connector (UAC) is a non-symmetrical 8-pin connector measuring 2.05mm thick, 4.85mm wide and is apparently half as deep as the symmetrical USB-C and Lightning specifications. For comparison, Apple’s Lightning connector is 1.5mm thick, 6.73mm wide, and 7mm deep.
The new connector is positioned as a headphone-side connector for both male and female versions. It appears to provide a universal connection point on the headphone side, with interchangeable cables to accommodate a host device with various ports, such as Lightning, USB-C, or even a 3.5mm headset jack.
In a statement to CNET, Apple said that there is no intention to use the new UAC port to replace Lightning or USB-C. The connector has been around and used for years in products like Nikon cameras.