If you have a USB-C phone or tablet and you plug it into a laptop with USB-C, which device gets charged? Or no charging will occur? People charge their phones through their laptops all the time, how will this be handled?

Or what if you plug in a USB-C phone to another USB-C phone where one device has 100% battery and the other has 25% battery. Is it possible to share power now?

  • Like with most things USB. This is up to the devices to handle. – Ramhound Mar 18 '15 at 11:26
  • I have deleted my comments as they appear to provide no benefit to the question. Your comments suggested you didn't understand the question. But it is clear you understood the question enough to answer, so your first comment led me on a wild goose chase – Paul Mar 18 '15 at 21:03
  • @Paul - Feel free to submit an answer and the supporting documentation. I personally true David to know what he is talking about, and it has nothing to do with the amount of reputation points he has, nor when he joined. – Ramhound Mar 18 '15 at 21:11
  • @Ramhound I don't know the answer. I was commenting here because it looked like David didn't understand the question, I have removed my comments because it appears he did, he was just being cagey :) – Paul Mar 18 '15 at 21:12

The new USB-C standard cables are reversible, flippable and the device circuits communicate with each other to regulate the amount of power transferred. I would expect to see some kind of Settings panel that allows you to select which way power is transferred.

From a Yahoo Tech article that has that has more details and animations...

Type-C also offers something called bidirectional charging. Have you ever had 100 percent battery life on your tablet and 0 percent on your phone, and wished you could just transfer battery power from the tablet to the phone? With Type C, you’ll be able to do just that. You’ll not only be able to charge your laptop, smartphone, or tablet from the wall, you’ll be able to charge it from other devices, too. So you could use one laptop to charge another, or a phone to charge a tablet, or an MP3 player to charge a toaster (if it can get charged via Type-C).

It's brand new so only a few key devices currently have it...

Right now the only devices using Type-C are Google’s new Chromebook Pixel, Apple’s recently announced MacBook, Nokia’s N1 tablet, and a few storage devices.


It is not currently possible to connect one USB-C host to another USB-C host. “Cables” that permit such a function will likely exist in the future, and they can handle power distribution however they want to. I put cables in quote because they will contain active electronics—they have to be actual devices if they’ll support connecting hosts to hosts.

They might have a “receives power” end, they might let the higher power device power the lower power device. They might supply power only to devices that can’t operate without it. They might detect a wall-powered device and a rechargeable device and let the wall-powered device power the rechargeable. They may let you choose what to do. We can only speculate at this time.

  • Well if USB-C is going to be replace standard USB Type A ports in the future and new Android mobile devices will have a USB-C connector, there's gotta be a way to connect USB-C to USB-C. I was wondering if the posted scenarios have a solution since USB-C is already being deployed. – Jack Mar 19 '15 at 7:09
  • @Jack You can theoretically do almost anything. The question is what such devices will actually allow you to do, and there's no way to know yet since the devices do not exist. – David Schwartz Mar 19 '15 at 16:24

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