iPhone: say goodbye to the Lightning port, an engineer has succeeded in replacing it with USB-C

Apple has always been reluctant to use USB-C connectivity on their iPhones, which is why a talented engineer decided to take the lead and create their own iPhone with a USB-C port.

Credit: Ken Pillonel / YouTube

Ken Pillonel, a robotics master’s student at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) did not wait for Apple to finally decide to use USB-C on its iPhones. Indeed, this engineer succeeded in replacing the Lightning port of his iPhone X, allowing the phone to charge and transfer data via a USB-C connection.

In a YouTube video called “World’s First USB-C iPhone”, Pillonel says he reverse-engineered Apple’s C94 connector, in order to make a printed circuit board with a female USB-C port. Once the schematics were in place, it would have taken the engineer several months to shrink the connector and install it in an iPhone.

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Apple will soon have to give in to USB-C

Although Apple already uses USB-C on its other devices, such as its iPad tablets or MacBooks, the American giant has always refused to equip its iPhones with this connection. Europe does not see this decision favorably, since the European Commission has already tabled a draft directive which will aim to force all manufacturers to adopt a universal USB-C charger.

Apple will have no choice but to comply with the law, since this device is expected to come into force in 2024. This period is necessary to transcribe the measure into national law in the 27 Member States and to allow time for manufacturers to comply.

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At this time, it’s unclear whether Pillonel plans to sell the custom PCB or keep the project a secret. A full video that will detail exactly how Pillonel successfully reverse-engineered the C94 connector should arrive soon. We will also see how he managed to fit the custom PCB inside the phone. However, even if the process were well documented, it would not be within everyone’s reach. In addition, it should be remembered that this type of change would obviously void the warranty of your smartphone.




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