A Robotic Engineer made USB-C iPhone a reality

Apple often disappoints its users by still providing a Lightning port instead of USB-C on the iPhones and like many other users a robotic engineer named Ken Pillonel also wanted to have a USB-C port in his iPhone – so he went wild and came up with an interesting solution with the help of little hacking and modding.

Pillonel instead of just buying a USB-C dongle opened up the parts and his iPhone, his USB-C cables, and Lightning cables. After getting a peek at the innards of the cables and the phone and figuring out how the things are connected. Inspired by reverse engineering to make a PCB with a female USB-C port, Pillonel discovered a way to connect an iPhone to a USB-C port replacing Apple’s C94 connector with soldered bits and pieces.

And in the YouTube Short titled “World’s First USB-C iPhone,” Ken Pillonel can be seen installing the component into the iPhone X, replacing the Lightning port in the process.

Pillonel started releasing documentation of his newly modified USB-C iPhone in May of 2021 and now he has a working prototype that is also sealed which has all the components it needs to work with basic USB-C power and data transfers. Surprisingly and it looks normal as if it’s supposed to be engineered in this way.

Unfortunately, performing repairs on this mobile would not be possible because according to Apple’s Repair Terms and Conditions, after doing unauthorized modifications to its products they can be considered as “Out-of-Warranty.”

However, bypassing the iron will of the sealed smartphone and modifying its hardware is like figuring out how to sneak a bookmark into your book and most important here are the skills one attains in learning by doing and inspires others to try things they might not have otherwise thought possible.

This also comes after The European Commission proposed legislation in September that would force smartphone makers to put a USB-C as the standard charging port for all mobile devices, giving Apple max two years to add USB-C to the iPhone.


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