EPFL student Ken Pillonel decided not to wait for Apple to release an iPhone with a USB-C port instead of the proprietary Lightning and, taking the initiative, he successfully modified the port on his iPhone X.
The student, now pursuing a master’s degree in robotics from EPFL, has done everything “beautifully” both aesthetically and technically: the modified iPhone X supports data transfer and USB-C charging. In support of this, Ken Pillonel posted a short video demonstrating “the world’s first USB-C iPhone” on his Kenny Pi YouTube channel. In fact, here it is:
Apple Insider gives some details: The engineer worked on the “iPhone with USB-C” project in his spare time for five months and during that time he went through a lot of USB-C and Lightning cables. First, the student put together a small demo prototype in May as a proof of concept that allowed the iPhone battery to charge through the USB-C port. The device turned out to be quite bulky and did not fit inside the iPhone case, so the next step was to remove all the cables and miniaturize it. As a result, Pillonel reverse engineered Apple’s proprietary C94 connector and assembled a custom PCB based on it. In the near future, the student promises to publish a complete video that describes all the technical details of his experiment.
It is unclear if Pillonel plans to publish details of its flex PCB so that others can try to replicate its achievement. Previously, he used his talent to modify a car mount for the Samsung Galaxy Fold: he managed to “make friends” with a smartphone with wireless charging Xiaomi Mi Wireless Car Charge via a special adapter, printed on a 3D printer.
The European Commission has presented a bill on the introduction of a single charger with USB-C connector and the exclusion of charging blocks from the delivery of mobile devices. But the document foresees a two-year transition period. Also, in recent years, there have been more and more suggestions that if Apple ditches Lightning, it is more likely to be in favor of its own. MagSafe wireless charging technology, not USB-C.
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