A robotics engineer has created the world’s first iPhone with a USB-C port.
In a recent video posted on YouTube, Kenny Pillonel provides a teaser of a working iPhone X he had modified to support charging and data transfers via a USB-C cable.
The video illustrates the iPhone charging with a MacBook’s USB-C cable connected to a power brick and being detected when plugged into the MacBook with the cable.
Pillonel explained that he reverse-engineered the iPhone’s C94 connector with its Lightning standard to make a flexible PCB (printed circuit board) with a USB-C port.
Once he had drawn up the schematics, he had to shrink the design down, remove the Lightning connector, and install his own creation.
Below are screenshots from the video showing the iPhone X’s USB-C port and proof that it charges.
Replicating his modification won’t be an easy task even for the most gifted tech enthusiast.
Pillonel is currently doing his Master’s degree in Robotics at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and works as an engineering consultant part-time.
According to Apple Insider, he spent at least a few months on the project.
A blog post from May details his thinking behind the replacement and the issues he would face replacing the Lightning port.
He also posted a video of a prototype that could charge the iPhone but was still too big to fit into the phone’s enclosure.
In an update in late September, he said he ordered the flexible PCB required to make the compact iteration of his design.
There should be more clarity on the entire process in an upcoming video that Pillonel is still editing.
In the last few years, Apple has gradually switched most of its devices to USB-C for charging, including its iPad and MacBook Pro models.
While there have been many rumours about the iPhone also switching to USB-C, the company has stuck with the Lightning port.
That could soon change.
Pillonel’s video comes as the European Commission recently proposed legislation that will make USB-C the standard for charging ports on smartphones.
If the legislation comes into effect, Apple will be required to add a USB-C port to iPhones sold in the region within two years.
The video below provides a sneak preview of Pillonel’s modified iPhone X.