Student puts instructions online to provide iPhone with USB-C port

Apple sticks to its Lightning connector for its iPhones. Ken Pillonel, a master’s student of robotics, was tired of waiting for a USB-C variant and converted his iPhone X himself. He has now extensively documented that process in a video and on GitHub.

Last month Pillonel briefly showed his modified iPhone X with a working USB-C port, but now he has also put extensive documentation online for those who want to equip an iPhone with the universal port. That’s not an easy job, according to his YouTube video and the GitHub documentation.

The USB-C port in the iPhone is a modified Lightning to USB connection, which is completely hidden in the smartphone. For this, Pillonel had to apply reverse engineering at the Lightning port and make its own pcb with components that fit between the battery and the Taptic Engine.

In the video, the master’s student describes his method, from proof-of-concept to prototypes and developing the ideas and adapting the iPhone housing to fit the larger USB-C port.

The modified iPhone has a working USB-C connection, with which the phone can be charged and data transfer is possible. The modder says he wants to improve his design even further to allow faster charging and the use of USB-C accessories. Pillonel chose the iPhone X because he could get it cheaply. He is auctioning the copy, the ‘first iPhone with USB-C in the world’ on eBay.