A Swiss student managed to replace the charging port of an iPhone X with a USB-C.

Pressure for the iPhone ditch the Lightning connector in favor of USB-C It is growing. While users approve of these changes that make it easier to load, Apple continues to resist. However, the step the company had to take was completed by a robotics master’s student at the Federal Polytechnic School in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The young man who succeeded in impersonating the Lightning is called Ken Pillonel. This change was not simple for him and, as he commented, it took him several months of testing to achieve that be accepted by the iPhone X system.

The intention was not to commercialize this solution. Actually, it is an academic project that, once completed, decided to share the results on YouTube. It immediately went viral.

It is not a video in which he tells in detail why he decided to move forward in this direction. Nor does it show the process of making the product. But it does exhibit the first images of what could be considered the first ever functional iPhone with a USB-C port.

A Swiss student managed to replace the charging port of an iPhone X with a USB-C.

What he did comment was that he had to reverse engineer the iPhone connector itself. In order for it to be recognized by the software, it had to manufacture your own motherboard including the new port.

The biggest challenge was to minimize the size of the components necessary to insert them into the iPhone X, in which the fit and connections are studied to the millimeter. from the tiny lightning port.

“The first thing was to get the electronics working. The next step was to reverse engineer Apple’s C94 connector, and make my own PCB with a female USB-C port. Then the project schematics were established and tested, and the last thing was get everything to fit inside the iPhone, “he explained in the video description.

Apple Lightning Port, Apple's charging port.  Photo Apple

Apple Lightning Port, Apple’s charging port. Photo Apple

After laying out the blueprints, disassembling the iPhone, reverse engineering, and adding its Type-C port, you’ve come up with a functional Type-C iPhone. The hack allows, in addition to charging through the computer and a conventional charger, transfer files between the two devices.

Following the success of this demonstration, Pillonel has promised upload a much more detailed video, in which you will explain why you decided to develop this project and describe more precisely the steps you had to complete.

New demands

The port that the young man inserted is the same connector as the European Union (EU) defends as the generic for all mobile devices with the argument of benefiting users and the environment.

The only exception is Apple, which claimed to be concerned that the new rules limit innovation and that ends up hurting consumers. IPhones have Lightning-type plugs, although newer models come with cables for USB-C plugs.

The Commissioner for Internal Markets of the European Union, Thierry Breton, explaining the change requested by the EU.  Photo EFE

The Commissioner for Internal Markets of the European Union, Thierry Breton, explaining the change requested by the EU. Photo EFE

In addition, the EU wants to reduce the amount of electronic devices that are thrown away every year and that on average accumulate around 11,000 metric tons.

The big question is whether Apple really will leave the Lightning port on the iPhone. This experiment makes it clear that you could incorporate USB-C without major problems.

Some of the company’s products, such as the iPad Pro, Air, and Mini, already using the USB-C port, it would be reasonable for the iPhone to follow the same path. Perhaps the Pillonel project will help Apple make the leap to its smartphone more quickly.

SL

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