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The great iPhone mode brings the upgrade everyone wants


Good release, Lightning connector.
Photo: Ken Pillonel

I think most of us can agree that the iPhone is long overdue with the USB-C upgrade. But despite the introduction of technology on the Mac and iPad many years ago, Apple seems reluctant to give up Lightning for its smartphones. So, someone else did.

Robotic engineering student Ken Pillonel managed to replace the Lightning connector in his iPhone with a working USB-C connector. The mode allows you to charge and transfer data, but this is not the one you want to perform yourself.

iPhone mode brings USB-C connectivity

Pillonel spent months of his free time working on a USB-C connection to his iPhone X. It started with a simple prototype that allowed the iPhone battery to be charged with a USB-C connector, but this rather rudimentary proof of concept was too big to actually fit in an iPhone , so Pillonel continued to work.

The project, which required Pillonel to separate a lot of USB-C and Lightning cables — and to reverse the engineering of Apple’s custom C94 connector — eventually led to Pillonel creating its own flexible PCB that fits the iPhone. The end result is an iPhone X with USB-C that can be used for charging and syncing.

You can see it in action in Pillonel’s latest video below. He promises another one that will describe the whole process in detail, including the reverse engineering efforts, for those who are brave enough to try out the mode on their own.

It’s not yet clear if Pillonel plans to offer or provide additional details about its custom PCB, which would make this mode significantly easier (but still quite difficult) for other iPhone owners.

Will the iPhone ever get USB-C?

If the European Commission succeeds, Apple will be forced to introduce USB-C connectivity on the iPhone in the future. He has already announced plans to make the connector standard on all devices in an effort to reduce waste. Apple is the only smartphone maker that still produces leading USB-C smartphones.

There is a chance that Apple will avoid a mandate by simply plugging a USB-C adapter into Lightning with iPhone units sold in Europe — as it did when the European Commission requested that smartphones use micro USB. But there may come a time when the iPhone doesn’t use the connector at all.

It is rumored that Apple will run on an iPhone without ports that will rely solely on wireless technologies for charging and data transfer.





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Naveen Kumar

Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.

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