First iPhone with USB-C port is now on sale

For years, many have been hoping that Apple would finally bring USB-C to the iPhone. A student has now taken matters into his own hands and converted an iPhone. The result can now be purchased at auction.

Ken Pillonel, an engineer and robotics student at the University of Lausanne, has converted an iPhone X so that it can now be charged via USB-C. His reasoning is as obvious as it is simple: he simply wanted to be able to charge all devices via one port – and the iPhone is the only one that still uses Lightning.

The first iPhone with USB-C

To be able to charge the iPhone via USB-C, it is not enough to simply replace the charging port. Apple uses a proprietary chip that sits in each Lightning cable to regulate charging. Pillonel’s first step was to remove the Lightning connector in the iPhone. Then he wired the chip from a Lightning cable directly to the iPhone. At the other end, he connected an interface board with a USB-C connector. He was actually able to charge the iPhone through that. The only problem: the technology didn’t fit in the case in this form.

As a next step, Pillonel had to reconstruct the chip from a lighning cable to build a scaled-down version of it. With a lot of patience, he managed to figure out again the chip works. Now he was able to make his own flat cable with all the necessary components and install it in the iPhone X. After he had even slightly enlarged the cutout for the charging port, the final product was ready: a working iPhone with a USB-C port.

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Interested parties can bid for the iPhone

Pillonel is now offering the unique iPhone for sale on Ebay. On the auction page, the device is described as the “first public iPhone made with a USB-C port.” However, interested buyers must adhere to certain specifications if they want to use the device. For example, one should not restore or update the iPhone, use it as a daily device, and not open it. Only then does Pillonel guarantee that the modified smartphone will work. If one does not adhere to this, one is on his own and should not expect any help from him. After all, this is a prototype. However, those who purchase the unique product are supposed to get a 30-minute phone call with Pillonel to clarify any questions.

The iPhone X with USB-C port is a 64GB model and comes without accessories. It was set with a starting price of $1, but bids have now reached $100,100 (just under €87,000). The auction will run for another six days, and international shipping is included in the purchase price.


Blog by Ken Pillonel