After a ton of research, engineering student Ken Pillonel showed off the world’s first iPhone with a USB-C port. The process imported several parts from China and opened the components in a manner that wouldn't cause any structural damage to make the switch.
The successful prototype was sold on eBay for $8,6001.00 at 12:04AM Nov 11, 2021.
It’s not just a cosmetic modification either, as Pillonel showed that his custom USB-C iPhone support charging, data transfer, and reversibility, while maintaining functionality for the rest of the iPhone’s components.
To get the port cutout right, he used special drill equipment to enlarge the existing cutout. The end result was creating an iPhone that was not just able to charge the device but also transfer data from one device to another.
Pillonel also posted a video on YouTube documenting all the work he did to make a working USB-C iPhone, along with a link to an open-source repository on GitHub containing all the necessary files and info.
In short, he reversed engineered Apple’s Lighting connector and then a replica Lightning connector which allowed him to make a flexible circuit board that managed to fit vertically inside the iPhone between the iPhone X battery and Taptic Engine.
Pillonel said he will continue to tinker with USB-C on iPhones and even hinted at adding a USB-C connector to a pair of AirPods, which will be an interesting project to follow.
It’s important to note that Pillonel says users are prohibited from restoring, wiping, or updating the phone (which would presumably break the iPhone’s USB-C support), or using it as your daily driver, likely because the device is more of a proof of concept than a true everyday workhorse.
But if you're technically minded and have a spare iPhone to hand, China Phonefix can offer tools such as Stereo Microscope for soldering, inspection and repair, so you could always try your own hand at making one, as Pillonel has also shared full instructions for how to do so. Just be warned that it’s certainly not for enthusiastic amateurs.
If you had money, would you buy this rare iPhone with a USB Type-C port? Let us know in the comments below, and keep reading china-phonefix.myshopify.com for more news and repair tools.