There forced love story between iPhone and Lightning input it’s still topical, but it’s starting to creak. If on the one hand Apple has to watch its back from the blows of the European Union, which wants to put a stop to electronic waste by putting a single standard in black and white, on the other hand the iPhone has remained one of the few items among Apple’s price lists. not have a USB-C input, all the more so after the recent defection of the sixth generation iPad mini.
More iPhones get surrounded within Apple’s range of products with USB-C, the faster the number of discontented by a standard that has never enjoyed too many sympathies. The discontent led Ken Pillonel, a master’s degree student in robotics from the Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne (EPFL), to start a project that is apparently simple but ambitious in fact. The challenge for replace Lightning with a USB-C input on an iPhone X it kept it busy for months, but it was worth it judging by the end result.
Pillonel succeeded in his quest to get an iPhone with a USB-C able to recharge the smartphone as well as, if necessary, to transfer data. As he himself admits in the description of the short video posted on YouTube, it wasn’t easy: the first step was to decode Apple’s C94 connector to create a printed circuit board (PCB) with a USB-C input, then it was time to miniaturize it to the point of complementing it with the dedicated compartment inside the iPhone X.
The video doesn’t even last 40 seconds, but it is Pillonel himself in the description who anticipates that a longer one will come with the description of the process. Plan with the enthusiasm though, because the transformation of an iPhone from Lightning to USB-C does not seem to be within everyone’s reach and not even a few, perhaps only a very few. Pillonel has specific training and is currently facing a master’s degree in robotics, and despite having the skills to succeed in the “enterprise” and also the right equipment, however, he had a lot of difficulties and had to invest tens of hours on the project.
In any case, the final result is interesting, and who knows if he is not alone a glimpse of a not too distant future in which Apple will be forced, at least in Europe, to abandon Lightning in favor of USB-C. Assuming he doesn’t catch the ball and realize that old dream of a iPhone with no physical inputs.
As promised Pillonel published a extended video which describes in detail the procedure for making the change. Users with adequate knowledge can also connect to this repository on Github which contains technical details, CNC instructions and customized PCB information. The premise is that making the change is by no means trivial, but experienced users can now try their hand at the enterprise.