A robotics engineering student creates first USB-C charger iPhone X


Apple hasn’t created a USB-C iPhone despite years of rumors, but that hasn’t stopped a robotics engineering student from creating one. Ken Pillonel has placed a working USB-C port inside an iPhone X, allowing the phone to charge and transfer data over USB-C instead of Lightning.

Pillonel has spent months on the project in his spare time, as spotted by Apple Insider, and opened up plenty of USB-C and Lightning cables to get to his final goal of a USB-C iPhone. Pillonel originally created a simple prototype in May that allowed an iPhone battery to be charged over the USB-C port. The proof of concept was rather large and didn’t fit inside an iPhone, so the next stage was to remove all the wires and squeeze it inside.

The USB-C port on an iPhone X.

Pillonel reverse-engineered Apple’s custom C94 connector, creating his own flexible PCB design that fits inside an iPhone. Pillonel revealed the flexible cable in a final teaser video this week, demonstrating how the iPhone X with USB-C charges and transfers data. A full video is currently being edited, which will detail exactly how Pillonel managed to reverse-engineer the C94 connector and fit his custom PCB inside the phone.

The USB-C iPhone comes just weeks after the European Commission announced plans to force smartphone and other electronics manufacturers to fit a common USB-C charging port on their devices. Apple could be forced to create an iPhone with USB-C in the next couple of years, or launch a portless iPhone that relies on wireless charging.https://237c55fbc4004d6caac44f120ba3ee6a.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

It’s not clear whether Pillonel plans to release details of his custom flexible PCB so others can attempt the modification. He’s currently studying for a master’s degree in robotics at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, EPFL. He has previously used his talents to modify a car mount for Samsung’s Galaxy Fold, releasing a 3D printed mod to allow a Xiaomi Mi Wireless Car Charger to work with the Galaxy Fold.

Main Image: Gadget Cover

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