Apple didn’t build an iPhone with a USB-C port despite years of rumors, but that didn’t stop a robotics engineering student from creating one.
Apple is slowly moving its products to a USB-C port, and the iPad mini has been the latest device to make the transition.
The main idea behind the project was to use a USB-C to Lightning cable, convert the male end of the cable into a female port, and then make everything fit inside the iPhone.
Billonel spent months on the project in his spare time, using a lot of USB-C and Lightning cables to reach his ultimate goal of using an iPhone with a USB-C port.
Billonil originally created a simple prototype in May that allowed his phone’s battery to be charged via a USB-C port. The proof-of-concept was rather large, and it didn’t fit the device. So the next stage was to remove all wires and make them internal.
The robotics engineering student reverse engineered Apple’s custom C94 connector, creating his own flexible PCB design that fits his device.
Billonel revealed the flex cable in a recent teaser video this week. Explains how the iPhone X with a USB-C port charges and transfers data.
He is now preparing an entire video detailing how he reverse-engineered the C94 connector. It also shows how to add the custom PCB inside the phone.
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The world’s first iPhone with a USB Type-C port
This USB-C-equipped phone comes just weeks after the European Commission announced plans to force manufacturers of smartphones and other electronics to install a common USB-C charging port across their devices.
And Apple may have to create a phone with a USB-C port in the next couple of years. Or launch a device without a port that depends on wireless charging.
Subject to Apple’s Repair Terms and Conditions. Unauthorized modifications can be considered that the device is out of warranty when it needs repair.
It is not clear if Billonil plans to release details of the custom flex PCB so that others can try to modify. The student is currently studying for a master’s degree in robotics at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, EPFL.
He used his talents previously to adjust Car Mount for Samsung Galaxy Fold, released a 3D printed model to allow the Xiaomi Mi Wireless Car Charger to work with the Galaxy Fold.
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