An iPhone with a working USB-C port in video

A functional iPhone with not a Lightning port but a USB-C port, that’s the model Ken Pillonel.

The Swiss robotics master student has done a lot of work to make it happen. It involved several months of research.

An iPhone that works with a USB-C port

Ken Pillonel has removed the Lightning port from an iPhone X and put a USB-C port in its place. He explains that he had to analyse Apple’s C94 connector (i.e. the Lightning connector) and understand how it works to create a circuit board with a USB-C port that is intended to be compatible with the iPhone and therefore iOS. Once the schematics were in place, the challenge was to miniaturise the connector and install it in an Apple phone.

The student spent a few months on his creation, with a blog post from May showing the thinking behind the replacement and the challenges of replacing the Lightning port itself. A video then showed a working prototype and outlined the work involved in making it small enough to work in an iPhone case.


In recent days, the young man has shared a teaser video of his iPhone with the USB-C port. He will soon post the longer version on his YouTube channel, which will explain the whole miniaturisation and installation process in more detail.

When will Apple release such an iPhone?

Will Apple release a USB-C iPhone? The question may be asked. Almost all Macs and iPads have switched to USB-C. This is not yet the case for the iPhone, which remains on the Lightning port. But the European Commission recently announced that USB-C should be mandatory on devices like smartphones. Apple will have to give in to this… unless it skips this step and directly offers an iPhone with zero connectors and only wireless charging.